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Oxalis Adventure starts free swimming classes for the local children

Oxalis and local community – A special bond

Contributing to a greater cause and helping is probably the greatest joy in the world. With determination through the years and customers’ undying support, Oxalis Adventure has certainly changed the face of the local community by leaps and bounds.

Beside safety and conservation, ‘Community involvement and empowerment’ is our top priority. By having community as such an integral part of the operating strategy over the years, Oxalis has improved the standard of living of the locals and involved them by generating widespread employment. With challenges faced by the locals and in an attempt to minimize them, the Oxalis Foundation came into being. The Oxalis Foundation founded by Oxalis Adventure aims to bring bright shades of development to the local community through improved infrastructure, skill building and prominently making way for a better tomorrow.

Every year Oxalis Adventure contributes up to 100,000USD from it profits for the Oxalis Foundation activities within Quang Binh province. Phong Nha Ke Bang buffer zone and Tan Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district is considered as one of the poorest areas in the province; with the supports from the Oxalis Foundation, friends and customers will help improving living conditions for local people.

The Oxalis Foundation focus on some particular areas such as building floating houses for the poor people in Tan Hoa village (58 houses are built until now); building schools at minority villages; providing annual scholarships for poor children; helping installing clean water systems for remote villages and so much more. The projects of 2019 keep including scholarships, septic toilets, floating house and community activities. One of them is commencing free swimming classes for the children of the local community.

Swimming classes for local children

The regions of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and Tan Hoa Commune, Minh Hoa district of Quang Binh province face intense rainfall from the month of September to early November every year and extreme weather might be expected during this time especially flooding.

With a continual aim to empower the local youth with academic, life and physical skills, Oxalis has supported the commencement of free swimming classes for the local children. We understand that swimming is a basic and important survival skill, especially in the local region and through these classes, the accidents and unfortunate incidents while they’re out having fun at the rivers or unexpected situations during the rainy season would be highly minimized! 

Here are the details of the final plan for the swimming classes, as chalked out by Oxalis and the local government authorities:

For Tan Hoa Commune, Minh Hoa District

Number of teachers: 4

Number of students: 110 (22 students/group)

Age group: 10 to 15 years old

Duration of each group’s class: 45 minutes

Duration of the full program: 18 Days (6 days a week – off on Sundays)

Location for the classes: Rao Nan River

Date of commencement: 11. 06. 2019

Note: The days are subject to change depending on the water level and weather conditions!

For Phong Nha Commune, Bo Trach District

Number of teachers: 4

Number of students: 120 (20 students/group)

Age group: 9 to 15 years old

Duration of each group’s class: 45 minutes

Duration of the full program: 18 Days (6 days a week – off on Sundays)

Location for the classes: Son River

Date of commencement: 12. 06. 2019

Note: The days are subject to change depending on the water level and weather conditions!

Learning and fun

When the organizers from the local governments reached out to Oxalis with the idea, we quickly jumped into action to make it come true. We recognized that these are the kind of things we wish to continue pursuing as part of our strategy for collective growth and so Oxalis Adventure supported the program by hiring eight local men, who are certified swimming experts, to teach enthusiastic children the art of swimming.

Early in the mornings of 11th June 2019 and 12th June 2019, hundreds of local kids showed up at a section of the Rao Nan River in Tan Hoa and a section of the Son River that is right at the Oxalis Home beach in Phong Nha. At the river banks, their would-be swimming teachers, members of the organizing committees and Oxalis staff greeted them and marked the inauguration of the free swimming classes that filled local parents with joy and children with excitement.

The teachers reached the area much in advance and set up a small perimeter in the rivers that could be seen afloat, as it was made of floating ropes and tubes. The idea is to keep the children within the floating perimeter to keep them safe during training in the shallow water and where the current isn’t strong.

The classes begin with some warm up exercises and stretching, followed by some basic instructions by the teachers. The equipment brought by the teachers primarily included swimming aids like foam noodle water floats and foam kickboards, based on the age bracket of the students. Main goals for the early days of the program is to make children more confident in the water, which will eventually be followed by learning how to hold breath under water, being able to float and finally swimming. The way the teachers professionally handle such a training program will surely build discipline among the young boys and girls and will help them learn faster and more effectively.

The widespread happiness could be seen in the children’s eyes through their innocent laughter as they locked eyes with their buddies and splashed around like never before. This swimming program for the local children is sure to go a long way in terms of personality and skill development for them and will certainly make them more capable in suitable situations.

The Oxalis Foundation – Together we can!

If you have ever wondered how you can help the local community, the Oxalis Foundation is surely one of the answers. Oxalis Adventure has vowed to contribute VND 3 billion (USD 135,000) to the Oxalis Foundation to support the following projects in Quang Binh Province in 2019, worth a total of VND 3.9 billion (USD 175,000):

  • 1000 scholarships for local children (VND 1,000,000 each)
  • 200 septic toilets throughout various local villages (VND 10,000,000 each)
  • 30 floating houses for protection against floods (VND 30,000,000 each)

The remaining amount of VND 900,000,000 can be acquired with your help.  All the funds collected through the sale of affordable tour related merchandise (t-shirts, trekking pants etc.) are transferred entirely and directly to the Oxalis Foundation. We at Oxalis are doing our absolute best and feel delighted to see you do your bit to help in the development of the local community. Just know that even by purchasing a t-shirt, you are changing hundreds of lives.

Oxalis Adventure Tours

ONE DAY TOURS

If you are seeking a taste of the caves and really don’t have enough time then we recommend a one-day cave and jungle trek. We currently have three tour options for you to select, each with a slightly different style and suitability.

• Phong Nha National Park 1-DayOur family adventure in the Phong Nha offers a great taste of untouched jungle and impressive wild caves. It is the easiest level of adventure but there is still 5km of trekking and 2km of caving, and optional swimming during warmer weather into one cave. It’s suitable for kids from 12 and above with good fitness, and so this makes for a great day for everyone! It costs VND 1,650,000 per person (USD 72).

• Tu Lan Experience – 1 DayThis is one of our original one-day tours and still one of the best adventures in Vietnam. This one-day tour includes rock scrambling, 50m swimming through a wild river-cave, and up to 9 km of trekking through the lush jungles. You will also strap yourself in for a 15m descent down a ladder. It costs VND 1,800,000 (USD 78) per person.

• Hang Tien Discovery – 1 DayThis one-day tour is perfect for trekking enthusiasts eager to see the largest cave of Tu Lan but without time for the two-day experience. Hang Tien is a dry cave so no swimming required, but still includes up to 4km of trekking through mostly flat jungle and about 500m exploring this incredible cave that will no doubt impress with its grandeur. It costs VND 2,000,000 per person (USD 87).

TWO DAY TOURS

Our most popular cave adventures start from two-days providing an immersive jungle and caving adventure, each targeting a slightly different kind of adventure-seeker, or perfect for those who want to combine a couple of tours to see different caves and areas on one trip to Phong Nha.

• Tu Lan Cave Encounter – 2 DaysOur most popular tour exploring the famous jungle area of Tu Lan. On this overnight camping excursion, you will trek through a number of different dry caves, swim up to 500m through a couple of river caves, witness outstanding cascading waterfalls underground as featured in National Geographic, and spend the night at our jungle camp beside a gorgeous waterfall. It includes 12km of trekking and 3km of caving in total and is for those with a good adventurous spirit. It costs VND 5,500,000 per person (USD 239).

• Hang En Cave Adventure – 2 DaysFor two days, this is our best-value-for-money tour that includes one of the most jaw-dropping natural landscapes you will see in this lifetime. This cave is considered the second largest cave in Vietnam and third largest in the World, and it also makes up one night of the original five-day Son Doong Cave Expedition being so close to the largest cave in the world. It includes visiting Ban Doong Ethnic Village, located in the jungle, and a magnificent campsite on a sandy beach inside the cave. It includes 22km of jungle trekking at times quite rocky, multiple knee-deep river crossings, and elevation change of 400m (the ‘hill’ you won’t forget), and 4km of caving. This is a level 3 adventure on a scale of 1 to 6. It costs VND 7,600,000 per person (USD 330).

• Hang Tien Endeavor – 2 DaysA two-day trek into the jungle to see the largest dry cave of the Tu Lan area, exploring 5.5km of this truly stunning cave, with a variety of karst formations. This 13km trek is suitable for those not too keen on cave swimming or too many hills, but still up for an adventure. This is a level 4 adventure between 1 and 6, with 6 being the most challenging. It costs VND 6,500,000 per person (USD 283).

• Hang Va Expedition – 2 DaysA technically challenging, but equally rewarding two-day caving adventure in the heart of Phong Nha National Park. This tour takes you deep into the jungle to one of the most spectacular river-caves, with formations not seen anywhere else in the world! It involves rock scrambling, wading through an underground river, bouldering and rope-traversing within the cave, to reach the rarest tower cone formations. This involves quite a lot of technical work due to safety, but is not overly difficult, it includes 10km of trekking and 3 km of caving.  This is a level 4 adventure, with 6 being the highest. It costs VND 8,000,000 per person (USD 348).

THREE-DAY TOURS

Now, if you really want to increase the adventure and soak up the wild jungle of Vietnam, with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the area, we highly recommend a three-day caving tour of our Tu Lan or Hang Tien.

• Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer – 3 DaysThis tour incorporates the very best of Tu Lan with two different jungle campsites besides stunning waterfalls, 3km of cave exploring through a number of caves, 1km of cave swimming and visiting some additional areas not included on our shorter experiences. Our three-day tour is very popular and tends to be booked out so get in quick to enjoy this thrilling jungle adventure. It includes 17 km of jungle trekking and with quite a bit of swimming you will need to have a good level of fitness. It is not for the faint-hearted, but still only considered level 3 adventure level compared to level 4 of the Hang Tien 3-day tour. It costs VND 8,000,000 per person (USD 348).

• Hang Tien Exploration – 3 DaysThis three-day tour stands out for combining a taste of Tu Lan with some river cave swimming, before crossing a mountain range to reach the valley for Hang Tien – the most astounding dry caves in the region, where you will enjoy trekking, bouldering over various rocky terrains to witnessing breathtaking patterned calcite walls & ceilings of Hang Tien. It’s challenging and definitely more suited to adventure enthusiasts who have trekking experience and prefer more challenging routes. It includes a total of 22km of trekking, 6.5 km of caving and an elevation change of 150m over one particular hillside. You will get wet, you will be challenged, but you will not be disappointed. Hang Tien is located adjacent to the Tu Lan area so you will enjoy the best of both worlds – a level 4 adventure out of 6 adventure levels. It costs VND 8,500,000 per person (USD 370).

FOUR & FIVE-DAY TOURS

For those looking for the ultimate adventure experience in Vietnam, and thriving for the real grand expedition of the world, you should opt for these 4-day journeys to explore the entire cave system of Tu Lan and the largest cave on Earth

• Tu Lan Expedition – 4 DaysYou will also explore all of the extraordinary caves in Tu Lan, including Kim Cave and Secret Cave that boasts phenomenal natural falls and karst formations inside these two unbelievable river caves. Complete a trek through Hang Tien Cave – famed for its vastness and magnificent formations. Our secluded jungle campsites are spectacular and mostly different from those visited on our shorter treks in the same region. This is a perfect alternative expedition for those who are unable to do Son Doong Expedition, still it’s challenging and not recommended for those without experience. It includes an additional night at Chay Lap Farmstay before the tour to ensure you are well rested and ready to depart early the following day. Level 5 on our 6 adventure levels. It includes 30km of jungle trekking, 5 km of caving, about 800m swimming through caves and one abseil in a cave in the pitch black – highly adventurous! It costs VND 15,000,000 per person (USD 652).

• Son Doong Expedition – 4 DaysBy now you would have seen some pictures of Son Doong Cave, and even they don’t do it justice. The record-breaking Son Doong Cave is hands-down one of the most stunning places on this planet Earth. The expedition is tough, but not too difficult so long as you have a strong resolve to achieve. It is surely one of the newest wonders of the world. Son Doong is not just another cave tour – it is life-changing to say the least. It includes 25km of trekking, 9 km caving including rope climbs, and the 90m ascent of the Great Wall of Vietnam using a ladder, elevation change of 400m and many river crossings inside and outside the cave. Level 6 on our adventure levels. It costs VND 69,800,000 per person (USD 3000).

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?  Visit our FAQs section where we have a lot of answers for your questions and concerns. https://oxalis.com.vn/faq-general/

WANT TO SEE VIDEOS OF OUR TOURS? Visit our youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/OxalisAdventurTours

WANT TO CHAT LIVE WITH OUR ADVENTURE CONSULTANT? Please look at the green icon at the right corner on your screen below to talk to our Adventure Consultant.