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Highlights

Wet caves (i.e. those with rivers) are the focus of the two-day Tu Lan Cave Encounter. Swim and walk through four of them and sleep in one of our most peaceful campsites next to a waterfall. This tour is for travelers who want to explore the underground adventure playground of Tu Lan but only want to spend one night in the wilderness.

  • Swim and wade through underground rivers.
  • Explore four wet caves in the Tu Lan system.
  • Trek over jungle hills and mountains.
  • Sleep in a peaceful campsite with a waterfall.
  • Tuck into freshly cooked meals during the journey, plus snacks.
  • Marvel at beautiful and unusual cave formations.
Key Information
  • Two days exploring, one night camping.
  • Not available in October due to annual floods. Available throughout the rest of the year.
  • Tours depart every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
  • Group size: 10 people maximum.
  • Age: 16 years and above. 15 year olds with experience will be considered.
  • Distance: 12km trekking, 2km caving, 1km swimming in the caves, 300m elevation gain, 10m ladder climb.
  • Difficulty: Level 2 • moderate.
  • Itinerary (below) is subject to change with the weather. Paths can be slippery and muddy after rain.

Itinerary

Due to the weather conditions the itinerary may need to be changed at short notice. The paths can be muddy and slippery after rain. Lifejackets must be worn when swimming in the caves.

Day 1: Phong Nha – Tan Hoa – Ken Cave – Tu Lan Campsite

07:30 - 08:00 Pick up and one-hour drive on Day 1 to the Oxalis Adventure office in Tan Hoa, located 70km from Phong Nha. Here you will have a tour safety briefing, sign the release form and receive the required equipment for the tour.

The trek starts with a flat path past peanut fields and grazing buffalo and cows. A river crossing leads to a short but steep and rocky uphill section, followed by a downhill descent into the next valley. Cross the valley on a flat path to enjoy a picnic lunch in the entrance of Hung Ton Cave. More hills and jungle trekking before you drop down to Tu Lan Valley and your camp for the night.

Finish off the day with a swim into Ken Cave. Dinner is prepared and served by the porter team. After dinner enjoy the evening games before sleeping in your comfortable tent. Composting toilets are provided at camp.

Day 2: Tu Lan Cave – Kim Cave – Hung Ton – Tan Hoa

The following day you will trek and swim through three caves: Tu Lan Cave, Kim Cave and Hung Ton Cave. In Hung Ton Cave you will climb a metal ladder with the extra protection of a safety line. Beautiful views from the entrances into the jungle, refreshing swims, dry passages and amazing formations will give you many opportunities for photos. After the third cave the return is the same as the first morning. Snacks will be provided at To Mo Valley and lunch in the village is served at a local restaurant after a welcome shower.

Transfer to Phong Nha arriving at around 18:00.

Adventure Level

Adventure Level 2 · Moderate

  • 2-day tour
  • Easy to moderate trekking
  • 12km of trekking including up to 2km of caving
  • Total elevation gain: 300m
  • 1km swimming in the caves
  • There will be some rocky terrain, short but steep hills, underground swims and river crossings and a 10m ladder climb with a safety rope, operated by the safety team.
FAQs
  • How do I get to Phong Nha?

    If you are arriving from oversea, there are two main international airports connect with Dong Hoi Airport: Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi Capital) in the north and Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) in the south. There’re many daily flights connecting between 2 main airports with Dong Hoi Airport. From Dong Hoi airport you can get a taxi or shuttle bus to Phong Nha which takes around 45 minutes. You can choose other means of transportation. From Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An to Phong Nha by sleeper bus, or to Dong Hoi City by train. If you are planning to our tour once arrived in Phong Nha then please make sure your bus/train arrives before 6:00 am to take your tour on time.

    If your arrival time is too early, please contact us to get a FREE dorm bed at Oxalis Home to have a few hours rest before taking the tour. We have gathered all information regarding arrival and departure in the link below, please check for more details.
    https://oxalisadventure.com/arrival-departure-guide/

  • What is the weather like?

    The weather in Phong Nha is quite mild and divided into 4 main seasons.
    • Mid-November to early March: the weather is quite cold, the temperature ranges from 12-15°C;
    • Mid-March to late June: dry season, quite stable weather, light showers, temperatures in the range of 22-38°C (May to June is usually the peak heat wave, the temperature can rise up to 38 degrees);
    • Mid-July to mid-September: hot season, increased rainfall, temperature ranges from 25-35°C.
    • Mid-September to mid-November: rainy season, usually with prolonged heavy rain, possible flooding.
    (For safety reasons, Oxalis Adventure closes all tours during this time every year).
    In addition, typhoons, droughts or floods may occur in Phong Nha if the weather conditions are erratic. Prior 1 day to your arrival to Phong Nha, you can conveniently check the weather forecast and prepare for your trip accordingly, here: accuweather.com
    This website shows an approximately accurate weather forecast of the area.

  • My child (under 16 y/o) is accompanying me. Can they join the tour?

    If your child is in the age bracket of 11-16 y/o, we offer a private tour option. Feel free to contact our adventure consultant team for assistance in this regard.

  • What benefits will I enjoy if I book multiple tours and services with The Oxalis Group?

    The Oxalis Group has four primary members:
    Oxalis Adventure: Asia’s biggest adventure tour operator, conducting jungle and cave tours in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and Tu Lan Cave System.
    Chay Lap Farmstay & Resort: One of the top accommodations in Vietnam, blending a rustic countryside aura with luxury.
    Di Di Thoi: A full service tour operator located in Phong Nha, Quang Binh, offering a variety of classic tours, soft-adventures and inspiring local experiences.
    Son Đoong Bungalow: Based in the prime location of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Son Doong Bungalow offers unique features of indigenous culture, magnificent landscapes and hospitable locals.

    • You will receive a 10% discount for the second tour and onwards for Oxalis Adventure - Xiều Oxalis.
    • A special room rate at Chay Lap Farmstay & Resort at just VND 1.3 million/night, discounted from the original price of VND 2.6 million/night.
    • You will also enjoy a 10% discount on all Di Di Thoi tours.
    • Discount for room bookings at Son Doong Bungalow at VND 1.540 million for Family Room (maximum 4 adults), VND 1.120 million/night for Deluxe Rooms (1-2 adults) and VND 910.000/night for Superior Rooms (1-2 adults). Applicable to all guests booking tours with Oxalis Adventure or Di Di Thoi during the tour processing time.

    Our consultant will happily assist you, should you need further details on these benefits.

  • Where would the excess luggage be kept and how much luggage would the porters carry on tour?

    Your luggage will be kept at the offices in Phong Nha and Tan Hoa. For high-value belongings, please inform the staff, so that it can be stored safely in the locker.
    With 1-day tour, guests' items are not too many, so safety assistants can assist guests. In case guests have a lot of items, they will prepare a medium-sized backpack (type 15-20L) and bring it on their own during the journey.
    For 2-3 day tours, guests' equipment used at the camp will be supported by Oxalis porters, the maximum weight is 3kg / person / tour. The daily necessities will be brought by guests, Oxalis provides floating backpacks for visitors to Tu Lan and Hang Tien tours, guests prepare their own medium-sized backpacks (type 15-25L) when participating in Hang En and Hang Va.
    Similar provisions for the Tu Lan 4-day tour, however, luggage used at the camp has a maximum weight of 5kg / person / tour.

  • 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.

  • Can I change clothes after swimming part?

    No, you cannot change during the trip. There is a lot of swimming combined with trekking and we don’t have enough time to change to dry clothes during the trek. When you reach the campsite, you can change and enjoy some warm drinks.

Preparations

Please visit our FAQ general page to read our specific What to Bring list before departing for Vietnam and your cave expedition.

WE WILL PROVIDE

  • Camping gear: tent, camp light, sleeping bag, mattresses, pillow
  • Caving & safety gear: caving helmet, caving headlight, life jacket, gloves
  • Light PVC backpack (if you do not want to take your own, as it will get wet)
  • Semi dry bag (for clothing and personal belongings excl. electronics) for inside the (light PVC) backpack
  • Basic canvas trekking boots (only if you do not have your own pair) sizes 36 – 46
  • Meals: picnic lunches (day 1, day 2), breakfast (day 2), dinner (day 1)
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide and safety assistants
  • Porter team to carry all camping gear and prepare all meals
  • Shared dry box for phones and small cameras (limited availability for larger cameras)
  • Water filter and purifier (used only by guide and porters)
  • Basic camping facilities with eco-friendly compost toilet using western toilet seat
  • First Aid Kit and Medical Rescue Equipment (application by guides and porters only)
  • Secure Storage Facility at Oxalis Headquarters to store all luggage you will not be taking on the trek.

YOU WILL NEED TO BRING

  • 1 long (easy to dry) pants and 1 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (quick dry)
  • 1 pair of shorts and t-shirt to wear at campsite plus your swim suit.
  • 1 pair of trekking boots/shoes – difficult terrain, good footwear necessary. Gore-Tex/waterproof boots are NOT recommended as they do not drain well (if you prefer your own comfortable pair)
  • 1 pair of flip flop (sandals) for campsite
  • 1 medium size towel
  • 2-3 pairs of calf length densely woven socks (not ankle socks!)
  • Personal items: mosquito repellent, sunglasses, hat, camera, underwear, toiletries

Pricing and availability

Please choose your departure date using the calendar below.

  • This tour is operated from mid-Nov to mid-Sep (closed from mid-Sep to mid-Nov).
  • The days in bold are still available
  • 2020 and 2021 tours are available for booking, please check calendar box belownew_releases
  • 10% off for Xiều.
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