Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery

Embark on the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery adventure, a seamless blend of the Tu Lan Cave Experience and Hang Tien Discovery tours. This expedition invites you to immerse yourself in the enchanting realms of the Tu Lan cave system and Hang Tien cave. Marvel at their grandeur and mystical allure while savouring the cozy embrace of Tu Lan Lodge for a night. Relish a meal in the warmth of a local's abode, delving into their customs and lifestyle. Tailored for the thrill-seeker who covets adventure without forgoing comfort, this tour is a perfect symphony of excitement and relaxation.

Spanning two days and one night, the Hang Tien-Tu Lan exploration offers an unparalleled journey for nature enthusiasts eager to uncover the secrets of Quang Binh's caverns. Enjoy exhilarating activities like mountain trekking, forest navigation, and swimming in pristine pools. Venture into Hang Tien, the crown jewel of the Tu Lan system, and stand in awe of its towering stalactites, spiralling domes, and terraced floors that mimic an extraordinary paddy field. This itinerary also presents a unique opportunity to dine with locals and unwind at the River Bungalow in Tan Hoa, setting the stage for exploring Tu Lan's untamed beauty—once a backdrop for the cinematic marvel, Kong: Skull Island. Echoing director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' sentiment, "The world will see how beautiful Tu Lan is, they will come, experience and love Tu Lan as I did," this tour beckons you to discover a world beyond imagination.

Participants of the Oxalis' Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour can look forward to the following experiences:

  • Venture into the heart of the region's largest dry cave, where the cave's circular dome presents extraordinary and captivating architecture.
  • Embark on a jungle trek where 80% of the path meanders through a lush tropical forest teeming with diverse flora—a genuinely singular experience for those who cherish the rainforest.
  • Behold the striking formations within Hang Tien, showcasing layered rimstone pools, towering columns, and stalagmites that rise several meters high.
  • Near the Hang Tien-Tu Lan tour's lunch spot, witness the Rao Nan Stream's waters, after journeying underground for kilometres, emerge to form a stunning natural spectacle: an infinity pool. Participants are invited to dive into its chilly, crystalline waters.
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture by dining at a resident's home after the first day, gaining insights into the positive influence of adventure tourism on the community. Seize the chance to cycle and take in the serene beauty of Tan Hoa village.
  • Stay at the distinctive River Bungalow in Tu Lan Lodge, an innovative lodging concept harmonising with the region's seasonal floods.
  • Discover the enigmatic Hung Ton Cave and Rat Cave, repositories of ancient marine fossils. The natural artistry of stalagmites, stalactites, and cave pearls conjures images of resplendent castles.
  • Experience the thrill of swimming in the underground river within the cave, illuminated only by your exploration lights, enveloping you in an ambience of mystery and awe during the Hang Tien-Tu Lan 2 Days 1 Night discovery tour.

Note: Tour takes place in remote areas with complex terrains. Customers must be physically fit.

Please carefully read the tour itinerary and honestly fill out the booking information yourself, especially your experience and health condition.

To book a tour for a group, please send the tour information to them and instruct each member to complete the booking form on their own. Our booking system lets each person fill in their own information, avoiding errors or missing details when someone else does it for you. Read more about Oxalis Adventure Level.

HTL trekking graph

Itinerary

The Hang Tien-Tu Lan Tour schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions. When it rains, the path can be pretty muddy and slippery.

Download the itinerary

Phong Nha - Tan Hoa - Hang Tien

Your journey begins with a convenient pickup from your Phong Nha accommodation between 07:00 - 07:30 AM, whisking you to the welcoming Oxalis Tan Hoa office. Here, you'll receive an informative safety briefing, gear up with essential equipment, and complete the necessary formalities.

The adventure begins with a scenic drive to the trailhead, where you'll commence the Hang Tien exploration by ascending a verdant hill. The initial 15-minute uphill trek will soon reward you with breathtaking views as you descend towards the serene river valley, pausing for a revitalising snack amidst nature's splendour.

Upon reaching the valley's base, your path leads across a dry, rocky riverbed, drawing you towards the awe-inspiring entrance of Hang Tien 1 Cave. As you penetrate deeper into the cave, you'll find yourself enveloped by verdant calcite formations and the striking beauty of striped limestone adorning the walls and ceiling. Venture further to witness a mesmerising dome soaring above and calcite layers that unfold like mystical terraced fields.

Post-exploration, you'll reconvene at the cave's mouth to savour a delightful lunch before weaving through the mountain's rocky embrace to discover a hidden natural pool. Here, a dip in the refreshing waters offers a perfect interlude. The return trek leads you back to civilisation, culminating at the Oxalis Tan Hoa office. You'll then retreat to the tranquil River Bungalow, where you can rejuvenate and unwind.

As the evening unfolds at 06:00 PM, immerse yourself in the local culture with a dinner hosted at a villager's home. This intimate experience allows you to savour traditional cuisine and engage in heartfelt exchanges, enriching your understanding of the local lifestyle. The day concludes with a peaceful night's rest back at the River Bungalow, nestled in the heart of Tan Hoa's charm.

Explore Tu Lan - Tan Hoa - Phong Nha

As dawn breaks, the Tu Lan Lodge awakens your senses with a chef-prepared breakfast, setting the tone for the day's thrilling escapades.

The day unfolds with an itinerary briefing, after which you'll weave through golden cornfields and vibrant meadows en route to the Rao Nan River. A gentle ascent follows, leading you through the valley's heart to the gateway of Hung Ton Cave. Donning helmets, headlamps, and safety gear, you'll delve into the 500-meter-long cavern, a silent witness to the Tu Lan cave system's history, its walls and floors adorned with ancient sea shell fossils. Embrace your inner adventurer with a safety harness and climb up a 10-meter ladder, plunging into the underground river's embrace to unveil the cave's hidden marvels, illuminated by the glow of specialised lights.

A picturesque lunch awaits by To Mo Lake, a locale so beautiful that it once graced the silver screen in "The Immortal".

The afternoon challenges you with Lom Com peak, rising 150 meters above sea level at a steep 45-degree angle—a siren call for mountain enthusiasts. Traverse dense forests and the La Ken valley to uncover Rat Cave, a treasure trove of stalactites deemed the crown jewel of the Tu Lan system. On days kissed by sunlight, witness ethereal beams piercing the cave's heart, casting an otherworldly glow.

Conclude your Oxalis Hang Tien-Tu Lan journey by meandering through verdant valleys and fields, returning to the sanctuary of the Oxalis Tan Hoa office. Here, unwind with a selection of refreshing beverages and freshen up before your return journey to Phong Nha.

Your expedition wraps up as the car escorts you back. Arriving in Phong Nha between 5:30 and 6:00 PM marks the end of an unforgettable Quang Binh trekking experience.

Suggested accommodations before and after the tour:
Chay Lap Farmstay is an ideal place to stay before and after joinging Oxalis cave tours. High quality rooms, swimming pool, spa, kayaking, cycling, yachting... Specially discount rate for Oxalis customers are 1 million VND/room for 2 people. Check availability here
chaylapfarmstay.com →

Weather and climate in the Tan Hoa - Hang Tien area

Located in Minh Hoa District, Quang Binh, the Tu Lan and Hang Tien area boasts four distinct seasons, each offering unique natural wonders. However, to prioritize preservation and optimal visitor experience, Hang Tien-Tu Lan tours are available from November to mid-September.

Regardless of the season, over 80% of your trekking journey will occur under the refreshing jungle canopy or within the caves. This ensures comfortable temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 degrees Celsius, even during the warmer summer.

Each season offers unique charms and opportunities to connect with nature:

  • December - March: A mix of cool temperatures and sunny spells.
  • April - May: Springtime brings refreshing, cooler air.
  • June - August: Warmer summer months, perfect for enjoying the natural "infinity pool" near the campsite.

Before embarking on your Oxalis Adventures caving tour, it's recommended to check the specific weather forecast for Hang Tien or Tu Lan using a reliable weather app like “Accuweather”.

Whether you're seeking the vibrant colors of spring, the warmth of summer, the crispness of autumn, or the serene beauty of winter, the Hang Tien-Tu Lan tour promises a remarkable two-day cave exploration journey in Quang Binh.

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Adventure level

Oxalis Adventure has developed an adventure scale to assist guests in selecting the most suitable caving tour based on their fitness and experience. This scale, unique to Oxalis, ranges from Level 1 (Introductory) to Level 6 (hard, requiring regular exercise and trekking experience). Although a two-day, one-night adventure, the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour features challenging terrain and necessitates a reasonable level of fitness for an enjoyable experience.

Adventure Level 3 · Moderate
Rated Moderate (Level 3) on the Oxalis Adventure scale, the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery Tour is designed for average active individuals, not those with intense fitness levels like runners or athletes.
Number of guests per tour: Maximum 10 guests; Age 16-70 years old.
Expect: Rocky terrain, steep hills, long trek

  • Cover 18km of mountain forest trails with uneven terrain
  • 2.3km cave exploration
  • 400m elevation gain
  • Swim in a natural lake at the lunch area
  • 15m stair climb
  • 150m cave swim
  • Several sections require rock climbing and steep slopes
Adventure Level HTL trekking graph

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Fitness preparation for Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery

The basic physical fitness requirements for participating in the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour include:

  • Trekking experience requirements: Within the last 12 months, it is required to have trekking experience, at least one overnight camp trek, OR 2-3 day-treks with the following tour elements: trekking routes through forest/mountain/rocky/steep terrains, covering a minimum distance of 8km per day (equivalent to 5 miles per day), with an elevation gain of at least 300m.
  • Fitness Preparation: Engage in strenuous sports such as football, and skiing, or regularly participate in outdoor activities such as walking or running (3-4 times per week, covering 4-5 km each time) to maintain physical fitness. This ensures that they are able to:
    - Run continuously for 5 kilometres within 50 minutes.
    - Climb 5 floors continuously without becoming out of breath or dizzy.

Guests aged 16 to 70 are permitted to join the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery Tour, which demands good physical fitness and prior trekking experience. Those with experience in mountain trekking and good physical health, as well as those who engage in regular sports training, could easily complete this tour.

Some guests on the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour may find it not particularly challenging, while others may encounter difficulties and require assistance from many safety assistants to complete the tour. The tour regulations allow safety experts and/or guides to temporarily suspend the journey, and escort guests out of the forest if significant difficulties are encountered on the itinerary. Refunds or rescheduling are not applicable in such cases.

For more information on the necessary physical activities for a successful trip, please refer to: https://oxalisadventure.com/getting-ready-oxalis-tour/.

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Safety measures on the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour

This is always the top priority of Oxalis Adventure to ensure the safety of both visitors and Oxalis’ staff on any trip, including one day one night adventures. We only use high-quality equipment meeting international standards, mainly imported from France, the UK, and Switzerland. The tour guides must undergo professional training and be tested for skills regularly. Only qualified guides may lead an Oxalis tour. Visitors can learn about the "safety management" and " safety equipmen" that Oxalis uses here.

Dangers, risks and how to avoid them on tour

Any adventure activities will always contain risks and these must be carefully managed. Oxalis tours take place in remote locations without easy access to medical care. Hence a lot of work goes into managing and reducing risks to the lowest level possible. Please always follow the instructions of the tour guide and safety assistants.

You can learn more about "Adventure Safety Tips" here.

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Communication on the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour

Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery Tour is an adventure tour in Quang Binh with a moderate difficulty level and is operated in a remote forest with physical challenges, far from external support such as medical assistance, hospitals etc. The Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery Tour follows jungle trails, many hills up and down, and no paths are suitable for vehicles. There is no phone signal, no wifi, and no charging facilities.

Each Oxalis cave tour is equipped with 1 satellite phone for the guide to contact the office in case of emergency. Please be aware that internet and phone services are not available during your Oxalis tour. You will only have access to these services in th before prior to departure or upon your return. During the tour, Oxalis staff will keep in touch by radio if required.

Emergency Response Process

Oxalis Adventure has an established "Emergency Response Protocol" that includes on-site first aid and rescue if an accident occurs during trekking or cave exploration. We organize many training courses for first aid, rescue, and evacuation, and have rescue teams for each tour operation area. The specialized equipment is imported from abroad and complies with European standards. Due to the remote location, rescue teams and medical assistants will take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to reach the location. Therefore, the safety of visitors is the top priority of Oxalis in any activities related to caving in Vietnam. For Experts and Sales consultants to give suitable advice, guests are required to fill in their fitness and health information in the Booking form honestly. They are also required to update the information to the Oxalis consultant 45 days before the tour departure.

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Items to bring on Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour

Given the diverse terrain and prolonged trekking involved, proper preparation is crucial for the Hang Tien-Tu Lan 2-day, 1-night discovery tour.

  • Clothing: Participants will be asked to wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts that offer protection and flexibility for jungle trekking, river crossings, and cave exploration. This attire helps safeguard against sharp rocks, insects, and poisonous plants.
  • Footwear: Choose well-fitting trekking shoes with good grip for navigating rocky and steep trails. Should NOT buy waterproof footwear for river crossings, as they will retain water. Be sure to test your shoes beforehand.

Remember to bring personal items necessary for a day of trekking in the jungle. These may include insect repellent, sunscreen, a hat, a water bottle, snacks, and any necessary medications.

You need to prepare

Essential clothing

  • 2 quick-dry, bright, long-sleeved shirt
  • 2 pair of quick-dry and long trekking pants
  • 1 set of clothes for staying at Tu Làn Lodge
  • 1 set of clothes to change after tour
  • 1 pair of good gripping trekking shoes (drainable); *Waterproof/Gore Tex shoes are not recommended.
  • 2 pairs of calf-length, thick socks
  • 1 waterproof jacket (winter months November to March)

Personal items

  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen
  • Hand fan for summer (April to September)
  • Power banks
  • Personal medication
  • Passport

Oxalis provides

  • Caving and safety gears: helmet, headlight, gloves, …
  • A floating backpack for carrying helmet, water and other personal stuffs
  • Basic jungle boots (size 36-46 EU)
  • Water bottle (1L)
  • Water purifier
  • Compost toilet, toilet paper, hand cleaner
  • First-aid kit and medical rescue equipment
  • Satellite phone
  • Secure storage at office

Optional items

  • Arm cover if wearing short-sleeved T-shirts
  • Camera & Tripod
  • Bandana or headband
  • Rehydration tablets
  • Blister prevention tape

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Swimming experience at an infinity pool

After having lunch inside Hang Tien Cave, visitors on the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour will trek to a natural lake and waterfall, where you can swim and relax in a natural infinity pool. All swimming activities are supervised by safety assistants. Please note that during heavy rain, the river may turn brown and muddy. Soap and shampoo are not permitted in the rivers and pools. You can learn more about the infinity pool here: Explore Hang Tien Cave’s Natural Infinity Pool.

Toilet at the campsites

The Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery Tour takes place in a remote jungle with limited facilities. To maintain hygiene and environmental sustainability, Oxalis has implemented eco-friendly "Oxalis Composting Toilets". These toilets consist of a normal toilet seat over a box containing a bucket and waste bag. Rice husks are used to cover waste, promoting a dry composting process that eliminates odors and deters insects. Waste is later buried in a designated area to biodegrade into fertilizer.

Guests are required to use these composting toilets for both urination and defecation. Urination outside or inside the cave is prohibited due to potential negative impacts on the environment. Hand washing facilities are available.

Learn more about Oxalis' waste management practices here: How does Oxalis handle waste and debris during its cave exploration tours?

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How to get to Phong Nha - Tu Lan

Phong Nha is 45 kilometers from Dong Hoi City, the headquarters of Quang Binh Province (about 40 minutes by car). You can travel to Dong Hoi in a variety of ways, including by flight, train, and sleeper bus.

* Visa: Vietnam provides visa exemption for citizens of ASEAN countries (30 days), and 45 days for citizens of (United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belarus, Russia).

* International airports: There are 3 main international airports for international flights: Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN), Noi Bai International airport (HAN) and Da Nang International Airport (DAD). From Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or Ha Noi, travellers can book domestic flights to Dong Hoi Airport (VDH). From Da Nang, traveler can catch a train or bus to Dong Hoi/Phong Nha.

  • Airplanes: There are many flights with Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Pacific Airlines, and Bamboo Airways, daily from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to Dong Hoi.
  • Trains: Many SE trains run daily from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City stopping at Dong Hoi Station.
  • Bus: There are many day or night buses from Hanoi, Da Nang, and Hue to Dong Hoi or Phong Nha daily.

You can see more details of “transportation to Phong Nha" here.

Around 7.00am on the tour day, all participants will be picked up from a hotel in the Phong Nha region.

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Tour booking process

This is an adventure tour, and it requires a lot of logistical support. To avoid disappointment and complications, guests should choose the best tour for their fitness, abilities and interests. Reading the tour information carefully will help visitors make the right choice for their trips. The booking process includes the following steps:

  • Visitors carefully read the tour program and self-assess their health and physical fitness. Appropriate training and preparation may be necessary.
  • Guests carefully read the tour highlights and activities to ensure they choose the tour that most interests them.
  • Guests fill in the personal information on the booking form themselves. They are asked to give honest answers about their fitness and health.
  • After the reservation is made, the Oxalis consultant will contact you within 48 hours to review the information and give guidance for the next steps. If you have not received any news from Oxalis’ within 48 hours, please give us a direct call or check the spam box in case Oxalis’ emails are in there.
  • After approval, guests will be asked to pay 100% of the tour cost to confirm the booking.
  • Leading up to the departure, your Oxalis consultant will regularly contact you to support you with the preparation of items as well as physical fitness. Or you can contact us for questions.
  • 45 days before departure, guests are asked to update their health and fitness to Oxalis.

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Tour prices and availability

The tour operates with limited availability to preserve the Hang Tien-Tu Lan area and ensure visitor safety. The tour season runs from November to September, with departures on a fixed schedule. Individuals can book and join with others. A few private tours are available for special groups and filming crews.

Please refer to the calendar below for available dates (displayed in bold). If the calendar doesn't load, press F5 to refresh the page. The first available date is marked in bold.

Terms of tour cancellation

After completing the reservation, visitors will be required to pay 100% of the tour cost to confirm the booking. Guests can receive a full refund if the cancellation is 7 days before departure. Any cancellations less than 7 days before the departure date are non-refundable. Please see the cancellation terms here for more information.

Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour price includes

The cost of the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery Tour is 5,000,000 VND per person, which covers the VAT, entrance fee, and service fee for the protection of the forest ecosystem. The following services are included in the tour:

  • Service team: Each tour of 10 guests will have: 1 tour guide, 1 safety assistant, 1 cook, and 4 porters.
  • Food and Drink: Oxalis provides food, water, tea, and coffee during the journey (not including extra requirements). Dishes are based on fixed menus, vegetarian and vegan will be provided if ordered. At the first night, enjoy a warm welcome and delicious home-cooked cuisine during a memorable dinner experience in a Tan Hoa village home.
  • 1 night at River Bungalow: Oxalis includes a restful night in a spacious River Bungalow at Tu Lan Lodge, where guests can unwind on a private balcony overlooking the Rao Nan River and seasonal cornfields.
  • Included transportation: The tour package includes round-trip transportation services between Phong Nha and Tan Hoa, ensuring a seamless travel experience.
  • Oxalis provides 1 night at River Bungalow Tu Lan Lodge after the first day of exploration.
  • Safety equipment: Oxalis will provide safety equipment such as helmets, harnesses, headlights, gloves etc.
  • Travel insurance: Oxalis buys travel insurance for all guests participating in the tours with a maximum compensation of VND 10,000,000. Visitors are asked to buy comprehensive travel insurance for themselves before joining the tour.

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FAQs

  • Do I need to swim during the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour?

    Yes, swimming is a part of the Hang Tien-Tu Lan Discovery tour. You'll have the opportunity to swim in natural pools and rivers. While strong swimming skills aren't required, basic swimming ability and comfort in the water are recommended. Life jackets are provided and must be worn during water activities.

  • Which season is ideal for visiting Hang Tien-Tu Lan?

    Hang Tien-Tu Lan is only open from November to the end of September every year, yet each season brings with it a certain beauty all its own. Visitors may select the best time to visit based on their preferences:
    - From November to March: There are pleasant, sunny days as well as periods of chilly weather that can sweep across the entire region.
    - The months of April and May are warm but not oppressively hot, and this is when tourists can see a wide variety of wildflowers blooming.
    - June through September are The hot summer months, however, most of the trek is under the forest canopy or inside the cave where the temperature is between 22 and 25 degrees. Summer is a great time for swimming in the streams and lakes.

  • Do I need to have rock climbing skills to join this tour?

    While rock climbing skills are a great asset, technical climbing experience is not necessary to join this tour. Some tight squeezes inside and through the rocky path leading to the Hang Tien cave entrance.

  • What if I am a solo traveler, can I join a group?

    Solo travelers are most welcome and make up a large percentage of most groups.

  • Why do I have to sign your Release Form?

    We require customers to sign our Release Form to confirm they accept this is an adventure tour and they have to follow our guide’s instructions and safety rules. Customers also accept they have some responsibilities for their own safety.

  • What can I do If I want to talk to/contact a consultant?

    You can easily contact a consultant via chat box (on the right corner) on Oxalis website or email to: [email protected]; Hotline: +84-919900357.

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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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