Phong Nha - Ke Bang is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it seemed like an obvious stop for us along the way.
A little history about the park: Phong Nha-Ke Bang area is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos with a total length of about 70 km, of which only 20 have been surveyed by Vietnamese and British scientists; 17 of these are in located in the Phong Nha area and three in the Ke Bang area. After April 2009, total length of caves and grottoes are 126 km. Before discovery of Son Doong Cave, Phong Nha held several world cave records, as it has the longest underground river, as well as the largest caverns and passageways.
We actually didn't go into the caves as with the time of day and weather it didn't really make sense for us. Instead we went to walk along the park's ecotrail, which was beautiful. We ended up leaving as the sun was going down and getting caught in a misting from the oncoming fog. Picture driving down unfamiliar broken paved or dirt roads as the sky turns from grey to black. Around you is mostly untouched flora and fuana (some flying around you as you drive) and there is a wetness in the air. It was something almost out of a lost world. It was also pretty scary as we had no idea really were we were going, and driving at night in Vietnam is far from recommended (people walk on the roads with no lights, bikes drive sometimes with no lights, water buffaloes or other animals will just walk or sit in the roads… etc..etc). We made it home (me with a near empty tank of gas) and headed out the next day to hopefully make it to Hue. Alas, I had bike issues and we got stuck in Dong Ha. Dong Ha is great to stop in for war and DMZ stuff, but we just wanted to get to Hue so didn't stay too long.
Pictures courtesy of Adam and Kaja as I had been in an anti picture taking mode.