Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer

This adventure tour offers the perfect balance between trekking, caving, climbing, squeezing and swimming, combined with enough time to enjoy two spectacular campsites over three-days and two-nights!

Our three-day trekking and caving adventure includes the very best wild caves of the region including Rat Cave, Kim Cave, Secret Cave, Ken Cave, Hung Ton Cave & Tu Lan Cave!

It is a more in challenging experience compared to our Tu Lan Cave Encounter (2 days), as you’ll see more of the caves and go much further into the jungle!

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime and one of the most talked about adventure experiences in Vietnam!

Videos about this tour: link 1 | link 2 | link 3 | link 4

Tu Lan Cave System on the news:  Theglobeandmail | Nomadasaurus 

Reviews on TripAdvisor: SR 1SR 2SR 3 | SR 4 | SR5

 

Download Itinerary (PDF)

Itinerary

Download Itinerary (PDF)

Quick Facts

  • Operating: mid-November to mid-September

  • Duration: 3 days/2 nights

  • Adventure Level: Moderate (18 km) for physically active guests (swimming is necessary)

  • Availability: Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday

  • Small Group Tours: 8 - 12 pax (minimum 2 pax)

  • Minimum Age: 16 years old

  • Tour Starts: 7:30 am - 8:00 am from any local hotel in Phong Nha

  • Tour Ends: 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm at any local hotel in Phong Nha

  • Price: VND 8,000,000/pax (price inclusive of VAT & environment/entrance fees)

Phong Nha - Tan Hoa - Rat Cave - Tu Lan

You will be picked up in Phong Nha between 7:30 am and 8:00 am at your hotel and driven to the little village of Tan Hoa for your initial safety briefing. Please be noted that Release Form needs to be signed before you are getting to the jungle.

You’ll then set off across sweeping fields for 2.5 km to the Rao Nan River, making your way up to the short hill into Rat Cave.

Explore 300m in Rat Cave with spectacular calcite stalagmites, then make your way back out for a picnic lunch served next to the river in La Ken Valley.

You’ll then climb 150 m increasing in elevation up Lom Com Mountain.  Keep going through Flat Rock Peak and make your way to Mango Peak on Mango Mountain. After a quick break, the trek continues down into Tu Lan Valley (2 km).

You’ll finish your afternoon on a more relaxed note with swimming around the waterfall, followed by a BBQ dinner, and singing around the campfire until sleep overcomes you.

 

MORE PHOTO

Ken Cave – Tu Lan – Hang Kim – To Mo

The morning arrives with another full day of adventure. Shortly following breakfast comes a swim directly into Ken Cave.

After exploring this longest cave in Tu Lan Cave System, you will return back to camp for more waterfall swimming, a rest, and picnic lunch.

Post-lunch, it’s a 200 m swim into Tu Lan Cave, followed by a 1.5 km trek to Hang Kim where swimming (450 m) and exploration (500 m) continues before adventuring 500 m on through To Mo Valley to the To Mo Cave campsite.

Enjoy another beautifully prepared dinner, and camping within graceful To Mo Valley.

To Mo - Hung Ton - Secret Cave - Tan Hoa - Phong Nha

The last day continues to exude less adventure and balance between trekking and swimming, and then a morning swim 100 m upstream past the waterfall and through Hung Ton Cave via what is usually the exit of the cave.

Investigation of the dry passage leads to a 15 m ladder climb up to the entrance of Hung Ton.

After trekking across Hung Ton Valley, you will squeeze your way in to Secret Cave and discover the most untouched cave in Tu Lan Cave System.

Early afternoon holds the return trip across Rao Nan River, the beautiful fields, and back to Tan Hoa (2.5 km), where a cold drink will be calling your name.

Showers are available for those who would like to clean up and change. The tour returns to Phong Nha by 5:30 pm.

Oxalis Adventure Levels

Image Map

Nuoc Nut Cave

Most of people can do this cave as long they can walk on flat trails (partly rocky) for about 30-60 minutes each way.

Please chat with us or send us a message if you have any questions.

Tu Lan Cave Encounter

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease.

  • 12km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • Elevation change up to 150m (between valley and top of mountain)
  • 1 km swimming in caves (from 200m - 500m each cave)
  • 3 km caving
  • 2 days and 1 night in jungle and caves
  • Requirements:
    • Basic trekking experience
    • Must be able to swim
      Note: Be prepared for your shoes to get very wet due to many river crossings!

Tu Lan 1-day Experience

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease:

  • 9km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • Elevation change up to 150m (between valley and top of mountain)
  • 50m swimming in caves
  • 1 km caving
  • Requirements:
    • Basic trekking experience
    • Must be able to swim
      Note: Be prepared for your shoes to get very wet due to many river crossings!

Oxalis Adventure Tours staff (cave expert or guide) reserves the right to decline, accept or retain any person as a member of any party at any time without compensation or refund due to safety issue.

Please check Frequently Asked Questions or chat with us if you have any questions.

Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease.

  • 17km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • Elevation change up to 150m (between valley and top of mountain)
  • 1 km swimming in caves (from 200m – 500m each cave)
  • 4 km caving
  • 3 days and 2 nights in jungle and caves
  • Requirements:
    • Basic trekking experience
    • Must be able to swim

Hang En Adventure Cave Camp

Hang En Adventure Cave Camp is easy-to-moderate for anyone who considers themselves physically fit and who participates in regular outdoor activities, and moderate-to-hard for anyone with limited trekking experience.  Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease before taking part in the tour.

  • 22 km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • Multiple river crossings: 30 times (knee deep, 10 – 50 m wide river)
  • Elevation change up to 400 m (between road and valleys)
  • 4 km caving
  • 2 days and 1 night in jungle and caves

Hang Tien 1-day Discovery

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease:

  • 4 km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • 4 km caving
  • Requirements:
    • Basic trekking experience

Oxalis Adventure Tours staff (cave expert or guide) reserves the right to decline, accept or retain any person as a member of any party at any time without compensation or refund due to safety issue.

Please check Frequently Asked Questions or chat with us if you have any questions.

Hang Tien Endeavor 

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease.

  • 13 km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • River crossings
  • 5.5 km caving
  • 2 days and 1 night camping in the jungle
  • Requirements:
    Basic trekking experience
    Note: Be prepared for your shoes to get very wet due to river crossings!

Hang Va Expedition

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease.

  • 10km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • 3km caving in river caves (cold water, 17 degree Celcius, waist deep)
  • Elevation gain is 150m (between road and mountain top)
  • 20m traverse using rope and harness
  • 2 days and 1 night in jungle and caves
    Note: Be prepared for your shoes to get very wet due to many river crossings!

Hang Tien Exploration

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease.

  • 22 km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • 6.5 km caving
  • Elevation change up to 150 m (between valley and top of mountain)
  • 3 days and 2 nights in jungle and caves
  • Requirements:
    Basic trekking experience
    Note: Be prepared for your shoes to get very wet due to river crossings!

Oxalis Adventure Tours staff (cave expert or guide) reserves the right to decline, accept or retain any person as a member of any party at any time without compensation or refund due to safety issue.

Please check Frequently Asked Questions or chat with us if you have any questions.

Tu Lan Expedition

The Tu Lan Expedition is moderate-to-hard for anyone who considers themselves physically fit and who participates in regular outdoor activities, and not suitable for those without trekking experience. Please make sure that you have basic trekking experience, you are able to swim and your health is suitable for these activities with ease.

  • About 30 km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
  • About 5 km caving
  • About 800 m swimming in caves (from 100 m – 300 m each cave)
  • Elevation change up to 300 m (between valley and top of mountain – total of 1750m of ascent)
  • 1 abseil in a cave (in the dark)
  • 4 days and 3 nights in jungle and caves

Oxalis Adventure Tours staff  reserves the right to decline, accept or retain any person as a member of any party at any time without compensation or refund due to safety issue.

Please check Frequently Asked Questions or chat with us if you have any questions.

Son Doong Expedition

Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease.

  • 25 km jungle and mountain trekking
  • Elevation change up to 400m (between road and valleys)
  • Surface river crossing: 40 times (knee deep, 10-50m wide river)
  • 7 km caving including rope climbs, rocky terrain and scrambling (including 90m ascent of the Great Wall of Vietnam)
  • Underground river-strong current crossing
  • Requirements:
    • Regular running, trekking, caving or rock climbing (at least once per month). Other outdoor pursuits may be considered
    • Strong legs and good balance
    • Previous multi-day treks
    • General good health and fitness
      Note: Be prepared for your shoes to get very wet due to many river crossings!

Oxalis Adventure Tours staff (cave expert or guide) reserves the right to decline, accept or retain any person as a member of any party at any time without compensation or refund due to safety issue. This tour is not for those with limited outdoor/trekking experience, poor medical condition, nor is it for children or expectant mothers.

Please check Frequently Asked Questions or chat with us if you have any questions.

We Will Provide

  • Camping gear: tent, camp light, sleeping bag, pillow, mattresses
  • 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, 2 & 3), breakfast (days 2 & 3), dinner (day 1 & 2)
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide and guide safety assistant
  • Porter team to carry all camping gear and prepare all meals
  • Shared dry box for phones and small cameras (20cm x 15cm or 22cm x 20cm and limited availability for larger cameras)
  • Water filter and purifier (used only by guide and porters), and water bottle
  • 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

  • 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

Our Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer is available with weekly departures on Monday, Wednesday & Friday, on a join-in basis (minimum 2pax). It is advised to book in advance as this is a popular tour and the number of guest is limited.

This tour is operated from mid-November to mid-September (closed from mid-September to mid-November).

FAQ: Wild Tu Lan Explorer

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.

Which months of the year do you run this tour, and which are the best months to go?

If you enjoy swimming and warm weather, please book the tour from May to August. If you are looking for a warm campfire at night, and cooler weather, you can book the tour between November to April.

Note: Due to safety reasons, there is no swimming in the caves if the temperature is below 18 degrees Celsius.

Can I arrive in Phong Nha on the morning of the tour and depart Phong Nha directly after the tour?

This tour starts with pickup between 7:30 – 8:00 am in Phong Nha and returns around 5:00 – 5:30 pm the finishing day’s afternoon. You would be able to arrive on the tour morning by night bus from Hanoi or by train from many destinations. You would be able to depart by night bus to Hanoi or by train heading either north or south. Please be advised that there are neither early morning flights nor late evening flights which would accommodate arriving on tour morning or departing directly after the tour; only buses and trains are available at these times.

Do I need to know how to swim to do this tour?

Yes, you do. You have to swim on this tour. There will be swimming sections of approximately 100 m – 500 m throughout the tour. Life jackets will be provided by Oxalis and are mandatory regardless of your swimming ability.

Can I bring my camera on this tour? Is there any chance it will get wet?

Yes, you can. We can provide a quality drybox that you can keep your camera dry, However Oxalis does not responsible for your camera. Most cameras can fit into the drybox which the tour guide will carry with him/her. If you have a large camera or long lens, please notify us in advance, as it may not fit into the drybox and you’ll need to make other arrangements for keeping it dry.

Will I visit Son Doong Cave on this tour?

No, this tour does not include Son Doong Cave because it ventures to the Tu Lan cave system located 70 km from Son Doong Cave.

How far in advance do I need to book this tour? How will I know my tour is confirmed?

We recommend booking this tour as soon as you can, as it’s one of our most popular tours. After you make a booking, a member of our team will follow up within 48 hours with your invoice, payment link, and further tour information.

How can I pay? Can I pay via credit card? What is your cancellation policy?

You can pay via credit card through the online payment link we will provide you with. We use the online payment platform OnePay which accepts Visa and Mastercard. If you live in Vietnam, you have other option to make a bank transfer.

Our cancellation policy for this tour requires a 7 day advance notice: if we receive your cancellation 7 days or more in advance of your tour, we will provide you a full refund. We do not provide refunds for tours cancelled less than 7 days prior to tour departure.

What can I do with the things that I don’t want to bring with me on tour? Can I leave them at your office?

You are welcome to leave behind extra luggage at our office. Anything you choose to leave behind will get tagged and placed securely in our locked storage room, however please note that Oxalis takes no responsibility for luggage or valuables left behind. Please do not bring anything of major value with you as we will not be responsible for these items.

How big are the caves? What if I’m claustrophobic?

The caves will all leave you in awe at their size. The size of each cave varies quite dramatically but in most passages, you will find ample room all around you and above your head. You should not have any problem in these caves except Secret Cave because it has a part in which you’ll need to squeeze through and the ceiling will be very low above your head. In addition, please make sure that you are fine when visiting dark caves (we will provide you with a headlamp).

What are the highlights of this tour?

This tour not only leads you to visit all the caves in Tu Lan Cave System, but also give you a solid amount of time to challenge and enjoy yourselves in the jungle in different ways. Thanks to its swimming parts and cool atmosphere, Wild Tu Lan Explorer is by far the most favorite tour in the hot summer here. You will have the chance to explore further and see more caves, waterfalls and jungle in Tu Lan valley.

How can I get to Phong Nha?

Please check the Arrival & Departure Guide on our website for more information

Where can I stay in Phong Nha?

Please check the Accommodation Guide on our website for more information

For more questions and answers, please visit our full FAQ page. We have collected lots of common questions that you might share with our previous customers.

If you still have questions about this tour, please contact our local travel specialists who will be happy to answer all your questions