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Quang Binh: The Perfect Filming Destination

The Quang Binh province lies in the central region of Vietnam and is truly where the country’s spirit resides and heart beats. It is no surprise that filmmakers from across the globe make their way here for capturing moments in their movies that can only be accentuated by this region’s sheer beauty. The Quang Binh province is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders to exist on planet Earth. The beauty that you’ll find in this part of Vietnam is unparalleled and will woo you in every way you can imagine! The Quang Binh province of Vietnam has seen a growth in tourism by leaps and bounds over the years, primarily due to the discovery of some of the biggest underground caves ever encountered by mankind on Earth.

With regards to this, the most prominent and significant area in Quang Binh has always been and continues to be the glorious Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, which helped in coining the name “The Cave Kingdom” for Quang Binh and is also popularly known as the “Adventure Capital of Asia”! Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is home to some of the most magnificent cave systems in the world and also the biggest! This has led to incredible prospects for exploration and has certainly been a game changer for the adventure genre of caving, adventure tourism in Asia and surely filming.

About Quang Binh 

The Quang Binh province has a very high historical significance in the journey of Vietnam on the whole. This province is widely famed for the level of biodiversity it holds within itself, along with the mountainous landscapes and ebullient river flows. The flora and fauna that is seen especially in the annamites eco-region of the province is truly breathtaking, just like the scenery that it is home to. Research and surveys show that the main tropical jungle of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, in Quang Binh, is home to over 700 species of vascular plants and there are even some completely new species that have been discovered as well!

Quang Binh has been blessed with numerous other attractions that have led up to the massive development of tourism in the area. As mentioned above, the most revered among all the attractions of Quang Binh is the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the most spectacular caves in the world.

The Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh holds some of the most beautiful natural assets in all of Asia and even the world. Mountains, rivers, caves, jungles, valleys, you name it! When you travel to Phong Nha, you’ll surely find a wide array of activities to choose from, places to see, things to try, traditions to learn and much more!

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It would interest you to know that Phong Nha –Ke Bang National Park is home to some of the world’s most gigantic and astonishing caves; the most prominent ones being the world’s biggest cave – 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 tourist caves like the Phong Nha cave, Paradise Cave and Dark Cave.

Apart from the numerous majestic caves of the region, Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is also home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and countryside you’ll ever come across in Asia. There are plenty of things to do in Phong Nha and the welcoming, friendly culture of the locals here will surely make you want to call it home forever.

Watch out for dinasaurs (Ryan Deboodt)
Cave formations in Hang Tien 2 Cave (Ryan Deboodt)
Hang En Campsite - Jason Speth
Phong Nha Cave 6
Inside Hang Va (Oxalis Adventure) (2)
Paradise Cave 1

Filming in Quang Binh

By now, you probably have a reasonable amount of information about the magnificence that Quang Binh is engulfed in. This became the reason for various filmmakers to take a trip to Quang Binh for filming some blockbuster movies and even scientific documentaries. So far, the most popular and significant filming destination for mainstream movies in Quang Binh has been the mysterious and seemingly extraterrestrial Tu Lan Cave System based in the Tan Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district, 70 KM away from Phong Nha town.

On the other hand, most of the documentaries have been shot about Son Doong, with the agenda of enlightening the world about the scientific marvels that it is endowed with and how the discovery of a cave like Son Doong can change the lives of the region’s local people forever.

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Phong Nha (6)

Mainstream Movies

1. Kong: Skull Island (2017)

One of the world’s most popular movie franchises, King Kong, made its way all the way from Hollywood to Quang Binh, Vietnam for filming the latest addition to the franchise – Kong: Skull Island which was released in 2017. This movie received considerable praise by the audience and even went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects! The filming crew believes that one of the major reasons for the success of the movie was also the location it was shot in, as it created a near perfect atmosphere for the nature of the movie.

Kong: Skull Island was primarily shot in Vietnam’s Ninh Binh, Ha Long Bay and of course, The Cave Kingdom – Quang Binh (Tu Lan Cave System). Owing to the fact that Kong: Skull Island was probably the most mammoth movie project filmed in Vietnam, all the filming locations were prepared to host a very large crew from the production team.

Especially, Quang Binh got the special opportunity to assist almost 150 crew members from the US that involved the famous Hollywood superstar cast and over a 100 local production assistants!

The two main shooting locations for the film in Quang Binh were Yen Phu Lake and the Tu Lan Cave System. In the movie, the incredible Rao Nan River and the mesmerizing green peanut field in front of Rat Cave (a cave part of the Tu Lan Cave System), was shown .

2. The Immortal (2017)

“Nguoi bat tu” in Vietnamese means “The Immortal” and this movie was directed by the popular Vietnamese US director Victor Vu. Released in October 2018, this movie gives the audience a wonderful chance to look at the pristine jungles, spectacular caves, incredible beaches and even mighty mountains of the region on the big screen!

A very major part of the filming was done in Quang Binh province and featured the spell binding Tu Lan Cave System, Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Da Nhay beach. This blockbuster also set high expectations to further add to the national tourism gamut, especially through the magical scenery of the Quang Binh province.

The filming of this movie was considered to be quite a large scale project, as it involved a filming crew of over 50 people and the filming continued in the Tu Lan Cave System area for over a month! The main filming locations for the movie were the Rao Nan River, Rat Cave, Hung Ton Cave, To Mo Valley, To Mo Cave and Tan Hoa Village, all part of the Tu Lan Cave System area!

3. Pan (2015)

Based on the legendary tale of Peter Pan, the Hollywood movie Pan’s production team came all the way to the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh, looking for a spectacular cave to be filmed for a small part in the movie.

The production crew that visited comprised of 10 members and they decided to spend time doing a recce of the Hang En – the third largest cave on Earth. This cave sits majestically in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and is a part of the Phong Nha Cave System.

The filming crew made use of remote-controlled cameras which were aerial, in order to discern the kind of shots that can be taken inside the cave. In these shots, you will see the movie’s protagonist flying through the gorgeous grotto and hovering over the lush green jungles and magnificent mountain ranges of the park.

Documentaries

There have been numerous documentaries that have been shot in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh. National Geographic has visited ever so often in order to constantly bring the beauty of Son Doong to the world. Being the World’s Biggest Cave, Son Doong has attracted giants like National Geographic, DJI and even Thai Travel Show channels.

The fact is that Son Doong cave is a whole another universe in itself and holds some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders within. Visiting the Son Doong cave is a once in a lifetime experience and surely one of the top must-do journeys in the world. When National Geographic went into the World’s biggest cave for the adventure of a lifetime, they were completely blown away by this mighty beast, just like the others! The folks at Nat Geo called it the ‘infinite cave”.

One of the most special and unbelievable facts about the Son Doong Cave is the fact that it’s not just any other cave; it’s a cave that built a village. This inspiring story about the Son Doong Cave is also what attracts documentary filmmakers and travel influencers from across the globe to visit the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and bring the world closer to the many wonders of the Quang Binh Province in  Vietnam.

How Oxalis Adventure made it possible

All the logistical endeavors undertaken for the movie could not have been possible without the unconditional support of Oxalis Adventure. As Asia Biggest Adventure Company and the official tour operator to some of the biggest caves in Phong Nha and to Tu Lan Cave System, Oxalis Adventure took it as their responsibility to associate with the production of these movies and support the logistics of this project with the highest standards of reliability. It is no doubt that Oxalis Adventure has played an important role in the success of the above movies.

From the get go, Oxalis began with a proper recce and inspection of the entire region and went out of their way to find the most ideal locations for filming this epic movie. As the committed local consultant to the production team of the movie, Oxalis made certain that the filming crews would face no hassles while filming in the region as Oxalis set up joint meetings with the Quang Binh government in order to give 100% clarity on how the project would be carried out.

It would also interest you to know that Oxalis delegated its porter team to help the filming crew in carrying equipment and providing any kind of local assistance that they might require during filming the movie. Apart from transport and other logistics, Oxalis Adventure also provided hotel accommodation to the members of the filming crew and made sure they get the best of everything that Phong Nha has to offer.

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Oxalis also took the government’s permission to construct a road in the Tan Hoa commune, Minh Hoa district which helped the filming crew to commute more conveniently; that road is colloquially called the “Hollywood Road”.

Listen to what the Hollywood director – Jordan Vogt Roberts has to say about his filming in Quang Binh here or check out Oxalis Adventure’s YouTube channel to watch all the fascinating documentaries made in the region so far.

The future of filming in Quang Binh

Quang Binh undoubtedly has a very bright future ahead of it, as far as filming is concerned. The locations that filmmakers can find in this part of the world are perhaps the most beautiful and desirable on screen and are sure to charm the viewers. Quang Binh will continue to welcome creative filming minds with open arms and show them the true beauty and culture of Vietnam.

A great news is also that Oxalis Adventure gave a very special presentation to a large group of Hollywood location managers, producers and directors about the prospects of brilliant locations for filming in the spectacular wilderness of Quang Binh, Central Vietnam. This presentation was conducted at Los Angeles, West Hollywood on 23rdJanuary 2019.

This is just the beginning!

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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 decent 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 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 a 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 alot 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 cornor on your screen below  to talk to our Adventure Consultant.