Best Vietnam Caves to Explore in 2024 – Full Guide

Caves stand as enigmatic and breathtaking wonders of nature, revealing the profound mysteries of our planet. Venturing into these subterranean realms not only astounds us with unimaginable beauty but also puts our existence into perspective against the vastness of nature. Fortunately, our world is adorned with a multitude of such mesmerizing caves, offering adventurers a glimpse into the extraordinary.

Vietnam, a land brimming with captivating sights, rich culture, and remarkable history, is also home to the world’s most extensive and formidable caves. These natural wonders, reminiscent of scenes from a sci-fi movie, await exploration. In this article, we unveil the top caves in Vietnam, where reality surpasses even the most vivid imaginations. 

Brace yourself to be captivated by the awe-inspiring underground landscapes that redefine the boundaries of natural beauty.

Best of Vietnam caves to add to your bucket list

Embark on a journey through the subterranean beauty that Vietnam conceals, where every cave narrates a distinctive tale of geological marvels and awe-inspiring formations. Uncover the secrets held within these natural wonders, as we guide you through a captivating odyssey into the heart of Vietnam’s extraordinary cave landscapes.

Read more: Top Vietnam trekking destinations for adventures

Mo Luong Cave, Mai Chau

Nestled within the heart of Phu Kha Mountain, Mo Luong Cave stands as a captivating gem in the scenic landscape of Mai Chau. This natural wonder is renowned among visitors exploring the region for its ethereal beauty and mesmerizing stalactite formations. What distinguishes Mo Luong Cave is its unique setting within limestone blocks, creating a subterranean realm adorned with magnificent geological wonders.

The cave offers an immersive experience with not one, but two entrances that open up to breathtaking vistas of expansive paddy fields and charming villages in the valley. As tourists venture into the depths of Mo Luong Cave, they are greeted by the peculiar sensation of being surrounded by nature’s ancient artistry. The journey to this subterranean marvel involves a picturesque hike, providing an opportunity for travelers to not only witness the captivating formations within the cave but also to marvel at the stunning landscapes that unfold along the way. Mo Luong Cave in Mai Chau promises an excursion into the mystical depths of nature, where geological wonders and panoramic views seamlessly converge, leaving an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to explore its hidden treasures.

Kho Muong/Doi Cave, Pu Luong

Nestled within the embrace of Pu Luong Nature Reserve, the Kho Muong Doi Cave in Kho Muong village, Thanh Son commune (Ba Thuoc district, Thanh Hoa province), stands as a captivating testament to Vietnam’s natural wonders. Formed around 250 million years ago, this limestone sanctuary is a subterranean marvel waiting to be explored. The journey to Kho Muong village, approximately 30 km from Canh Nang town, poses challenges with its perilous roads flanked by high cliffs and deep abysses. Despite the difficulties, the reward is immense. Kho Muong Bat Cave extends about 2.5 km to the North, intricately connected to an underground river system that leads water from Kho Muong through Pon village in Lung Cao commune.

Within the cave, a vast open ground reminiscent of a natural volleyball court awaits, highlighting the cave’s uniqueness. Stone blocks within the cave take on shapes of people, animals, and plants, adorned with thick vines creating a lush, green cover. The pleasant sound of water droplets adds to the cave’s charm. The best time to explore Kho Muong Bat Cave is from May to October, coinciding with the ripening rice season. The terraced fields on the way to the cave shimmer in golden hues, offering a breathtaking view. Surrounding the cave are verdant mountains and forests, creating a picturesque landscape that captures the essence of the Vietnamese countryside—a blend of simple charm and familiarity.

Dau Go Cave, Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province

Ha Long Bay, Dau Go Cave, North Vietnam - Source: GNNick - YayImages
Ha Long Bay, Dau Go Cave, North Vietnam – Source: GNNick – YayImages

Perched on Dau Go Island, the Dau Go Cave, also known as the “Wooden Stakes Cave,” stands among Vietnam’s premier caverns, celebrated for its grandeur and ancient allure. Infused with historical legends and myths, the cave’s mystique adds an extra layer of excitement to exploration. Its fame burgeoned in 1938 when a prominent French author dubbed it the “Cave of Wonders” in his book. Carved by time some 2 million years ago, the cave sits majestically at an elevation of 27 meters above sea level.

Beyond the myriad stone pillars and stalagmites, Dau Go Cave boasts a rich ecosystem, hosting mosses, ferns, and timber trees. A remarkable azure jellyfish-shaped formation adds to the cave’s allure. The cavern’s dome, reaching 25 meters in height, showcases impressive stalactites, resembling an unconventional waterfall. Dau Go Cave’s distinctive features collectively secure its status among Vietnam’s most remarkable subterranean wonders.

Sung Sot Cave, Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province

Lies on Bo Hon Island, Sung Sot Cave, also dubbed the “Surprising Cave,” stands as the largest cave in the Ha Long Bay region, captivating visitors with its astonishing beauty. Renowned as one of Vietnam’s premier caves, it spans an incredible 10,000 m2, reaching a height of nearly 30 meters and boasting a 500-meter-long passage. The cave unfolds into two distinct caverns, with the first resembling a small amphitheater connected to the larger cavern by a narrow passage.

The grandeur of the second cavern is awe-inspiring, with a capacity to host over 1,000 people. Once inside, marvel at the breathtaking formations, including intricate stalactites and stalagmites. Beyond its natural wonders, Sung Sot Cave is enshrouded in captivating folklore, adding an extra layer of allure to its status as one of Vietnam’s top caves. Explore the depths of Sung Sot Cave, where nature’s artistry and cultural tales converge to create an unforgettable underground spectacle.

Son Doong Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

Unquestionably Vietnam’s premier cavern, Son Doong Cave stands as the world’s largest, a title it has held since its exploration by the British Cave Research Association in 2009-2010. Commercial exploration began in 2013, orchestrated exclusively by Oxalis Adventure, Asia’s leading adventure tour operator rooted in Phong Nha. Operating under Vietnam’s government permission, Oxalis has pioneered all research and tourism endeavors within this astonishing cave.

Son Doong’s unrivaled status among Vietnam’s top caves rests upon its staggering dimensions. Stretching over 5km in length, with sections soaring up to 200m in height and 150m in width, it could comfortably encapsulate an entire New York City block, skyscrapers and all. Boasting a measured volume of 38.5 million cubic meters, Son Doong outshines Malaysia’s Deer Cave, its predecessor in size. Towering stalagmites, reaching up to 80m, mark unprecedented heights. For adventure enthusiasts globally, exploring Son Doong Cave, the apex of Vietnam’s caves, stands as a must-do bucket list adventure.

Paradise Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

Phong Nha Paradise cave

Revered as the “Paradise Cave” or “Thien Duong Cave,” this celestial wonder stands as one of Vietnam’s premier caves, captivating enthusiasts with its grandeur in size, diversity, and rare formations. Over the years, its allure has surged, drawing travelers into a realm of awe-inspiring natural beauty within the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Formerly overshadowed by the Phong Nha cave’s reputation as the park’s longest, Paradise Cave, an integral segment of the expansive 50-km Hang Vom Cave System, has emerged triumphant with a staggering length of 15km.

Perched 200 meters above sea level, the cave reaches a majestic height of approximately 72 meters and spans an awe-inducing width of nearly 150 meters. These dimensions paint a vivid picture of Paradise Cave’s colossal presence. Upon meticulous examination, cave researchers and experts have affirmed that the limestone formations within are amongst the most spectacular ever witnessed, securing Paradise Cave’s eminent status among Vietnam’s top caves.

Hang En Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

Nestled within the grandeur of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Hang En stands as a premier cavern, ranking as the third-largest cave globally. Following only Hang Son Doong and Deer Cave in Malaysia in terms of volume, Hang En captures the imagination with its immense dimensions and awe-inspiring presence. Oxalis Adventure, operating in the heart of this natural wonder, orchestrates two-day, one-night expeditions into the cave’s depths, offering an unparalleled camping experience within its colossal chambers.

This distinguished cave extends nearly 2km into the karst landscape of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, boasting three entrances, the largest of which spans over 120m in height and 140m in width. Surrounded by dense jungle, Hang En is a spectacle that defies description. With chambers reaching staggering dimensions of 100m in height and 180m in width, the cave’s colossal scale is illuminated only by the feeble reach of powerful headlamps. A must-see on any adventurer’s list, Hang En epitomizes the natural wonders that make Vietnam a treasure trove of exploration.

Tu Lan Cave System, Quang Binh Province

Located 70 km from Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, the Tu Lan cave system harbors some of Vietnam’s most exquisite caverns, including those immortalized in the Hollywood film Kong: Skull Island. Situated near the Tan Hoa minority village amid picturesque landscapes of buffalo-grazed fields and flourishing peanut and cornfields, Tu Lan offers a captivating adventure. The river caves, like Ken Cave and Tu Lan Cave, are youthful at around 3 million years, while the older dry caves, including dry Tu Lan and Ton Cave, boast an age of approximately 5 million years. 

Marvel at the spectacular limestone formations, featuring colossal stalactites and stalagmites that have weathered the passage of time. Notably, Ken Cave, among Vietnam’s premier caves, gained acclaim in National Geographic through the lens of the esteemed photographer Carsten Peter, elevating Tu Lan’s status as a top-tier destination for cave exploration in Vietnam.

Hang Va Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

Hang Va, nestled deep within the heart of Vietnam, emerges as a precious cavern, unrivaled in its grandeur and boasting formations so rare they seem otherworldly. Situated in proximity to the renowned Son Doong Cave, it is believed to share a subterranean connection with this colossal system. The entrance to Hang Va, a dramatic collapse in a steep valley floor, beckons intrepid explorers to descend approximately 15 meters into a passage adorned with a small stream. Inside, nature unveils its masterpiece — a mesmerizing blend of wet and dry gours, where the enigmatic Tower Cones rise majestically. 

Comprising over a hundred calcite formations, these cones stand as silent witnesses to the mystique that shrouds Hang Va. In the realm of Vietnam’s top caves, Hang Va’s allure is unparalleled, weaving a tale of mystery and enchantment that captivates every adventurer who steps into its subterranean realm.

Hang Tien Cave, Quang Binh Province

Hang Tien cave, aptly named the “cave of fairies,” unveils a surreal spectacle, earning its prestigious spot among Vietnam’s top caves. Its vast corridors, adorned with karst formations resembling terraced rice fields, and the lofty domes bathed in the ethereal glow of sunlight, form a breathtaking symphony of natural wonders that leaves visitors awe-inspired. Within this subterranean realm, one can’t help but feel minuscule, lost amidst the grandeur of giants.

The cave’s entrance is a botanical marvel, where sunlight, blending with moisture, breathes life into a tapestry of mosses and mushrooms. Their rapid growth transforms the cave’s facade, embracing stalactites and stalagmites with a verdant embrace.

Hang Tien, a pinnacle among Vietnam’s caves, stands as the largest dry cave within the Tu Lan Cave system. Its sheer magnitude is exemplified by Hang Tien 2, a sprawling expanse that stretches nearly 3km with a vertical range of approximately 100m. The dance of infiltrating water from the limestone mountains gives birth to extraordinary stalactites, mirroring the allure of terrace fields. As sunlight paints mesmerizing swirls across the cave’s domes, Hang Tien emerges as an unmissable gem in Vietnam’s cave repertoire.

Phong Nha Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province

Named after the iconic Phong Nha cave, the heart of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, this geological wonder transcends local fame to claim a global reputation. Stretching an impressive 7,729 meters and housing a subterranean river of 13,969 meters, it stands among the lengthiest wet caves on the planet. Its intricate network includes vast dry chambers, categorized into three distinct sections: the entrance zone, twilight zone, and dark zone.

The entrance zone, teeming with sunlight, hosts diverse cave species such as fish and insects. Illuminated artificially, the twilight zone offers a spectacle, revealing inhabitants like shrimps and eels. Venture into the dark zone, where utter darkness unveils blind species like bats, spiders, and fish. With its ecological diversity and historical significance, Phong Nha cave is not just a standout among Vietnam’s caves but a global marvel, urging inclusion in your Vietnam travel itinerary.

Final thoughts

As we conclude this exploration into the mesmerizing realm of Vietnam caves, one cannot help but marvel at the natural spectaculars waiting to be unveiled. From the mystical depths of Phong Nha Cave to the awe-inspiring beauty of Son Doong Cave, Vietnam’s subterranean wonders are a testament to the country’s rich geological tapestry. 

To truly immerse yourself in these extraordinary landscapes, consider embarking on one of Viland Travel’s customized tours. Their expertise in crafting personalized journeys ensures that your cave exploration is not only seamless but also tailored to your preferences. Delve into the heart of Vietnam’s underground marvels, where every stalactite tells a story and each cavern beckons with an otherworldly allure. With Viland Travel, let the echoes of Vietnam caves resonate in your memories, creating a travel saga that’s as unique as the caves themselves.