Động Puông

Dong Puong

Useful Information

Location: Ba Be district, Bac Kan province. 5 km from Cha Ra town.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=300 m, H=50 m.
Guided tours:
Address: Dong Puong.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Động Puông (Puong Cave) is a through cave and river cave along the Nang River, about five kilometers from the town Cha Ra. As the wide river is flowing through this cave, people travelling with wooden boats on the river have to cross the cave. Fortunately the passage is enormous, even big ships would fit, and the underground passage is rather short. It is possible to see the exit from he entrance, so there is no need for light either, there is always sufficient daylight on the trip. Except if there are western visitors on the boat who want to have a look into the darker corners of the cave.

We classified Puong Cave as a show cave, which is not really the case, as there are no trails, no light and no regular tours. On the other hand, the visit is done by boat and there is a possibility to charter a boat for a cave visit. We guess it's actually a matter of time, until the tourism to northern Vietnam increases and this cave will be a regular stop on many tours, as it is really impressive.

On the boat trip you should have a look at the limestone cliffs along the river. The Nang River flows along vertical cliffs of limestone named Lung Nham Mountain. The wall along the river looks like a cave al, with lots of speleothems, mostly stalactites, on the walls. It seems the river once flowed underground for a much longer distance. But the ceiling collapsed and even one side of the cave wall was eroded, only the other side remains to tell us about the long gone cave.

The cave is home to 18 species of bats, their number is several ten thousands. However, in the huge passage they are almost invincible on the 50 m high ceiling. They can be seen flying out in dusk and returning in dawn. Most bats eat insects and thus are important for keeping the crops save from varmints. They are also essential for pollination, and the distribution of seeds. Local people are collecting their guano in the cave as a fertiliser. Unfortunately the guano collecting, the through traffic and the tourists, are disturbing the bats. Their numbers have decreased during the last years. But without intensive scientific research it is impossible to tell if the number actually decreases, of if they just look for quieter retreats. Actually the limestone hills are full of holes and caves.