The best adventure of my life. Exploring caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang

Wow an incredible week. We were staying in Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park and staying at a farm stay. It was proper out the way and in the middle of nowhere. Totally different to anywhere else we have been so far. It was a proper working farm with water buffalo plaughing the fields and locals walking along the dirt tracks stoked to see you and say ‘hi’ as not many tourists make it there.

The only traffic we saw outside the farm all week.

So stoked to have his photo taken he made me take it like 10 times!

Tiff spent most of here time scheming how she could get a buffalo back to Chamonix

Sophie was always bigging up her map reading skills!

The area is famous for its massive amount of caves including the worlds biggest cave. On the first day we went for a cycle to vist the main tourist cave in the area called Phong Nha. After an amazing cycle to the cave passing the friendliest locals so far we made it to the cave and hired a boat to take us up the river and then into the cave. We got out at nuroius stops and the stalagtites etc were incredible.

Entrance to the cave

Sophie checking the stalactites.

Tiff down in the bottom left to give you an idea of the scale

After an extreme amount of persuasion to get Tiff and Soph on board for an over night trek to visit Hang En Cave (Swallow Cave) which was featured in National Geographic a few months back. Less than 150 westerners have been to the cave so it really was something special to do. We had 2 guides and 2 cooks with us on the trip and drove deep into the national park through thick jungle. Eventually we pulled over randomly at what  seamed like the jungle was at its thickest.

Soph was so concerned about the threat of leeches that she opted for a North Face waterproof in 38C 100% humidity. But then again this was one epic adventure so North Face jacket was rather appropriate.

One of the many epic insects we came across on the way

It was a 10km trek, the first 5k was through deep jungle with leeches etc, good fun and made me realise how much I miss Borneo. We stopped off for lunch in a minority village where 35 people lived. Having not really had much contact with white people etc the kids in the village instead of asking for sweets and money etc would run away and hide behind trees looking at us and trying to figure us out. The elders in the village where really friendly though and intrigued but our gadgets etc and gave us loads of corn which we would later cook for dinner.

Stoked on the biscuits we gave him

One of the village elders

Lass who gave us corn


The next 5km was down a shallow river which snaked its way down a valley which looked like something from jurrsaic park and as result i had the theme in my head ALL DAY LONG.

The white things in the middle right of the photo are butterflies which were all over the place and would fly away when we walked past.

The last 1k we could see a massive gapping opening in the cliffs above which is where we were heading. It was incredible. We arrived and dropped off our gear with a few minutes to chill and then head torched up and headed into the black obis. It wasn’t for long though as after maybe 200m and a few river crossings we came acoss another opening which let light pour into the cave and alow you to see the full scale of it. Hear is about the time I ripped the arse out my shorts. We continued on another 1.3km through the cave and were treated one of the most incredible natural wonders I have ever seen. The rear mouth of the cave which was over 100m tall and 200m wide. It is one of the biggest cave openings in the world and something I will never ever forget.

You can just make out one of the guides down the bottom by the river. It was MASSIVE!

Our Camp

We returned back to the other cave mouth were we set our hammocks up on some dodgy as frame in time for dark. Then it was time to head torch up and go for some fishing. The guides took us out and told us to prepare to get out ankles wet….. we eneded up being ball deep in mud and it was the highlight of the trip. So so so funny for everyone involved.

I know it just looks like muddy water but the water was about 3 inches deep and then another 3 feet of mud!

Turned out no fish in that area so had to go back and im sure they knew this and just wanted a laugh.

Random bug pimp and his lady bugs.

Soph and Tiff

We eventually change fishing area and set the nets in the main river.

Ended up catching a good few fish including cat fish etc.

One of the guides cooking up a feast!

Breakfast!

We headed back to farm stay next day and bumped into some illegal loggers on way back so had to let them get ahead as we didn’t want any trouble. We had heard rummers whilst staying at the farm stay there was people murdered the week before who had confronted the loggers as the was $2million USD worth of tress cut down and waiting to be taken out of the jungle somehow.


This truly was one the best trips i have ever done in my life. If you have any questions about organizing this same adventure please don’t hesitate to drop me a message and I can help you out with details. All images are copyrighted.

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