Below are some frequently asked questions our guests have posed about bookings, preparation, payments etc.
Do you run tours every day?
Yes, all of our day tours have daily departures; rain or shine. However, the deeper cave tours (the 7 km and 4.5 km cave tours) are weather permitting.
What is the easiest way to book with you?
We recommend you book on our website, send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), send us a message on facebook, send us a message on WhatsApp (+84 917 310 660) or drop by our office in Dong Hoi city centre.
Please be sure to include:
- Your name
- The tour you wish to participate in
- Number of people
- Date of departure
- Pick up location (hotel or train #)
How and when will I pay for the tour? Do you accept credit cards?
You may pay your tour guide in cash or credit on your tour. As a way to thank our valued guests who choose to pay Phongnha Discovery directly, we will cover the standard 3% international card fee. We accept USD and VND. Please note that all credit card payments are processed in VND and if you choose to pay cash in USD, we cannot provide change for you in USD.
What should I prepare for my tour? (clothes, shoes, etc.)
All tours require walking, so prepare comfortable trainers or sandals. Prepare for the weather appropriately and bring hats, sunscreen, rain gear etc. The Dark cave does not require shoes, but be sure to bring your bathers and your own towel. We recommend that your bring a dark coloured swimsuit if possible as it requires machine washing to remove the mud. It is not permitted to wear wet baiting suits in the tour van.
Can I be picked up in Dong Hoi and dropped off in Phong Nha or vice versa?
Yes, please let us know of your pick up and drop off location in your booking.
Is luggage storage included in the price of the tour?
Yes, you can choose to leave your luggage in our Dong Hoi office OR you may bring your luggage with you in the mini van. However, space is limited so you must contact us in advance to arrange to take your luggage with you. Phongnha Discovery does no hold responsibility for damaged luggage. Do not leave any valuables in your luggage as we can not be held responsible for any loss of valuables.
Can I change my tour? How much notice do I have to give to change the tour?
Yes, you may change your tour type with 12 hours notice. Please contact us via e-mail (email@example.com)
Are park/cave entrance tickets included in the price?
Yes, all expenses for the day are included in the tour price. However, an additional purchase is required if you would like to drink something other than water at lunch.
I want to take the train after our tour. Is this possible?
Yes, you can be dropped off at the train station after the tour. The tour typically ends at 17:00-17:30. We offer both pick up and drop off at the train station for free; so you could be picked up at the station in the morning and dropped off in the evening if you are in a hurry. Although it has never happened so far, Phongnha Discovery does not hold responsibility for unforeseen emergencies delaying drop off.
To go north (Ninh Binh, Hanoi) : The SE2 departs at 18:30 and the SE4 departs at 19:30
To go south (Hue, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh): The SE5 departs at 19:30
Are there any limitations to any of the tours?
- The Dark cave requires you to be between 40 and 90kg to ride the long zipline.
- We do not recommend children under 1.3m to enter the mud cave as it requires balance and agility. Children under 1m are strictly not permitted into the mud cave.
- You must wear a swimsuit into the dark cave (no t shirts etc).
- All children must occupy their own seat on the dragon boat going into the Phong Nha cave.
- No GoPros without a wrist strap will be permitted on Dark cave property (as many GoPros have been lost forever during the activities).
How far in advance should I book the tour?
We can accept bookings up until 6am the day of your tour, but it is not guaranteed.
Can people who are not able to swim partake in the tours (esp. Dark Cave)?
Yes. The Dark cave requires all guests to wear a life jacket at all times when in the water. Our other tours may feature swimming, but our guests can always choose to opt out or only stand in the water.
How many people will be on my tour?
Each guide will never be responsible for more than 14 people, so you will have an intimate group and plenty of opportunities to speak privately with your guide.
What currencies do you accept?
We accept vietnamese dong (VND) and U.S. Dollar (USD). All credit card payments will be processed in VND. Please note that if you pay in USD, we cannot provide change for you in USD.
Do you do airport pickups?
Yes! (If your flight lands before 7am and you wish to be picked up and go on your tour directly). If it does not, we provide an airport transfer service for an additional fee. Please contact us for a quote for your airport transfer needs.
I want to catch a bus after my tour. Is this possible?
We do not recommend you take a bus after our tour. The schedules are too flexible and the buses tend to depart earlier than our tour ends. We do, however, recommend taking a train for ease and comfort.
What languages can I have my private tour in?
You may choose to have an English, French, or Vietnamese speaking tour guide on your private tour. Please contact us for inquiries about private tours.
Are children allowed to participate in the Dark cave?
Yes. However, the long zipline has weight restrictions. If your child is under 40 kgs they are not allowed to do the zipline. Instead, they go by kayak (while being accompanied by their guardian) to the mouth of the Dark cave. The absolute minimum height requirement for children to enter the mud cave is 1m. However, we do not recommend it for children under 1.3m tall (~6 years old) as small children may find it difficult to maneuver or are uncomfortable in the darkness. If your child is too small to enter the cave, there are plenty of water activities outside of the cave they may partake in.
If I do not meet the weight requirements to zipline, how do I get into the Dark cave?
If you are not between the required 40-90 kg or simply do not wish to participate in the zipline, there will by kayaks available for you to get to the mouth of the Dark cave. One of our guides or representatives will accompany you down the river to meet the rest of the group.
What are your child prices?
Prices for children vary depending on the tour. Child discount applies for 1 child per adult. Any additional children under 1.3m must pay 50% cost.
Some of out tours do not permit children.
DARK CAVE TOURS:
- under 1m=150,000VND
- under 1.3 m=50% cost
- over 1.3m= adult price
- under 1.1m=free
- under 1.3m=50% cost
- over 1.3m = adult price
Can I bring my camera or phone with me into the Dark cave?
Only waterproof cameras with a wrist strap are permitted on Dark cave property. Your cameras are your own responsibility; many GoPros have been lost forever at the bottom of the river/mud bath during the activities. For your convenience, our guide has a GoPro and will be taking photos of your zip lining and inside the mud cave. Check our Facebook postings to see your photos.
When can I see my photo on Facebook?
We post all of the Dark cave photos within 24 hours of your tour.
I don’t see a specific photo on the Facebook post. Where is it?
With lots of movement and water/mud involved, some of the photos come out blurry or obstructed and are therefore deleted. However, if there is a specific photo you are looking for you feel we may have missed, please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include the date of your tour and the description of the photo you are looking for.