The unique campsites in Son Doong tour

Son Doong adventure tour has earned a reputation as the world's most distinctive tour throughout the years. Son Doong Expedition won the 2014 award for the world's best adventure tour from the famous National Geographic Adventure UK magazine. In 2019, British television station Dave TV also voted for the Son Doong expedition to stand 5th out of the 20 greatest adventures on the planet. The Son Doong tour's uniqueness is due not only to the size and grandeur of the cave system but also the ecosystem inside the cave, and the subterranean tropical forest, and particularly the camping areas.. Because of this, the British Daily Mail named Son Doong cave's campsite as the most impressive in the world in 2017.

You will spend the night at three different Oxalis campsites along the way to explore Son Doong Cave: Hang En campsite in Hang En, Doline 1 campground, and Doline 2 campground in Son Doong Cave. What is it about Son Doong Cave's campgrounds that has famous publications throughout the world voting them as the best campsites in the world?

The unique campsites

The Son Doong Expedition has participants spend 2 nights at a nearby hotel before and after the excursion, and 3 nights camped inside the cave. The first night of the Son Doong tour will be spent camping at Hang En, the first cave you will visit before entering Son Doong Cave; the second night will be spent camping near Doline 1, which is 3 kilometers from the entrance of Son Doong Cave; and the third night will be spent camping near Doline 2, where the campsite has amazing views of an underground ancient forest. The camping inside Son Doong Cave often offers several distinctive features:

  • Inside the enormous cave, Son Doong Cave Campgrounds have been constructed in sandy places. The location of campsites is close to the skylights, allowing light to stream in from the outside, so visitors don't need to use lights at the campsites. All campsites have spectacular views.
  • Campgrounds in Son Doong tour are set up with a clean tent system and a floor pallet system for the convenience of visitors.
  • Clean dining area with tables and seats for guests to sit while enjoying meals or tea or coffee.
  • There is a composting toilet system that is both incredibly cozy and kind to the environment. The toilet is clean and has a regular toilet seat. It uses rice husks to deodorize rather than water which you would use at home. Handwashing stations are also provided.
  • All waste is subsequently transferred outside the cave in a sealed container. Inside the caves, the camp sites are located in positions that are safe even during sudden downpours or floods.
  • Since the camping areas are inside a cave, the temperature is always between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius during the winter and 22 to 25 degrees Celsius during the summer.

Unique campsites in Son Doong Tour.

Hang En Cave campsite - The first campsite on the Son Doong tour

After trekking around 10 km on the first adventure day, guests will reach En Cave. One of the world's largest caverns in terms of volume, Hang En is about 1.6 kilometers long. The campsite is located around 700 meters from the cave entrance, which is up to 140 meters high and 200 meters broad. The En Cave campsite can accommodate a very large number of people while still giving you plenty of space. The main passage, the entrance passage, and the exit passage make up Hang En's three main passages. At times visitors can see the sun rays shining into the campground from the main entrance, thanks to Hang En camp's location on the sandy beach directly below this impressive entrance.

The unique features of En Cave campsite include:

  • The enormous campground features a 100-meter-high cave dome, fine sand, and a lake where guests may swim in comfort directly in front of their tents.
  • On sunny days from December to March every year, visitors can see sunlight penetrating deep into the cave and lighting the lake and campsite, providing a rare and spectacular sight of sunbeams. On clear nights with no full moon, En Cave campsite is a good area to observe the stars.
  • Visitors may occasionally witness various types of monkeys including the rare Ha Tinh langurs playing at the attractive cave opening and climbing vines.
  • The cave is also home to thousands of Dragon Tailed Swiftlets, during the nesting season in the months of March until August. The sight of huge numbers of these birds entering and exiting the cave at dusk and sunrise can be a spectacular sight.

Hang En camp from a different perspective.

The Doline 1 campsite – The second campsite in the Son Doong tour

On the second day after leaving En Cave, you will start your trek to Son Doong by following an enclosed and remote river valley with spectacular cliffs surrounding it. The only way into this valley is via Hang En. Three kilometers separate the distance of Hang En and Hang Son Doong. Visitors are given safety gear at Son Doong Cave's entrance so they can safely descend into Hang Son Doong. Nearly 4 kilometers (km) separate the campsite near Doline 1 from the cave's entrance. After entering the cave, guests will arrive at the campsite around 4 p.m. The second campsite in Son Doong tour is situated close to the first doline. As a result, there is still light entering the camp from the doline. Because Son Doong Cave is so big and has its own weather system, the cave temperatures are always pleasant throughout the season.

The camping area at Doline 1 has the following distinctive features:

  • The campsite is on the sand near the cave wall, and on some rainy days, you can see the clouds directly below you within the cave. For everyone who sees it, they produce a truly marvelous scene.
  • An underground stream and a chilly lake (approximately 18 degrees Celsius) are located only 10 minutes below the campsite, where travelers can swim and cool off after a tiring day of exploring. This is a "must try" activity for all visitors to Son Doong. Full trekking gear and lifejackets must be worn.
  • You can enjoy a cup of coffee while observing the breathtaking scenery of Doline 1 looming behind the mist from the campsite.

Camp 1- Doline 1 from different perspectives.

The Doline 2 campsite – The third campsite in the Son Doong tour

On the third day of the journey, you will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful places inside Son Doong Cave, immerse yourself in nature and have the best photo opportunities. You will move on to Doline 2 after leaving Doline 1 and passing Watch out for Dinosaurs. Doline 2 is at the convergence of two fault lines, formed hundreds of millions of years ago. During the formation of the cave, the passage developed through this convergence, resulting in a roof collapse. Doline 2 - The Garden of Edam is much larger than Doline 1. Inside the doline, which is 175 meters wide and 250 meters tall from the mouth, is an ancient forest with trees that may reach a height of 40 meters. Visitors will arrive at the next campsite after trekking through this underground jungle- The Garden of Edam. Doline 2 campground's distinctive features are as follows:

  • Camp in a spacious cave that receives a lot of light from the Garden of Edam. Since the campsite is away from rivers and streams and on a fine sandy beach, it is secure against any floods.
  • In the morning or late in the evening, you can see the Garden of Edam forest directly from the campsite.
  • At the dining table, having a cup of fresh coffee while listening to the chirping of birds and staring at the spectacular underground formations is a popular pastime.
  • Visitors may view the waterfalls cascading from the cave arch on rainy days from the campsite, which makes for a beautiful sight.

Camp 2 - Beach camp from different perspectives.

Services & Facilities at campsite

Campgrounds may include further amenities:

Tents and camping gear at Son Doong campsite

Even though this is a caving tour, Oxalis Adventure also offers amenities to assure tourists' comfort. A 27-person service team, comprising cave experts, guides, safety assistants, chefs, and porters, will accompany each expedition tour of 10 people. They will pack more than 600 kg of loads for visitors and transport it out of the cave at the end of the excursion. Many visitors find that the Son Doong excursion is quite strenuous (those people who exercise regularly will find the trip easier), hence Oxalis Adventure places a high priority on providing high quality camping equipment for visitors who undertake a Son Doong tour. The following items are available at the campsite during the Son Doong tour:

Tents: guests have the option of single or double tents (select before departure). The tent contains two anti-insect mesh doors as well as two doors that block out light or cold which provide privacy.

Trekkers are given a mattress (with two layers of firm and soft mattress), a pillow, and a sleeping bag inside the tent (all prepared separately for each person and not shared). A firm pallet is placed beneath the tent to raise it off the floor and keep it dry and clean.

After each tour, all equipment is taken out of the cave and back to Phong Nha where tents and equipment are carefully cleaned and sanitized.

The private sleeping area at Camp.

Drinking water, tea, and coffee at the campsite

The Son Doong Expedition tour is unique in that it travels deep into the jungle, away from the necessary resources, yet Oxalis Adventure places a high priority on providing visitors and crew with safe drinking water. Watt's filtration system, which was purchased from the United States, treats all the water used for drinking at campgrounds, cooking, brewing tea and coffee, and brushing teeth. Every year, Oxalis Adventure conducts water quality tests to make sure the water meets drinking water standards. The logistics team has set up flasks of boiling water at each campground so that guests may brew tea and coffee.

4 filters water purifier imported from the US.

Food at Son Doong tour campgrounds

Oxalis Adventure places a high priority on food safety and hygiene. When choosing food distributors, local households, and distributors like Coopmart are involved. Meat, for example, will be deep frozen and packed in ice. Food is supplied for the first 2 days and a resupply of fresh food is provided on the third day. Two cooks will accompany the group on each excursion and prepare meals for the guests. Most of the men in Phong Nha are skilled cooks since these men were once jungle men who frequently spent months in the forest and cooked for themselves in these remote locations. The cooks are carefully chosen by Oxalis Adventure; they must have culinary training, complete food safety and hygiene courses, undergo yearly health examinations, and are free of infectious diseases. The majority of travelers that take the Son Doong tour agree that the food is excellent including vegetarian and vegan options (available upon request). To choose the best cooks for the Son Doong tour, Oxalis holds a cooking competition each year. For many guests, the food is another highlight of the excursion.

Food at Son Doong tour.

Son Doong Tour sanitation

Given that the Son Doong trip travels to far-flung and isolated locations, there are many concerns about the hygiene and bathing practices at the camping locations. All Oxalis campsites are planned and constructed by rivers and streams, in order to have a good supply of water. This enables basic hygiene such as handwashing, and thorough cleaning of the campsite including cooking and eating equipment.

  • Take a shower: Most campgrounds offer tourists access to clear lakes or rivers where they can swim. Visitors are instructed not to use shampoo or soap while swimming during the tour since it will contaminate the Rao Thuong stream, which subsequently flows to the Phong Nha area. If necessary, visitors are urged to use wet wipes and dry shampoo.
  • Oxalis Composting Toilets at the Son Doong campsite: Composting toilets are available at every campsite and at lunch spots on the Son Doong tour. These are designed by Oxalis and they are meant to be environmentally friendly toilets. A plastic bucket and bag are placed underneath the toilet, which is equipped with a toilet seat as in household use. Visitors utilize rice husks placed next to the toilet when using the restroom to place over the waste to dry and eliminate odors. When the waste containers are filled, the porter will seal them, bag the waste, remove it from the cave and bury it in a designated spot. After two months, the waste will compost and transform into fertilizer. Both urinating and defecating must be done in composting toilets for visitors. The compost toilet at Oxalis has undergone numerous improvements, thanks to the feedback of customers and staff. There will be a biodegradable soap hand washing station outside the restroom. For each campsite, Oxalis has also set up 2 more changing tents, as well as clothing drying racks. You can change your clothing quickly and easily using a changing tent, which will help keep your tent tidy.

Environmentally friendly composting toilet set up at every campsites.

Rules and regulations of the campsite

  • For safety reasons, you should notify your guide or safety expert if you want to leave the camping area, both during the day and at night. A guide or safety assistant must accompany guests when they leave the campsite.
  • Without the supervision of a safety assistant, visitors shouldn't swim in streams or lakes. If visitors want to swim alone, they must let the guide know. Even experienced swimmers are required to wear life jackets when swimming.
  • Do not laugh, talk loudly, or scream at the campsite or on the way. Otherwise, it will negatively impact the survival of animals in the forest and within the cave (bats and swallows often rest on the ceiling of the cave). Music speakers are not allowed on tour. Please use ear buds.
  • Do not write, draw, or mark names on any tree, rock wall, sandy beach, calcite formation or mud bank anywhere on the tour.
  • Do not bring alcohol without permission. Do not use alcohol, beer, stimulants and narcotics during the tour. If a guide, cave expert or safety assistant discovers that a guest has brought alcohol or recreational drugs, the guest will be required to end the tour without receiving a refund for the amount paid.

The Oxalis Experience.

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Whether you prefer long treks, camping in a cave, sleeping under the stars in the jungle, swimming underground in river caves, explore the huge dry caves or just taking an exploratory day trip, Oxalis Adventure Tours can provide the right amount of adventure just for you.

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