From its beginning as a small deprived town, Phong Nha, is now developing into a well-known attraction on the world’s tourism map. One of the pioneers in the field, leading to this success, is a local tour operator named OXALIS.
Founded in June 2011, with the license of the General Administration of Tourism, Oxalis Adventure Tours is headquartered in Son Trach Commune. This is a buffer zone area of the World Natural Heritage of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province.
Besides 170 full time, professional staff; including cave experts from the British Cave Research Association (BCRA), the company regularly recruits 350 local people to do part-time work as porters, road guides, cooks and other tour-related jobs. They are all tremendously valuable assets to our company. You cannot fail to be impressed if you meet any one of them.
H’Anetta is one of our special staff members. Originally from Gia Lai, a province in the central highlands of Vietnam, H’Anetta chose to travel, and further her career and life adventure here, with us at Oxalis.
H’Anetta inspires people with her stories about the challenges she has faced, whilst following her dreams.
“I used to dream of being a lawyer, an English teacher or a tour guide” – H’Anetta replies when questioned about her childhood dreams. Although H’Anetta grew up in an agricultural background, the little girl always imagined herself somewhere else, somewhere different.
This is a strong little girl, who refused to stay in one place. This meant she traveled far away from home, finishing college in Hue City, 500km from her hometown. Next, she chose to give up on her teaching career, to take that extra step, and journey another 200km to Phong Nha, Quang Binh.
“I love doing things that are helpful and inspiring. I began working as an English teacher right after I graduated from college, but after a year, I felt the job was not what I truly wanted, not enough”.
H’Anetta started her Oxalis journey officially in November 2014, and it did not take long for her to realize what a wonderful life-choice she had made.
“I love adventure, I’ve been looking for an adventurous job, a new challenging chapter of my life, something that motivates me every single day, and Oxalis is the one”. H’Anetta has successfully overcome many of her earlier difficulties. She has proved herself, and now holds a senior guide position.
Impressed customers left beautiful words about her:
“Anetta, our guide, was awesome! Friendly and funny.” (Ashley, New York)
“Our guide Anetta was very safe, had great authority, a secure leader always making sure everybody in the group was doing alright, a very good pathfinder and experienced guide with great knowledge about the jungle, caves etc. Her English was very good.” (Louise , Sweden)
“The tour guide Anetta was extremely knowledgeable and friendly” (Malica, China)
“Born in the highlands meant that I saw little of the sea, and my chances to swim were few. However, this did not stop me from becoming an adventure tour guide. I work hard; learn quickly and I believe this is what I want to do” – said H’Anetta.
Talking about the most wonderful thing she has ever experienced, “I travelled a long way to find myself. From the moment I saw the great gifts of Mother Nature, I realized I had been given an opportunity to motivate and inspire others. This confirms to me that I am totally in the right job”. The great achievements of H’Anetta today are a tribute to her endless efforts.
This is also a reminder that everyone has the right to chase their dreams; despite distance, abilities,wealth, or even when everyone else thought you would not make it.
You just have to reach out for it, and allow it to bloom.
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.