We took a tour for $60 US per person to the Botanical Garden, Paradise Cave and Dark Cave. We started at the Botanical Garden which was not that exciting. But maybe we picked a bad day.
We saw monkey dots and the top of a waterfall. It was raining and rather muddy and slippery.
Next stop was Paradise Cave. We took a buggy from the parking lot to the cave. The cave was discovered in 2005 and opened to the public in 2010 it is always 18C in the cave which is 31 km long.
You can walk on bridges 1 km into the cave which is huge. Lots of amazing formations lit just enough to be spectacular. This cave is really impressive and well worth the trip.
We then continued on to the dark cave where we had a group lunch. We were served a platter of various foods which we wrapped in rice paper and ate. We sat beside a pair of med students from New Zealand who had been working in Hanoi they told us tales of hospitals with two to a bed and resent outbreaks of Deng fever. They also told us AIDS was a real issue because no one wants to talk about it and they had seen a recent case of rabies
We zip lined 400 m and then swam 100 m into the dark cave which is unlit. We had headlamps and walked through the cave in the dark to a mud bath. It was silly but fun and a bit cold. On the way back we were all convinced to slide down a mud slide which left most of us with scrapes and bruises. We kayaked back to the start point and then had time to zip line and go through an ultimate warrior set up over the water but it was a bit too cold. We finished the day with rum and coke provided by the tour. The dark cave is cool in it’s own way but it’s more about the activities and less about the remarkable caves.
We had dinner at The Lantern food 15000 VND and a beer they had a fire to warm us up. We then went to Easy Tiger for a beer definitely the hang out spot for the younger crowd. We watched the cows walk down the street and the water buffalo graze beside it.
Entrance fees for the caves if you go without a tour are below. You could easily do it solo if you had transportation.
Botanical garden 80
Paradise cave 250
Dark Cave 450
Buggy ride 25