I bet you’ve never heard of Phong Nha. This region of Vietnam, with its jungle-clad mountains and fertile pastureland, has usually kept itself to itself. The recent discovery of the largest cave in the world here, plus a labyrinth of world-class cave systems, has brought new eyes to this seemingly untouched part of the world.
Even the air here felt different. It was so fresh it felt like pure oxygen. Maybe that’s what two weeks in Saigon will do to you, or maybe it was the fact that we were in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but rice fields and mountains. There were cows, ducks and buffalo grazing in the fields, and banana trees lined the dusty lanes. Days were spent cycling through the villages, while every evening the sunset coated the rice fields in a powder of gold. It was the kind of place you visit and then forget to ever leave.