Highlights

Explore six wet and dry caves that you’ll swim, scramble and wade through. Spend two nights under the stars in two different campsites good for swimming – one with a rock pool and the other on a river bend. This tour is for adventurous travelers who want to experience different types of caves and sleep in two stunning locations.

  • Swim and wade through underground rivers.
  • Trek over jungle hills and mountains.
  • Explore six wet and dry caves in the Tu Lan system.
  • Sleep in two incredible campsites with natural swimming pools.
  • Tuck into freshly cooked meals during the journey, plus snacks.
  • Marvel at beautiful and unusual cave formations.
Key Information
  • Duration: 4 days 3 nights (1 night at Tu Lan Lodge and 2 nights jungle camping).
  • Three days exploring, two nights camping.
  • Tours depart every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Tour code: TL3
  • Group size: 10 people maximum.
  • Age: 16 years and above. 15 year olds with experience will be considered.
  • Distance: 14km trekking; 4km caving; 1km swimming (50-200m); 435m elevation gain; 15m ladder climb.
  • Difficulty: Level 3 • 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.

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

07:30 - 08:00 Pick up and one-hour and a half 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 after the briefing with a flat path past peanut field and grazing buffalo and cows. A river crossing leads to the Rat cave. You will enjoy the picnic lunch at the entrance before visiting the cave, a small but beautiful cave. Drop downhill into the next valley. Cross the valley on a flat path to reach to Lom Com hill with the 150m climbing and descending. 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 the beautiful lake near by the Camp. Dinner is prepared and served by the porter team. After dinner enjoy chatting or card games before sleeping in your comfortable tent. Composting toilets are provided at camp.

Day 2: Tu Lan – Kim cave – To Mo

The following day you will trek and explore three caves: Ken Cave, Tu Lan Cave and Kim Cave.

After breakfast, you will explore and swimming in the Ken Cave. Return to camp for lunch. After lunch swim into the wet entrance of Tu Lan Cave, a short climb up leads you into the dry passage and exit. Trek around the valley to Kim Cave. Enter the small entrance via a short climb and follow the dry passage to meet the underground river. A series of short swims and waterfalls brings you to the beautiful To Mo Valley and your camp for the second night.

Day 3: To Mo - Song Oxalis Cave - Hung Ton - Tu Lan Lodge

After breakfast, a challenging steep hill will lead you to Hang Song Oxalis. This cave has an amazing display of cave coral. Take your time and appreciate this cave. Descend the steep hill for snacks and tea or coffee. Cross To Mo Valley to enter Hung Ton Cave next to the small waterfall. Swim along to the dry passage, where you will climb a metal ladder with the extra protection of a safety line. Follow the dry passage to the exit. From here the route follows the same way as the first morning: cross the flat valley, climb a short hill, cross the river and buffalo fields to the office. Back at the Tan Hoa office, check in at Tu Lan Lodge to take a shower and relax.

At 18:00, you will go to the porters' house for a delicious dinner, learn about the local culture and living conditions before returning to Tu Lan Lodge.

Day 4: Departure

In the early morning, you can enjoy remarkable scenery, rustic villages with beautiful local people in Tan Hoa on foot or by bike. Then enjoy breakfast at Tu Lan Lodge. The check-out time of the hotel will be 12:00 PM. Please let us know in advance if you would like additional night(s) at the hotel and we can reserve that for you.

If you are interested in other trekking or sightseeing activities in the Phong Nha - Ke Bang area, don't forget to contact our reception for consultation and reservation.

The group will be provided with up to 2 vehicles for transport from Tan Hoa - Dong Hoi. Please contact our adventure consultant and inform your tour guide of your departure time the night before to arrange a transfer. We wish you all the best in your onward travels!

Adventure Level

Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer
Adventure Level 3 · Moderate

Requires: Regular physical activities or sports
Expect: Rocky terrain, steep hills, long trek or multiple swims

  • Moderate trekking
  • 14km of trekking including 4km of caving
  • 435m elevation gain
  • 1km swimming (50-200m)
  • There will be some rocky terrain, long and steep hills, underground swims and river crossings and a 15m 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 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.
    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.

  • 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.
    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.
    • You will enjoy a 10% discount for room at Chay Lap Farmstay.
    • Discount for room bookings at Son Doong Bungalow at just VND 800,000/night (valid until 31/12/2022). Applicable to all guests booking tours with Oxalis Adventure 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, Hang Tien and Hang Va tours, guests prepare their own medium-sized backpacks (type 15-25L) when participating in Hang En and Son Doong.
    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.

  • How can I protect my electronic devices when crossing rivers, or swimming through the caves?

    All electronic devices will be collected and stored in a dry box (25cm high, 15cm diameter) by our tour guide before swimming. Please bring your own dry-box or dry-bag if you have really big cameras, just to make sure! Also, please note that you will carry the camera by yourself if you have a professional and big camera, the same for its tripod.

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

  • 1 night stay at Tu Lan Lodge after the tour
  • Transport from Tan Hoa - Dong Hoi (maximum 2 vehicles/tour)
  • Camping gear: tent, camp light, sleeping bag, mattresses, pillow
  • Caving & safety gear: caving helmet, caving headlight, gloves
  • Light PVC backpack (if you do not want to take your own, as it will get wet)
  • Meals: Picnic lunch, Dinner (Day 1 & 2 & 3); Breakfast (Day 2, 3 & 4)
  • Basic canvas trekking boots (only if you do not have your own pair) sizes 36 – 46
  • 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 (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

Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer in 2023 will add:

  • 1 night stay at Tu Lan Lodge after the tour
  • Dinner at porter's house
  • Transport from Tan Hoa - Dong Hoi (maximum 2 vehicles/tour)

YOU WILL NEED TO BRING

  • 2 long (easy to dry) pants and 2 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (quick dry)
  • 1-2 pair of short and t-shirt to wear at campsite and swim suit
  • 1 pair of good-gripping and non-waterproof trekking boots/shoes (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, underwears, toiletries

Pricing and availability

Please choose your departure date using the calendar below.

  • The days in bold below are available (Day 1 in the itinerary).
  • This tour is operated from mid-Nov to mid-Sep next year (closed from mid-Sep to mid-Nov).
  • This tour price includes: VAT, environmental service fee, entrance fees, travel insurance cost.
  • 10% off for Xiều (returned customer).
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