Discovering Nguom Ngao: A Comprehensive Cave Travel Guide in Cao Bang

Nguom Ngao Cave is a mesmerizing underground wonder nestled near Ban Gioc Waterfall, in the breathtaking landscapes of Cao Bang Province, Vietnam. Prepare to embark on an unforgettable adventure as we unveil the mysteries of this remarkable natural formation with more than 400 million years. Let’s delve deep into the heart of this outstanding cave with Indochina Voyages, where ancient rock formations and ethereal beauty await.

Nguom Ngao Cave with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites
Nguom Ngao Cave with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites

What do you know about Nguom Ngao Cave?

Before exploring deeper into the cave, let’s check out an overview of Nguom Ngao:

  • Located just about 3 kilometers from Ban Gioc Waterfall in the picturesque Cao Bang Province of Vietnam, Nguom Ngao Cave stands as a testament to the wonders of nature.
  • Spanning over an impressive 2,144 meters, includes 3 gates: Nguom Lom, Nguom Ngao, and Ban Thuon.
  • This limestone cave is renowned for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites, intricately formed about 400 million years ago.
  • Aptly named “Tiger Cave,” Nguom Ngao Cave exudes an air of mystery and adventure, beckoning explorers to uncover its hidden treasures.
  • In 1998, Nguom Ngao Cave was recognized as a national landscape by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

The History

As mentioned above, Nguom Ngao Cave is also known as Tiger Cave. “Nguom” in Tay language means cave; and “Ngao” means tiger. In the past, when passing through this area, people heard the tiger’s roar coming from the deep mountain cave. After that, people went to check the cave to find the cause and discovered that the roar was due to the hissing of the wind, combined with the sound of the stream flowing against the cliff like a tiger’s roar. Therefore, the name Nguom Ngao was born from there.

However, the French were the first to explore this cave. If you go to the end and when you leave the cave, you will see the words left by the French as a check-in mark when discovering this cave.

Check-in mark when discovering Nguom Ngao of French
Check-in mark when discovering Nguom Ngao of French

What to expect?

As you step into the enchanting realm of Nguom Ngao Cave, prepare to be captivated by a visual feast for the senses. The cave’s interior reveals breathtaking rock formations that defy imagination. Towering stalactites hang from the ceiling, while stalagmites rise majestically from the cave floor. The play of light illuminates the intricate details, casting an otherworldly glow upon the surroundings.

There are two options route for you to explore: The Old Route (with about 30 minutes both go and return to explore). And The Newest One, which various experiences from witnessing fascinating stalactites to rafting and wading streams inside the cave.

The Old Route – Leisure and Basic Exploration

  • Time both go and return: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Route length (both round trip and return): 800m
  • Price (Not including tour guide): ~US $2/aldult (VND 45,000) and ~US $1.1/child (VND 25,000)
  • Price (Including tour guide): ~US $8.7/person (VND 200,000)

Embark on a journey through the heart of Nguom Ngao Cave along the old route about 400m. This path leads you to the most iconic formations, allowing you to witness the awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites up close. You will see 2 out of 3 sky pillars of the cave if follow this route. The other one you will see if choosing the newest visit route.

This is a short journey with the path is easy to follow. You just need to walk leisurely and admire the stunning landscape inside the Cave. The light in the old route is yellow mostly, enough for you to witness the charm of iconic formations.

2 out of 3 sky pillars of the cave when visit the old route
2 out of 3 sky pillars of the cave when visiting the old route

The Newest Route – Fantastic Adventure with various experiences

  • Time both go and return: 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Route length (both round trip and return): 3km
  • Price (Including tour guide): ~US $8.5/person (VND 195,000)

This route was put into operation in June 2021. For those seeking a unique adventure, the newest route offers a different perspective of Nguom Ngao Cave. This route includes lots of wonderful experiences not only witnessing the cave through your eyes. You will have a chance to climb the cliffs in the cave with quite zigzag paths, wade streams in the cave, and even go on rafts in the cave to visit. Hence, to join this route, you have to wear glowing protective clothing, bring a flashlight, and change shoes according to sightseeing regulations.

The stalactites have many unique shapes like animals, until the stalactites have images of terraced fields – typical of the northern mountainous terrain. All are completely created by nature. Besides, the light of this route is also very colorful, from red to pink, blue and yellow. This will completely increase your experience maximum. Complete this route means you will go through 3 mountains by going inside the cave.

Various activities in the newest route
Various activities in the newest route

However, this route is quite adventurous with paths that are hard to go and easy to slip. So be careful and follow closely with the group as well as the tour guide to avoid unwanted situations.

Venture into lesser-known sections of the cave, where hidden chambers and lesser-explored formations await. Discover the secrets tucked away in the nooks and crannies, adding a sense of intrigue to your journey.

When should I visit the cave?

Any time of the year could be the perfect time to visit Nguom Ngao Cave. Because the cave stable the beauty all year around each month offers different distinct experiences.

To experience Nguom Ngao Cave at its best, plan your visit during the dry season, which typically spans from October to April. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the cave is less susceptible to heavy rainfall, ensuring a smoother exploration experience. But the important note is July is often accompanied by heavy, torrential rains that can cause landslides or flash floods.

However, to visit the cave with the newest route, you have to wade in the stream in the cave. Hence, if visit in winter (from November to February) it could be very cold for you ’cause the water inside the cave is cool in the summer and autumn.

How to get there?

To reach Nguom Ngao Cave, the best way is to base in Hanoi and make your way to Cao Bang Province in Vietnam by shuttle bus or private car. It takes about 6 hours to go by car from Hanoi. Once upon Cao Bang, it’s approximately a 90-minute drive to the cave.

You can opt to hire a private car or join a guided tour, which offers convenience and expert insights throughout your journey. Sit back, relax, and soak in the stunning scenery as you travel to this natural marvel.

In addition, if you do not choose a base in Hanoi, you can participate in tours to explore Northern Vietnam or explore Vietnam in general and choose Cao Bang as one of your destinations. Then explore Nguom Ngao as an attraction in your journey.

Maybe you will interested in our Vietnam Tour:

The way to reach Nguom Ngao is very easy to go when you are in Cao Bang. You don’t have to climb anything to go to the cave entrance. All you need to do is buy the ticket and follow the guidance from on-site staff to delve into the cave.

What do I need to note before going?

To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable adventure, please take note of some important following essentials:

Safety Precautions

  • Follow the instructions of your guide and adhere to the safety guidelines provided.
  • Stay on designated paths and avoid touching or damaging the cave formations.
  • Be cautious of slippery surfaces and uneven terrain within the cave.
  • Carry a small flashlight or headlamp for better visibility in darker areas.

Weather and Clothing

  • Check the weather forecast beforehand and dress accordingly.
  • The cave’s temperature may be cooler than the outside, so a light jacket or sweater is recommended.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with good traction to navigate the cave’s terrain.
  • Don’t wear too long pants if you don’t want to get wet when visiting. I highly recommend wearing Sports pants or skirts above the knee.
  • If you choose the newest route, you’ll be prepared with glowing protective clothing, a flashlight, and suitable shoes before going insight the cave
Indochina Voyage Team explore Nguom Ngao Cave together
Indochina Voyages Team explores the newest route of Nguom Ngao Cave together

Hydration and Snacks

  • Bring an adequate supply of drinking water to stay hydrated throughout your visit.
  • Pack some light snacks or energy bars to keep you fueled during the exploration.

Respect for the Environment

  • Help preserve the cave’s natural beauty by avoiding littering or leaving any waste behind.
  • Refrain from touching or removing any cave formations, as they are delicate and take thousands of years to form.

Useful information

  • There is no signal in the cave but still has free Wi-Fi insight and the loading speed is quite fast and smooth
  • The temperature inside is lower than outside normal about 5°C
  • There are lots of bats when you visit the bat cave part of the cave. Hence, be careful not to face up at this part if you don’t want bat droppings to fall on your face.

Hope with our helpful information, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and respectful exploration of Nguom Ngao Cave. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders and allow the cave’s beauty to leave an indelible imprint on your travel memories.

If you have any questions or need more advice for your journey to Northern Vietnam, let’s contact with Indochina Voyages Team. Our travel consultants who are experts in local travel always welcome you warmly!

From Indochina Voyages Travel Expert

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