See more photos here.
I arrived in Phong Nha at 4:00am and ended up sleeping on the couch of my hostel because they didn’t have any spare beds. Over breakfast, I met two German girls, Naomi and Vanessa. They were also headed to the caves so I ended up joining them. The motorbike ride there was beautiful!
Paradise cave was the busiest cave I have ever experienced. There were so many Vietnamese tourists that we had to wait several minutes at the entrance. Once inside, you walk around the cave via a raised boardwalk to view everything illuminated by artificial lighting. It costed 250,000 VND ($15 CAD) to enter. The cave was large and in some parts it had a beautiful blue ceiling that looked like unpolished marble. The lights did unexpectedly turn off at one point for a minute or two which was cool! I was glad I had my headlamp with me.
Similarly, Dark Cave was also extremely touristic. The entrance fee was a whopping 450,000 Dong but includes caving, zip-lining, and kayaking. To get to the cave, we first took a short zip-line trip over the river which was fun and then swam to the entrance of the cave. We didn’t venture very far into Dark Cave, but we did swim in the famous mud there. It makes your body extremely buoyant! As a result, it is fun to swim around in it. Outside the cave, we swam across the river and tried out an obstacle course and water sports.
I had a Penis Banana for dinner… yes, that’s what it said on the menu. A banana sandwiched in-between chocolate mousse and ice cream. Delicious! To finish off the evening, I swam in the river next to my hostel it was lovely!