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Hang Tien hike: Exhilarating terrain and gigantic caves!

When was the last time you had an experience that redefined your idea of adventure?

Vietnam is a culturally charming, technologically impressive and naturally blessed country that’s ideal for those looking to have a holistic travel experience that expands your horizons in terms of culture, sightseeing, exploration and of course unlimited adventure opportunities! People from around the world travel to Vietnam and experience some incredible naturally occurring phenomena, top-class caving destination, bouldering, canyoning and also get to explore some of the World’s biggest and most magnificent underground caves.

Trekking in Vietnam is one of the most exciting things to do in all of Asia, as the terrain you face here is one of a kind and brings out the true adventurer in you; jungle hiking in Vietnam will have you go over sharp limestone rocks, slippery surfaces, pebbles, mud, moss, sand and even rivers where you slide, crawl, climb, wade and more! Vietnam has a firmly anchored reputation and position as one of the top-class adventure destinations around the world, particularly for being home to the extraordinary Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in its Quang Binh province.

About Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

The Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Binh province of central Vietnam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is popularly known as the ‘Adventure Capital of Asia’, making it one of the top-class adventure destinations in the world. This land is one of the best places in Vietnam and hosts  the mightiest, biggest and most unbelievable caves on our planet, with the most recognized ones being the world’s biggest cave – Hang Son Doong; the third largest cave in the world – Hang En; the cave with the rarest cave formations ever seen – Hang Va; one of the most marvelous and extraordinarily mysterious cave systems in the world – Tu Lan Cave System and other magnificent tourist caves like the Phong Nha cave, Paradise Cave and Dark Cave; this top-class caving destination is rightfully called the “Cave Kingdom”!

The gigantic Tu Lan Cave System is also home to Hang Tien, a cave that will blow your mind with its seemingly extraterrestrial formations and challenging trekking trails.

Inside Hang Tien 1(Ryan Deboodt)

Photo: Ryan Deboodt

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Formations in Hang Tien 2 Cave (Ryan Deboodt)

Photo: Ryan Deboodt

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Hang Tien – Interesting Facts

Based in the Cao Quang commune that is about 70 km away from Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Hang Tien is the biggest dry cave in the Tu Lan Cave System. The enormity of this cave can be understood by the fact that Hang Tien 2 itself is more than 2500 m long and has a depth of about 94m. During the summer, Hang Tien is a dry cave but when the rainy season arrives, all the water basins in the area gather into this place, creating a large river flowing in the cave. When the water recedes, the beautiful natural jade lakes in the cave will be formed and also create fabulous karst formations that are incredibly unique. The infiltrating water from outside the limestone mountains drips down to the cave, remaining there and creating extraordinary gours like terraced fields.  It is estimated that these formations only expand about 1 cm in 10 thousand years. The cave formation process has also created very impressive swirls on the cave’s domes.

Cave formations in Hang Tien 2 Cave (Ryan Deboodt)

Photo: Ryan Deboodt

Hang Tien 2 Cave (Ryan Deboodt) (3)

Photo: Ryan Deboodt

On the other hand, the flora and fauna in the entrance of Hang Tien is quite special. The rays of sunshine crept in the cave with the moisture, becoming the abundant source of life for mosses and mushrooms. They grow so rapidly that it covers almost the entire cave entrance, even clinging to the long-established stalactites, creating beautiful green stalagmites. All these factors make Hang Tien a top-class caving destination.

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Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An

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Photo: Ryan Deboodt

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Photo: Ngo Tran Hai An

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The Hang Tien Exploration Hike – An Unforgettable Challenge

Hiking in Vietnam takes on a superb form with the Hang Tien hike. This journey begins with crossing a hill to enter the primitive jungle; here you will get to admire the beauty of nature through all senses, watching the stupendous limestone mountains or by learning about the special ecosystem of the Cao Quang commune. Descending into the stream bed, this hike to the cave entrance becomes more and more challenging and exciting when traversing a huge rocky dry river bed. The terrain that you’ll hike on to arrive at Hang Tien is mostly rocky and very slippery, filled with sharp limestone surfaces. Once you get through all this, you will finally see the cave entrance appearing in the middle of the vast jungle, like a worthy prize for those who take the challenge head on.

Hang Tien Trails 1

Photo: Ryan Deboodt

Le Ngoc Tan -hang tien 2jpg

Photo: Le Ngoc Tan

Le Ngoc Tan -hang tien

Photo: Le Ngoc Tan

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Photo: Ivan Van Der Veld

Passing through the cave entrance, the stunning landscapes will make you believe the myths about fairies visiting this cave while the magnificent scenery continues to enchant you. The vast corridors, amazing calcite formations shaped like terrace rice fields, combined with the high-pitched dome illuminated by the sun’s rays are some of the gorgeous natural wonders you’ll encounter. You will feel tiny while lost into the world of giants. A fresh, natural swimming pool in the middle of the jungle awaits explorers returning from the cave, and is a great place to relish the refreshing water, relaxing after a long day of adventurous exploration; or just unwind at the jungle campsite, sipping on a cup of coffee.

Inside Hang Tien 2 (Ryan Deboodt)

Photo: Ryan Deboodt

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Photo: Ivan van der Veld

Le Ngoc Tan -hang tien 6

Photo: Le Ngoc Tan

Hang Tien 2 Cave (Ryan Deboodt) (5)

Photo: Ryan Deboodt

Hang Tien Exploration Tours – Take on The Challenge!

Located in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Oxalis Adventure conducts unique adventure tours that involve jungle trekking, cave exploration and camping at some of the top-class adventure destinations in and around Phong Nha. Whoever wants to explore the majestic Hang Tien can join-in Hang Tien 1-3 day tours or the Tu Lan Expedition 4D3N of Oxalis Adventure.

Hang Tien 1 Day Discovery

 

Being the brightest star in Oxalis’ 1-day exploration tours, the Hang Tien 1-Day Discovery has a high level of adventure and long duration; visitors will be able to experience 8km of exciting activities, discover the most magnificent landscapes of Hang Tien and enjoy moments by a beautiful natural lake.

Hang Tien 2 Day Endeavor

 

On this nearly 30km challenging adventure, you will trek through the world-class, legendary jungle of the Tu Lan Cave System. You will traverse the Rao Nan River, featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island. The Hang Tien Exploration 3D2N will have you exploring extraordinary caves, including Hang Tien – famed for its vastness and magnificent formations. Two richly different campsites will offer you a picturesque wake-up call every day, and a magical night scene for your dreams.

Hang Tien 3 Day Exploration

 

On this nearly 30km challenging adventure, you will trek through the world-class, legendary jungle of the Tu Lan Cave System. You will traverse the Rao Nan River, featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island. The Hang Tien Exploration 3D2N will have you exploring extraordinary caves, including Hang Tien – famed for its vastness and magnificent formations. Two richly different campsites will offer you a picturesque wake-up call every day, and a magical night scene for your dreams.

Tu Lan 4 Day Expedition

 

This is the ultimate expedition of the Tu Lan region incorporating Hang Tien, the largest dry cave in the region. On the Tu Lan Expedition 4D3N, you will be exploring 10 extraordinary caves of the Tu Lan Cave System, including three unbelievable river caves; Kim Cave, Ken Cave and Tu Lan Cave that boast phenomenal natural falls and karst formations inside. It includes 30km of jungle trekking, 5 km of caving, about 800m swimming through caves and one abseil into a cave – highly adventurous!

As mentioned earlier, Hang Tien is considered to be one of the top-class caving destinations and will surely change your perspective towards adventure and trekking in Vietnam!

Still not sure which adventure would be ideal for you? Check out How to select the right Oxalis Adventure or Package Tours to Experience Phong Nha to choose your best adventure!

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.