Away from the bustling Vietnamese capitol of Hanoi lies the scenic town of Hoi An, a historic port city that is home to the Country’s most famous rock formations and the luxurious Anantara Hoi An Resort. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An is known for its diverse landscapes from a breathtaking coastline to green plains and majestic cliffs. Many of Hoi An’s famous caves and mountains lie in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park with the 500 step ascent to Paradise Cave a ‘must on anyone’s travel itinerary.
A UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to an unique ecosystem of flora, fauna and rugged terrain and features abundant wildlife. The Park is known for its caves and water grottoes making it a must-visit destination for eco-travellers. Situated in the Annamite Mountain Range near the Vietnam-Laos border, the caves and water grottoes found here are considered to be the oldest in Southeast Asia. Hoi An accommodation can be found easily near Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park allowing a convenient trek to the famous Paradise Cave. Discovered in 2005 by scientists of the British Caving Research Association, Paradise Cave is the longest dry cave in Asia with a length of 31 kilometres.
Known locally as Thien Duong, Paradise Cave is a natural masterpiece that is sure to take your breath away! Since opening to the public in 2010, lighted stairwells descend into the depth of the cave while tiny LED lights fixed to the cave’s walls illuminate the rocky crevices and rugged walls of the cave’s interior. In five short years since opening in 2010, Paradise Cave has skyrocketed to the status of one of Vietnam’s most famous attractions, so don’t expect to have the cave all to yourself. Bus-loads of tourists and curious locals visit the cave in their hundreds each year, and your pace will be reduced to a lazy stroll inside the cave. So don’t rush, and take your time to admire the caves’ striking crystal stalactites that rise like slender pillars that only adds to the ‘Paradise’ of Paradise Cave.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.