Explore the Splendor of Hang En Cave in Vietnam

Visitors to the breathtaking Hang En (En Cave) in Ha Giang, Vietnam, are treated to an awe-inspiring view of its wild and enchanting beauty. Local forests and rivers provide a stunning backdrop for adventurers and tourists alike, inviting exploration and appreciation of the area's natural splendour.

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Hang En has a length of 1,6 km and is located deep in the heart of limestone mountains in Son Vi commune, Meo Vac district, Ha Giang. The name originated from the fact that this large cave was a nesting habitat for thousands of swifts, and the local people named the cave after this bird species.

Photo: Oxalis Adventure
Photo: Oxalis Adventure

This is a unique system of ravines and rock tunnels, with large cliffs like white walls surrounding the place, creating a unique, magnificent, and wild space. With a depth of hundreds of meters and a great width, this place is also home to many rare species such as gorillas, black bears, tigers, and antelopes.

Hang En was known to the Arem people hundreds of years ago when their ancestors took the cave as a place to live. With a nomadic lifestyle, the Arem people lived in caves and moved seasonally based on available food sources from nature such as hunting and gathering seasons.

While the cave is a giant cave, with thousands of swift nests on the ceiling of the cave, the Arem people can limb thanks to their small, agile physique, and amazing climbing skills. They cut many small, strong tree branches, sticking them into small rock holes or using jungle rattan, or vines tied together to create natural ladders which they then used to climb up to the ceiling of the cave to catch birds. This is a method they’ve been using for a long time to catch swifts.

Photo: Oxalis Adventure
Photo: Oxalis Adventure

The swift is considered the main source of food and nutrition for the Arem people. Therefore, the condition for the Arem boys to get married was to climb the ceiling of the caves by themselves to catch the swifts, affirming their ability to feed their families.

Hang En was formed by the Rao Thuong River flowing through the vast Hung Doong valley. This Rao Thuong River flows through a limestone mountain range, erodes the limestone layer, and forms this cave. This erosion is extremely slow, so it can take thousands or even millions of years to see results.

Photo: BOB VO
Photo: BOB VO

Hang En has three entryways, the large entrance is the entrance that was formed first and is the entrance where sunbeams may be seen from December to March. The smaller one is the usual entrance to enter the cave, and the exit has a high and wide cave opening. From the exit, tourists will have to travel through a valley that has a length of 3km, then climb up a small hill to enter the place.

Photo: Oxalis Adventure
Photo: Oxalis Adventure

At the large entrance and the exit of Hang En, some species of squirrels, monkeys, and langurs may be seen. During dusk, some flying foxes also often hunt in this area. On the high ceiling of the big chamber where the campsite is located, and at the high exit, many swifts choose to build their nests.

Deep inside the cave, due to the lack of light, no plant can be found. However, in areas close to the daylight, such as at the entrances and the exit of the cave, some species of plants like moss, algae, or fungi can be seen. At the exit, there are also plants growing on the cliffs and hanging down from the ceiling of the cave.

Photo: Luhanhvietnam
Photo: Luhanhvietnam

Exploring Hang En requires visitors to have the best preparation and equipment, and guidance from the professionals to ensure safety. They need to have good health, experience in trekking, and the necessary equipment to be able to participate in the journey. Besides individual items and fitness preparation, choosing a suitable time to explore the cave is also one of the important Hang En camping tips.

The most interesting thing is that this is considered one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunrise. On beautiful days, tourists will be able to see the sunlight creeping through the ravine and paint the ground in a brilliant golden color. This place has become a famous tourist destination for domestic and foreign travelers to visit all year round.

Photo: Luhanhvietnam
Photo: Luhanhvietnam
Charlotte Pho