Central Vietnam cave reopens to visitors after three years

By Vo Thanh   December 20, 2023 | 12:41 am PT
After a three-year closure, Tien Son Cave at Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam is set to reopen on Dec. 21, following a comprehensive upgrade and facility repairs.
Động Tiên Sơn ở Phong Nha - Kẻ Bàng

Tien Son Cave possesses multiple-shaped stalactites. Photo by VnExpress/Van An

Tien Son Cave is situated in the residential area of Phong Nha Town, part of the service-administrative subdivision of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. Positioned halfway up the mountain, the 980.6-meter-long cave is situated 200 meters from the entrance of world-famous Phong Nha Cave. Tien Son is an integral part of the expansive Phong Nha cave system.

Requiring a climb of 583 steps for access, the cave is perched at an elevation of 200 meters above sea level, towering 120 meters above the Son River. With temperatures ranging from 18 to 20 degrees Celsius, the cave is cool during summer months while remaining warm during winter time.

Historical documents reveal that Tien Son Cave was discovered by locals in April 1935. The day after its discovery, the colonial administrator of central Vietnam, the job title of which was Kham Su Trung Ky in Vietnamese, visited the cave, leading to its initial name Kham Su Cave.

Thạch nhũ bên trong động Tiên Sơn. Ảnh: Vạn An

Some of the stalactites inside Tien Son Cave appear as though they are dripping down from the ceiling. Photo by VnExpress/Van An

In 1999, the Royal British Cave Association conducted a survey of the cave, leading to its opening for tourism on April 9, 2000. Since then, Tien Son Cave has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors annually.

Improvements made during the closure include the refurbishment of walkways, rest-stops, photo-worthy spots, and roofs crafted from local vining flowers.

A new glass bridge is now open, providing visitors with panoramic views of rice, corn, and sugar cane fields at the mountain's base. The glass bridge is nearly 100 meters above the Son River.

Bên trong động Tiên Sơn. Ảnh: Vạn An

The stalactites in the cave display a vibrant array of colors. Photo by VnExpress/Van An

Inside the cave, visitors can take a circular route with two separate paths, each 400 meters long, from entrance to exit. Deep inside, they can marvel at natural geological formations that have evolved over millions of years.

Tickets for Tien Son Cave cost VND80,000 ($3.28) per visit, while those under 1.3 meters tall enjoy free admission. The sightseeing transport boat is available for VND550,000 ($22) round trip, accommodating a maximum of 12 people. For visitors opting to explore both Phong Nha and Tien Son caves, the boat fee remains VND550,000 per trip.

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