Tham Phay Cave: A Hidden Gem of Ba Be National Park

Lo Mo Cave

Hidden in the bowels of Vietnam’s Ba Be National Park, just outside the village of Na Slai in Hoang Tri commune, the mysterious cave of Tham Phay exerts a fascination for adventurers and lovers of unspoiled nature. Although less well-known than its spectacular neighbour Son Doong, Tham Phay distills an enchanting charm and preserves still untouched depths, promising an unforgettable caving experience.

Set a course for
Ba Be National Park

Nestled in the heart of the mountainous province of Bac Kan, about 240 km from Hanoi, the Ba Be National Park is home to an exceptional underground gem: the Tham Phay karst cave, the largest in Vietnam. This biosphere reserve, classified by UNESCO in 2004, is a veritable paradise on earth. In addition to the impressive Tham Phay Cave, accessible by boat or on foot, it is home to natural wonders: the three eponymous lakes, a maze of mysterious caves and a lush rainforest. To immerse yourself in these breathtaking scenery, travelers can take the scenic road by bus or opt for a private car transfer, both of which offer breathtaking views of the Vietnamese countryside after about 6 hours of travel.

Enjoy Ba Be Jungle Houses

For a total immersion in the natural splendour of Ba Be, stop at Ba Be Jungle Houses, a charming accommodation with breathtaking views of Ba Be Lake. Nestled in a verdant jungle, this tranquil setting combines rusticity and comfort, perfect for rejuvenating after a day of exploring the wonders of the national park. The Jungle Resort also offers a range of escape-friendly activities, such as hiking, kayaking and bird watching. Thanks to its attentive staff and its soothing atmosphere, this haven of serenity will reserve you an unforgettable stay, in perfect communion with the surrounding nature.

Ba Be Jungle Houses
View from Ba Be Jungle Houses

Dive into the depths of
Tham Phay Cave

Nicknamed the “Son Doong of North Vietnam“, Tham Phay Cave represents an unsuspected natural gem eager to be explored. Stretching for more than a kilometre, this millennial cavity reveals titanic galleries topping 30 metres high, testifying to the earth’s power at work for millions of years. After a 1h30 hike through a verdant jungle, the traveler finally reaches the majestic entrance, guarded by impressive rocks reminiscent of dinosaur teeth.

Once inside, a unique karstic universe unfolds, where there are endless rooms with walls sculpted by water and time, studded with shimmering stalactites and stalagmites, still untouched by any geological exploration. A real spectacle of natural light is played out, the rays of the sun filtering through the openings of the vault. On the ground, the two branches of the underground river converge in a hypnotic flow. Further upstream, innumerable bats, including the rare horseshoe species, hunt under the rocky domes, while other unsuspected forms of life seem to have taken up residence in this preserved Eden, a true paradise for the naturalist. The adventure intensifies as you sink, the air becomes fresher and the creek more abundant, sometimes requiring an aquatic immersion to continue the exploration…

Tham Phay Cave Entrance

Uncover the mysteries of
Tham Phay Cave

The name “Tham Phay” comes from the Tay language, where “Tham” means cave and “Phay” means fire, thus giving its name to the “cave of fire”. But where would this enigmatic qualifier come from? The most fanciful local legends continue to fuel the most haunting suppositions…

It is undeniable that Tham Phay Cave has a rich historical and legendary heritage. According to local folklore, it was once the home of a dragon-king guarding its entrance with a powerful army. There are even rumours that some of Chiang Kai-shek’s troops took refuge in the surrounding mountains of Tan Lap and Ba Be forests to hide their wealth during the Chinese Civil War.

Tham Phay Ễpdition

Unleash your inner adventurer with Mr Linh’s Adventures

While the Tham Phay Cave is the flagship attraction of Ba Be National Park for hikers and speleologists, visitors can also engage in a variety of other outdoor activities within this vast unspoiled natural area. Experiences include hiking, kayaking on the surrounding lakes, and bird watching. The local agency Mr Linh’s Adventures offers a variety of guided excursions, such as hikes in the lush jungle, bike rides in the heart of Tay and Nung villages, kayaking or river cruises, allowing you to explore the riches of this biosphere reserve from all angles.

Hiking in Ba Be National Pảk


An expedition into the depths of the Tham Phay Cave is a must-see adventure for thrillers. This demanding and exhilarating speleological hike will plunge you into the very heart of the cavity, where you will be surrounded by secret waterfalls, breathtaking rock formations and the thrill of treading a virgin territory. Tham Phay promises an unforgettable experience, in an exceptional natural setting, a must during a stay in northern Vietnam.

Thrill and wonder guaranteed for this immersion in the depths of the Earth!

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