A trial ecological tour to explore Vom and Gieng Vooc Caves in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in central Quang Binh province will be offered from July 15 to January 15 by the Viet Hung Trade and Tourist Company, following approval from the provincial people’s committee.

Two one-day trips and one two-day, one-night trip will be available, costing VND200,000 ($8.7) per person and VND300,000 ($13), respectively.

As its name suggests, Vom (Arch) Cave features a large arch 50 meters high and 100 meters wide at its entrance. A lake at the entrance requires visitors swim across to enter the cave. Inside is a sinkhole, 200 meters high and 50 meters wide, and an underground stream that runs into the Chay River.

Gieng Vooc Cave, meanwhile, is 400 meters long and features streams and lakes inside. Though small, it boasts beautiful and spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to wade through streams, climb slopes, and camp overnight in the forest.

Earlier this month, tour operator Oxalis, the only company permitted to organize tours to Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest, was also granted permission to pilot a two-day, one-night tour of Va and Nuoc Nut Caves until August. The two caves are unique for their stalactites formed around hard objects such as pieces of wood and sand at the bottom of the lake. The calcium from the water covers these hard substances, and over time the stalactites become larger. The two-day, one-night tour to Va and Nuoc Nut costs VND8 million ($345) per person, while a one-day tour to Nuoc Nut is VND1.6 million ($70).

Va Cave. (Photo: Phongnhacave.org)

Quang Binh province has also decided to extend the pilot of a tour to Dai A, Over, and Pygmy Caves by three months, from June to August. The caves are also located in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park and feature unique stalactites. Jungle Boss Ltd. was initially given approval to conduct the tour from December 1, 2017 to May 31. The two-day, one-night tour cost VND600,000 ($26) per person.

Pygmy Cave. (Photo: Phongnhakebang.vn)

After the pilot wraps up, official tours will then be considered.

Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003, thanks to its impressive scenery and archaeological value, with about 300 caves in total.

Quang Binh province welcomed over 1.8 million tourists in the first half of 2018, up nearly 17 per cent year-on-year, according to its Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Foreign arrivals surged more than 22 per cent, to nearly 90,000.