Son Doong Expedition Tour

The 6 days and 5 nights journey to conquer the world's largest cave with spectacular sceneries and terrains change everyday.

The Son Doong Expedition tour started in Quang Binh, Vietnam in August, 2013. It has become very popular and attracted people around the world who love adventure tours. The adventures that explore caves have become highlights tours in Vietnam since then. In 2014, UK National Geographic named the Son Doong Expedition as the best adventure tour among other expedition and adventure tours. In 2019, the British TV channel, Dave Television also ranked Son Doong Cave Tour as 5th out of the 20 greatest adventure trips on the planet. In 2017, the British Daily Mail voted Son Doong Cave Expedition as having the most impressive campsite in the world.

Son Doong Expedition is a cave trekking tour into the underground world to discover and explore the largest cave in Vietnam, see the beauty of cave formations such as huge stalactites, stalagmites, cave pearls, underground rivers, dolines and a forest growing right inside the cave. Guests will also have opportunities to contemplate the giant sunbeams through the cave, encounter unique creatures and conquer the Great Wall of Vietnam up to 90 meters high.

Son Doong Cave was found in 1990 by Mr. Ho Khanh (a local jungleman in Phong Nha), and surveyed in 2009-2010 by the British-Vietnamese Cave Expedition Team, Son Doong Cave was announced as the largest natural limestone cave in the world in 2009 by the expedition team and confirmed by the National Geographic Magazine in 2011. National Geographic TV also reaffirmed Son Doong as the largest cave in the world by volume of 38.5 million cubic meters.

  • Conquer the world’s biggest natural cave with spectacular scenery that changes every day.
  • The cave is so big that an ecosystem has been formed right inside with clouds and mist.
  • Explore the unique primeval forest inside the cave.
  • Explore En Cave where Peter Pan - The Neverland was filmed and ABC News broadcast the Live TV show “Good Morning America” in 2015.
  • The beautiful campsites are located inside the large domes of the cave but also have enough light from outside. On sunny days, Guests will have chances to contemplate the marvelous sunbeams going through the dolines down the cave, illuminating the giant passages.
  • Visit Doong village, where ethnic minority Bru Van Kieu people are living in the primary forest.
  • Each tour includes: 10 Guests, 1 safety expert, 1 tour guide, 6 safety assistants, 2 cooks, 17 porters carrying belongings, food, camping equipment and 1 ranger from the Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park.

Itinerary

Son Doong Cave Expedition is the longest and the most challenging adventure tour operated by Oxalis Adventure in Vietnam. The caving expedition contains trekking through primary forest with elevation gains from 150m to 800m, multiple river crossings (10 to 50 meters wide with knee-deep water in normal conditions) passing various terrains inside the cave such as rocky scrambling, sandbanks, up and down ladders and rope climbs. During the expedition tour, there will be no phone signal or wifi. The tour guide always brings a satellite phone to keep in touch with Oxalis operation team for emergencies.

The itinerary of the Son Doong Expedition tour may be changed due to weather conditions.

Phong Nha – Safety Briefing

You will be consulted and supported to plan for arrival as soon as you finish signing up for this cave exploration tour.

You should be in Dong Hoi City by 15:00 pm at the latest. You will be picked up by Oxalis staff at Dong Hoi train station / airport and taken to Son Doong Bungalow in Phong Nha.

Around 17:30 - 18:00 pm, a tour guide and driver will come and pick you up for the safety briefing at Oxalis’ Phong Nha office where you will also meet the safety expert and other guests joining the Son Doong Cave Expedition. The safety briefing is required to make sure that each guest understands the nature of the adventure expedition. Anyone who does not attend this briefing may be refused participation in the Son Doong tour without refund. At the end of the briefing, guests are required to sign a release form and their medical declaration for the trip. Helmet and water bottles will also be provided at the briefing.

You will be required to bring trekking shoes (trails running and non-goretex shoes) and personal backpack (size of the backpack) to the briefing for a quality and suitability check by a safety expert.

After the safety briefing, the whole group will have a welcome dinner at Oxalis Home. Time to start getting to know each other before a long journey together.

After dinner, you will return to the hotel, prepare your belongings (for the trek) and rest, ready for the trip tomorrow.

Doong Village – Hang En Cave

After packing all belongings required for the trek into the bag provided (not more than 7 kg per Guest), please bring it to the hotel reception before 07:00 am. Oxalis’ staff will receive and bring this bag directly to the campsite. You will not see these belongings until reaching the campsite. Therefore please carry with you anything you may need along the way. Guests can refer to the article “what guests should prepare for Son Doong Expedition” for the best preparation

Make sure that you have your breakfast and make yourself ready at the reception area before departure time of 09:00 am. Luggage and valuables will be stored at the Oxalis Office.

It will take around 1 hour to get to the drop off point by Oxalis bus. The Son Doong Cave Expedition starts from here with a long steep descent of around 350 meters inside Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park. After reaching the bottom of the mountain, you will keep going for about half an hour through the forest with few stream crossings (knee deep) to come to Ban Doong - a small village of the Bru-Van Kieu ethnic minority.

After lunch at the house of the village elder and learning about living here. The group will continue trekking about 3 hours to reach Hang En Cave for the first night’s camping - one of Vietnam's best-cave camping sites. There will be more river crossings with stunning natural scenery. Entering Hang En Cave through a small entrance, crossing the underground river and climbing a small hill you will see a spectacular campsite, full of light, located underneath a large high entrance.

You will locate the tent with your name on it and enjoy swimming in the lake next to the campground. How relaxing after a long day of trekking. A delicious dinner will be served soon. Hopefully, you will have a good night, ready to approach Son Doong tomorrow.

Important note: Any guest who is unable to complete the Son Doong Expedition on this day or struggles to complete the day with a lot of support from the safety assistant team, or fails to comply with safety and conservation regulations. The guest will be asked to return to Oxalis Phong Nha without refund.. The safety expert and tour guide will make the decision to allow them to continue or return. This is to ensure the safety of that guest as well as the whole group.

Son Doong Entrance – Campsite Doline 1

In the morning, when exploring Hang En Cave, you will gaze at the fantastic exit, where the movie: Peter Pan – Pan and Neverland filmed, and then carry on to Son Doong Cave entrance. The journey from Hang En Exit to Son Doong follows the river with many more river crossings. A final steep hill will bring you to the entrance of Hang Son Doong.

After lunch at the entrance, you will be equipped with safety equipment for descending into the cave. A safety briefing will be given by the tour guide or safety expert to make sure that every guest knows how to use the safety harnesses, karabiners and descend safely. The safety team is always by guest’s side for support. Approaching the entrance, you will usually feel the cold air flowing out due to the difference in temperature and pressure inside the cave. Illuminated by the large filming lights, the giant cave passages with enormous formations will slowly appear in front of your eyes.

Reaching the bottom of the entrance slopes, you will continue crossing the river twice, some sandbanks and rocky slopes to see a huge stalagmite, called the Hand of Dog. Around 16:00 , you will arrive at the first campsite of Son Doong – named the Level Playing Fields, just before Doline 1. There will be toilets and changing tents here.

Another highlight not to be missed: swimming in a cold underground pool (17-22 degrees). Useful for muscle relaxation and also refreshing yourself after a hard day. You need to wear trekking shoes, long sleeved-shirts, long pants to get here and for swimming. A life-jacket is required. Another delicious dinner will be waiting for you after swimming.

Garden Of Edam – Campsite Doline 2

There are steep climbs, wriggling through small parts of the cave and some ropes and ladders to reach Doline 1, called Watch out for Dinosaurs - a highlight of the journey through Son Doong.

Descending from Watch Out for Dinosaurs, you will reach the other side of Doline 1, the Green gours. A stunning scenery will reveal itself in front of your eyes. On sunny days, you may sit and contemplate the giant sunbeams shining into the cave. Lunch will be served here.

After lunch, the group continues over the calcite paths to come into the Garden of Edam at Doline 2. This area is very fragile and you must take great care. From here, you can view the entire forest and the variety of trees and plants adapted to this environment. A final steep and slippery descent will bring you to the campsite, to rest, review your photos and enjoy the amazing view. There are no bathing facilities in this campsite. You must prepare wet wipes, dry shampoo etc for this final night in the cave. Another yummy dinner will be served soon.

Note: a pair of dry socks are recommended for this day if available and it is not rainy as there is no river crossing on this day.

The Great Wall Of Vietnam – Son Doong Exit - Chay Lap Farmstay

Starting your new day of a wonderful trip with a hot cup of coffee, the exciting adventure has yet to come. After breakfast, you will be equipped with safety equipment and a short safety briefing given to be ready for conquering the Great Wall of Viet Nam, one of the best caving experiences.

Then carrying on cave exploring and learning about the unique creatures that live in the darkness for millions of years such as: spiders, fishes, woodlice and centipedes. They all have the same characters: no eyes, no color. Cave pearls are also a special formation that can be found in Son Doong Cave.

On different occasions you will be able to experience the Wall differently. On a heavy rainy day, after the rain there will be a lake to the Great Wall of Vietnam, therefore you will have a chance to row a raft along the lake to the bottom of the Wall. On other days, the lake will disappear, and you will experience walking through the muddy passage, this passage is called "Passchendaele passage”. At the bottom of the wall, there is a stainless steel ladder about 18m high and you will start the climb from here. After the ladder, continue climbing ropes to ascend to a large resting place. The ascent continues with a 72 meters slope with 45 degrees. All guests will be attached to a safety line at all times, operated by the safety assistants. Safety assistants will be stationed at various points along the climb from the bottom to the top, to instruct and encourage you. Do not be nervous, this is all part of the expedition’s experience.

Unlike other hiking expeditions, this is a challenging adventure. But, as long as you have good physical fitness, you can definitely conquer the Wall with the support of the safety team. After lunch at the top of the Wall, the group will leave the cave, where a final rocky section awaits, and trek through forest to return to Ho Chi Minh Trail West. Here the Son Doong Cave Expedition ends with cool beer and soft drinks. Tour guide and driver will bring you to Chay Lap Farmstay at around 15:00 - 16:00.

Chay Lap Farmstay will warmly welcome you back with a glass of champagne and a fancy dinner. The tour guide will also confirm transfers to the Airport or train station…for you according to your plan.

Chay Lap Farmstay - Dong Hoi

Following your plan, you may be picked up after breakfast (to the airport or train station in Dong Hoi City) or take time to visit some more places in Phong Nha before leaving.

There are many famous places to see around Phong Nha Town such as: Chay Lap Water Sport Center, Blue Diamond Camp, Paradise cave, Mooc Spring, etc… or you can rent a motorbike / bicycle to explore the National Park, Bong Lai Valley, Pub with Cold Beer yourself. Please make sure that you are good at driving...

If you still want some more adventure trips, Oxalis is also running tours to Hang Va, Hang Tien, and especially, Tu Lan - home of the Hollywood movie Kong: Skull Island. These exploration tours (from 1 to 6 days) will definitely bring you more great expedition experiences which are quite different from the Son Doong Expedition.

Please do not forget the check-out time is before 12:00 midday. Inform Oxalis’ sales staff in-advance if you want to stay longer.

Weather and Climate in Son Doong Cave

Quang Binh, like many northern provinces of Vietnam, has 4 seasons in a year (spring, summer, autumn and winter). Due to the weather condition and for the safety of guests, Hang Son Doong Cave tour is only operated from January to the end of August every year.

  • From January to March, the weather may be quite cold. If there are sunny days, you may see sunbeams illuminating Hang En Cave campsite.
  • From April to May may be one of the best times of year when the weather becomes nice and warm, landscapes and scenery turn green, and flowers bloom. This is also the time to see clouds and mist forming in the cave.
  • From June to August are the warmest summer months. However, most of the time the trek is under the tree cover and inside the cave with temperature from 22 to 25 degrees, so it is not too bad at all. Swimming in the underground lakes is the best experience of this season.
  • Each season contains its own unique features, unlike any other caves in Vietnam's national park. Son Doong Cave has its own weather system. Please read more about weather in Son Doong at “Weather of the seasons in Hang Son Doong Tour”. In addition, Guests can check the weather in Phong Nha through the Accuweather website to have the best preparation for the Son Doong Expedition.

Read more

Preparation for the Son Doong Expedition

In order for you to have a great trip, Oxalis recommends you to take appropriate exercise to have good physical fitness. Furthermore, take time to prepare the items you need to bring for the Son Doong expedition including: trekking clothing, sun protections, trekking shoes and backpack. Anything extra can be stored in Oxalis’ Phong Nha Office.

Fitness preparation for Son Doong tour

The Son Doong Expedition is ranked as level 6 (hard) on the Oxalis Adventure scale, designed for all guests who love outdoor activities. This scale is made for average physical fitness, not based on the athletes or marathon runners. Therefore, if you are playing sports, running, jogging or exercising regularly, and have some trekking experience, you can definitely complete it. We have received a lot of feedback from guests after the trip. Many people said that it is not so difficult, others thought it was about right for them, and also many guests admitted that they could not have completed the Son Doong tour without support from the safety assistant team. According to Oxalis’ safety rules, the tour guide and cave expert can turn back any guest, who could not complete the first day of the expedition, and without refund of the tour. Therefore, to ensure a great trip, please read “physical activities advised by Oxalis”.

Items to bring on tour

Son Doong Expedition is a long trekking tour in Vietnam with various terrains. So, you will need to prepare:

  • Guests need to prepare personal items for a duration of 4 days 3 nights in the forest and cave.
  • Suitable clothing for jungle trekking, river crossing, for Son Doong Cave camping or caving as well as protecting yourself from snakes, insect bites or poison ivy along the way.
  • Trekking shoes are very important for the Son Doong Expedition. Guests need to choose the right type for mixed terrains such as trekking, climbing, swimming, river crossing…

Oxalis Consultant will always give you suitable and useful advice for preparing before the tour. Please read: “List of items Guests need to bring” for better preparation.

Read more

Adventure level on tour

After more than 10 years operating adventure tours in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam, Oxalis Adventure tours designed an adventure scale in order to help guests choose the right tour for their physical fitness and ability. This scale is not applicable to other tours or treks not run by Oxalis. From level 1 to 6, Oxalis hopes that our guests will make the right choice for their adventure tour. For example, if you exercise regularly and trek often, you can confidently choose level 6 and the Son Doong trip. We are sure you will complete it proudly.

Adventure Level

Son Doong Expedition: Adventure level 6 · Difficult
Requirements: Good physical fitness, trekking experience.
Activities: Long treks, river crossings, rocky terrain, climbing steep slopes with and without safety equipment.
Number of Guests per tour: Maximum 10, minimum age 18 years old.

  • 17km trekking on jungle and mountain trails, elevation changes up to 800m.
  • Multiple river crossings both inside and outside the cave (knee - deep or more depending on weather conditions).
  • 3 nights camping in the cave (the first night in En cave, the second and third in Son Doong).
  • 8km caving including: climbing with safety equipment, extensive rocky terrain.
  • 90m descending to the cave entrance with a steep slope of 45 degrees with support from safety equipment, safety assistants and the cave expert.
  • 90m ascending up to the Great Wall of Vietnam with a ladder, steep slopes of 45 degrees with support from safety equipment, safety assistant and cave expert.

Read more

Communication on tour

Son Doong Cave Expedition tour is set at the highest adventure level among the cave tours in Vietnam. The trip is to go into the core zone of the national park, far away from medical assistance, doctors and hospitals. The tour follows jungle trails, up and downhill many times with no path for bicycles, motorbikes or cars. The entire journey will have no phone signal, wifi and usual communications.

Each Oxalis adventure tour, including Son Doong Expedition, is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the Operation team in case of emergency. Guests can still use the internet and phone at the hotel before departure and after leaving the forest. During the tour, the safety staff will communicate by walkie-talkie (radio).

In order for the guest to safely explore the caves, Oxalis Adventure has developed an “emergency response procedure”, ready for: cave rescue, cave evacuation and first aid in case of emergency. Every year, we organize many training courses for first aid, rescue, evacuation etc. We have established rescue teams for each tour operating area. The equipment for rescue is chosen and imported from Britain and France, and designed for cave rescue and evacuation. Due to the remote location, the rescue team and medical assistance may take several hours to reach the casualty. Therefore, the safety of guests is Oxalis' top priority. During the booking process, Guests are required to fill in details about health, physical fitness honestly on their own so that the cave experts and tour consultants can give useful advice. Guests are requested to update their health condition to our Adventure Consultant 45 days prior departure of the tour.

Read more

Safety on tour

This is always Oxalis’ top priority in order to ensure the safety of both guests and staff during any trip. Oxalis only uses international standard equipment, mainly imported from France, UK and Switzerland, selected, inspected and maintained by cave experts from the British – Vietnamese Cave Association. Tour guides and safety assistants are responsible for operating these devices.

To qualify for using these devices, they have to pass professional training courses and pass the strict skills tests. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to lead the tour. .

Read more

Dangers, risks and how to avoid them on tour

Any activity carries risks, but with adventure tours, these dangers and risks are even higher in comparison with other types of tourism. There could be: floods, insect bites, snake bites, accidents, illness or many others. You can learn more about: “dangers, risks and how to avoid them

Campsites in Tour

One of the factors that makes the Son Doong Expedition unique and attractive is the campsites. The British Daily Mail voted Hang Son Doong for the most impressive campground in the world in 2017. Visiting Son Doong Cave. You will have the opportunity to spend 3 nights camping inside caves, which makes the Son Doong Expedition tour the best caving expedition tour in Vietnam and the world.

The first night is in En – the first cave of the journey, the second night is underneath Doline 1 (3km away from the Son Doong entrance), and the third night is at Doline 2 by the edge of the Garden of Edam. These campsites are set in areas unaffected by outside weather. The average temperature is quite nice, about 22 to 25 degrees Celsius in summer and 16 to 20 degrees in winter. In addition, there are 2 nights included before and after the trip at hotels. You can find out more about “the unique campsites in Son Doong tour”.

Read more

Bath at campsites

Hang En campsite is next to an underground lake which is very special with 2 different currents (warm and cold water) joining together. Choose which you prefer and relax after a hard day. No soap and shampoo allowed in lakes or rivers.

Doline 1 Campsite (Son Doong Cave) is located in the middle of the cave, there is a cold underground lake (17 - 22 degrees Celsius) for swimming and relaxing after a tough day. This is also a highlight for muscle relaxation and refreshing the body.

Doline 2 Campsite (Son Doong Cave) is on the edge of the underground forest (the Garden of Edam). This campground is far away from water sources. There are no facilities for bathing, so guests should prepare wet wipes, dry shampoo etc.

Read more

Toilet at the campsites

Even though the tour is located in remote jungles and caves without electricity or infrastructure. Son Doong cave camping still provides a level that you would not find elsewhere. For hygiene issues as well as conservation, Oxalis has created an eco-friendly toilet system, called the Composting Toilet. Toilets are located inside designated tents.

The seat is similar to the normal toilet you have at home, with a bucket under the seat for the waste. Instead of flushing, guests will scoop rice husk into a bucket to cover the waste and reduce the smell. These buckets will be replaced regularly and carried into the forest. They will become fertilizer after a few months.

Guests must always use composting toilets.

Read more

What to expect

This tour is designed for tourists who love adventure and new challenges. Son Doong Expedition is a “must” to do in a lifetime.

There are people who rarely exercise, but once they decide to go to Son Doong, they exercise more often and participate in more outdoor activities to improve their health and physical fitness.

The itinerary of the Son Doong Expedition is designed so that each day has a similar duration and number of challenges so that all guests who are well prepared should complete the trek comfortably. With the temporary disconnection from computers, internet, smart phones or daily business, visitors will have more time to enjoy nature and harmony.

During the tour, guests will be expected to complete the trekking activities by themselves.

This tour requires a huge amount of logistics to ensure that guests will have a comfortable trip.

You can find more about “Son Doong Expedition tour: What to expect”.

Read more

How do you get into Son Doong cave?

Oxalis Office is located at Phong Nha village, Phong Nha town, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Phong Nha is located 45 km away from Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province. After arriving in Dong Hoi, Oxalis’ staff will take you to Phong Nha after a 40 minutes drive. There are many ways to get to Dong Hoi such as: by airplane, train, high quality sleeping bus.

*Visas: Vietnam provides visa exemption for citizens of ASEAN countries (30 days), and 15 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.

Read more about how to apply for a visa here.

  • Airplanes: There are many flights (Vietnam airlines, Vietjet, Bamboo Airways), flying daily from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to Dong Hoi airport.
  • Trains: There are many SE trains, running daily from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh and stopping at Dong Hoi station.
  • Bus: There are many sleeper buses, depart daily from Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue to Dong Hoi or to Phong Nha directly.

You can refer to the details in the article: “transportation to Phong Nha”.

Read more

Tour booking process

Son Doong tour requires a large amount of logistics for both guests and Oxalis. Reading the tour information carefully will help guests make the right choice. The tour booking process includes the following steps:

  • Read tour programs carefully and consider your fitness to join this tour.
  • Ensure all experiences and activities of the Son Doong Expedition tour are suitable and something you really want to do.
  • Fill in the online booking form by yourself, please give honest answers about physical fitness and health conditions.
  • Once booking is sent, Oxalis Consultant will contact you 48 hours to review the information given and guide you on the next steps. If you do not get any response from Oxalis after 48 hours, please give us a direct call or check your email’s spam box.
  • Once the booking is approved. Our consultant will send you the invoice, and 100% of the tour fee will be paid to confirm your booking.
  • After the tour is confirmed, our consultant will maintain regular contact and provide assistance for you to prepare for the big trip.
  • 45 days before departure, our Adventure Consultant will contact you to get updated physical fitness and health conditions.

Read more

Tour price and available dates for booking

Son Doong tour price is US$3,000 per person. Son Doong Expedition is open for sale according to a fixed schedule for the whole tour season. The individual can book a join-in tour with others. In addition, Oxalis also has a few private tours to Son Doong for special groups or filming crews. Please see the departure schedule in the calendar below, the dates in bold are available. If you do not see the calendar box, please wait a few seconds or press F5 for refreshing.

Terms of tour cancellation

Only 1,000 guests are allowed per year, so the tours are sold out quickly. Therefore, guests are requested to pay 100% of the tour fee after reservation for a confirmation.

The Son Doong Expedition tour requires good physical preparation and well prepared trekking items. Last minute cancellations will greatly impact the operation of the tour.

To ensure that Oxalis can find a replacement if there is a cancellation, the terms are:

  • The cancellation must be done 90 days before the departure if guests would like to receive a 100% refund (a small amount of fee will be charged for booking and approval processes). Departure date change can only be done if there are spots available.
  • Guests will be charged 50% of the tour fee if the cancellation occurs 45 days before the departure.
  • Guests will be charged 100% of the tour fee if the cancellation occurs less than 45 days before the departure.

To change participants in the Son Doong tour (not recommended), a booking service fee will be charged. See more details in “Terms of tour cancellation”.

Read more

Son Doong Cave tour price includes

The Son Doong Cave tour cost is US $3,000 per person, including: VAT (10%), entrance fee and environment service (US$600), management fee and supervision from National Park (US$20) and the tour services as follows:

  • Pick up and drop off at Dong Hoi airport / train station.
  • Team members: 1 cave expert, 1 tour guide, 6 safety assistants, 2 chefs, 17 porters carrying belongings for each group of 10 Guests.
  • Food and drink: Oxalis will provide food (vegetarian, vegan…), tea and coffee during the trip (not including extra requests). Meals follow a fixed menu. Please let us know your food option when booking the tour to visit Son Doong Cave.
  • Accommodation: Oxalis offers the first night at Son Doong Bungalow; 3 nights in the cave with tents and the last night at Chay Lap Farmstay.
  • Safety equipment: Oxalis will provide safety equipment such as: helmets, harnesses, headlights, gloves and others.
  • Travel Insurance: Oxalis Adventure will purchase travel insurance for travel as required by Vietnam Tourism Law. The maximum compensation per case is 10 million VND. We recommend that guests purchase their own comprehensive travel insurance.

Read more

Hang Son Doong, the cave that built a village

Established in 2011, Oxalis Adventure is the only company operating tours to Son Doong Cave. The trial tours were carried out in August 2013. In 2014, Son Doong Cave Exploration tour was officially launched. With core values of safety, conservation and community development, Oxalis has been trying to bring positive changes to Phong Nha - Quang Binh and Vietnam Cave tours. Son Doong Cave has been confirmed as the largest natural cave in the world by many domestic and international organizations.

A documentary film by director Sid Perou about Hang Son Doong - the cave that built a village.

However, what makes Son Doong special and attractive is the underground world inside with dolines, primary forest, ecosystem, giant formations and large cave passages.

Many guests thought it was like another world. Ginger Zee from ABC News's in Good Morning America TV show said that the sceneries in Son Doong are like in the movie Avatar.

Son Doong Cave has contributed to the development of Quang Binh tourism, bringing Quang Binh to the world tourist map. Thanks to the Son Doong Cave tour, 125 local people now have jobs with a stable income. Other adventure tours in the region have developed, as well as many homestays and hotels, restaurants, transportation and other services. These things have greatly improved the provincial economy. Watch a documentary about “Hang Son Doong, The Cave that built a Village” by Sid Perou.

Read more

FAQs

  • How do I get to Hang Son Doong?

    To get into Son Doong cave you will need to book a tour through a tour company. Son Doong expedition tour is operated by Oxalis Adventure - the only company that has the authority to operate and organize tours to Son Doong cave.

  • Why is the Son Doong cave tour priced at $3,000 a person?

    The Son Doong Cave tour cost is US $3,000 per person, including: VAT (10%), entrance fee and environment service (US$600), management fee and supervision from National Park (US$20) and the tour services as follows:

    • Pick up and drop off at Dong Hoi airport / train station.
    • Team members: 1 cave expert, 1 tour guide, 6 safety assistants, 2 chefs, 17 porters carrying belongings for each group of 10 Guests.
    • Food and drink: Oxalis will provide food (vegetarian, vegan…), tea and coffee during the trip (not including extra requests). Meals follow a fixed menu. Please let us know your food option when booking the tour to visit Son Doong Cave.
    • Accommodation: Oxalis offers the first night at Son Doong Bungalow; 3 nights in the cave with tents and the last night at Chay Lap Farmstay.
    • Safety equipment: Oxalis will provide safety equipment such as: helmets, harnesses, headlights, gloves and others.
    • Travel Insurance: Oxalis Adventure will purchase travel insurance for travel as required by Vietnam Tourism Law. The maximum compensation per case is 10 million VND. We recommend that guests purchase their own comprehensive travel insurance.
  • What is the temperature in Son Doong Cave?

    The temperature in Son Doong cave is stable from 22 to 25 degrees Celsius (71 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • What is nearest airport to Son Doong Cave?

    For international travel: The nearest international airports are Tan Son Nhat airport (SGN, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) and Noi Bai airport (HAN, Hanoi, Vietnam) and Da Nang International Airport (DAD, Da Nang city, Vietnam). For Domestic travel: Dong Hoi airport (VDH, Quang Binh, Vietnam) is only 50 minutes driving from Oxalis Office in Phong Nha (45km) which is the nearest local airport to Son Doong Cave. There are many flights between Hanoi - Dong Hoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Dong Hoi everyday operating by Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines.

  • 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.

  • Can you visit Son Doong Cave alone?

    You cannot visit Son Doong Cave alone. Noone is allowed to visit Son Doong Cave without the permission of the management board of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Son Doong cave is located in the core zone of Phong Nha Ke Bang national park. The National Park is effectively protected by a number of national laws and government decisions, which prohibit any action inside or outside the boundaries of the National Park or a World Heritage property that may have a significant impact on the heritage values. Therefore, in order to visit Son Doong cave you will have to go through an authority tour company. Oxalis Adventure is the only company that has the authority to operate and organize tours to Son Doong cave.

  • How difficult is Son Doong?

    The Son Doong Expedition is considered to be the most difficult tour in Oxalis' difficulty scale - level 6 in terms of the level of adventure. In the 6 levels of tours operated by Oxalis, this tour is at level 6 – Difficult, including: 17 km trekking on mountain trails with rocky terrain; a lot of river crossings (inside and outside the cave); 800m of steep climbing; 3 nights camping in the cave; 8km of caving including rope climbing and walking and scrambling over large rocks; 80m climbing down from the cave entrance; 90m rope climbing up from the bottom to the top of “The Great Wall of Vietnam”.

You may like

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.

Day tours

Overnight tours

Multi-day packages