The world overwhelmed by Vietnam’s Son Doong Cave
In the spring of this year, the Oxalis Adventure Team was very honoured to be contacted by Ms. Maria, Production Manager from Good Morning America, who was writing on behalf American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and Good Morning America (GMA) to express their interest in doing a live broadcast from Son Doong. ABC is a global media corporation, with tens of millions of viewers. “Good Morning America” has been on air for 40 years and is currently the top-watched TV program in the morning in the US.
The ABC team were impressed about the video of Son Doong which went viral in January 2015, and was filmed by Ryan Deboodt (http://blog.ryandeboodt.com).
ABC let Oxalis know that they were hoping to shoot a Good Morning America special on “hidden worlds” for May 2015. To ensure a smooth operation our teams worked together to organize an inspection trip for the GMA crew members from 18 – 24 April 2015. The entire Oxalis team was very excited about this opportunity and proud that they had chosen Oxalis to provide all the logistic services.
The inspection was ruled a success, and the GMA team returned from the jungle with a thrill in their heart and much enthusiasm to bring this wonder of the world to light in a live broadcast. The GMA team presented their ideas of the untouched Son Doong & Hang En Caves to the ABC Board of Directors and it was accepted immediately. Everyone was keen to know more about this pristine underground world, tucked away within the jungle of Vietnam.
The Oxalis team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to further review logistics and how to make this epic broadcast a “once in the lifetime expedition”. On 6 May 2015, the whole Good Morning America team of 12, including host Ginger Zee, came to Vietnam to begin their preparations. Ginger Zee went to Ha Long Bay by sea plane on May 7 to film while the technical team proceeded down to the “Cave Kingdom” to start preparation. It was decided that the majority of the live broadcast would take place in Hang En Cave. Ginger and her team went to Son Doong to film while the technical team camped out in Hang En for the entire week to prepare for the live broadcast!
It took a combined effort of many people to pull off the broadcast. Oxalis organized 10 helicopter flights from Phong Nha to near the entrance of Hang En to bring filming equipment, the crew, and even the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam to be interviewed in the cave as a special guest. Oxalis provided 150 porters (hailing from both the Son Doong and Hang En team) to carry 4 tons of equipment to Hang En for the live broadcast. There were also no less than 20 operators who helped arrange logistics for the trip. It was quite the undertaking, and it surely paid off for the public to be able to get a never-before-seen glimpse into these caves, complete with live drone footage.
The live broadcast took place at Hang En base-camp from 6 – 8 pm (Vietnam time) on 13 May 2015. It was the first time ABC had broadcasted live from a cave. The crew had one of the most wonderful experiences of their life. The two-hour show featured wondrous drone camera shots of the two grottos, as well as fairytale-like landscapes outside the caves. Another of its highlights was the crew’s activities including cooking, erecting tents, enjoying meals and building campfires inside the two caves.
Just hours after the broadcast, ABC News’s Facebook page received nearly 10,000 “Likes” and hundreds of comments. “Paradise on earth”, “amazing”, “awesome”, “breathtaking” … were the general comments of the American audience after the show, including many celebrities.
Since Good Morning America has broadcasted our cave gems, Oxalis has seen an even greater interest from Americans and international adventure enthusiasts. With 6 million live viewers and nearly 27 million online viewers, it’s incredible that the world has been able to share in the joy we at Oxalis have for these amazing wonders of the world.
Below is just a piece of the LIVE show:
The technical team from DJI did a great job in capturing amazing video footage of the cave and the event. You might wonder how they managed to do all that logistically, technologically and artistically. Check out the video below:
If you would like to film at similar locations as seen on ABC News – Good Morning America, it will be our pleasure to assist you on an incredible journey to these amazing wonders of the world.
Apart from Hang En Cave Adventure tour (2D1N) and Son Doong Expedition tour (5D4N), Vietnam still has many more scenic spots and surprises in store for the adventure traveler. We offer a wide range of unique Expedition Tours, Adventure Tours and Special Tours incl. Team Building Tours upto 400 pax.
Our mission is to create a world-class adventure tourism business in Quang Binh province by providing professional services of the highest quality, while also supporting the local community both indirectly through increasing tourism of the whole province and directly through stable employment opportunities.
Safety is our number one priority, as evidenced by the way we run our tours, the way our guides are trained, and the extent to which we put safety first in all matters.
We look forward to welcoming you to the wild jungle and caves of Vietnam!
Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us by email at [email protected]
Follow our Facebook page and stay tuned for more amazing news from the Cave Kingdom of Vietnam.
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-Day: Our 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 Day: This 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 Day: This 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 Days: Our 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 Days: For 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 Days: A 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 Days: A 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).
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 Days: This 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 Days: This 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 Days: You 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 Days: By 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.