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10 skills adventurers need while adventuring in Vietnam

Adventuring in Vietnam Why it’s special!

Vietnam is truly an adventure traveller’s paradise, is undoubtedly the top travel destination in South-East Asia and also one of the top must travel places in the world. This culturally vibrant, technologically savvy and naturally blessed country is 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!

Climbing up the Great Wall of Vietnam (Ryan Deboodt) (2)-2
vietnam-kayaking-tour-halong-bay-kayaker-H1
motorcyling in north loop vietnam
Swimming in Hung Ton Cave - Oxalis Adventure

Nowadays, when you talk about adventure travel around the world, Vietnam is a name that certainly pops up everywhere. In terms of people having a once in a lifetime adventure, Vietnam’s reputation has been like a roller coaster that only goes up! More and more people around the world have started travelling to Vietnam for witnessing some incredible naturally occurring phenomena, world class jungle trekking opportunities, canyoning and exploring some of the world’s biggest and most magnificent underground caves. It’s mainly the flawless landscapes and the exhilarating terrain that make adventures tours in Vietnam special!

If you’re an aspiring adventurer and wish to spend some time having adventures in Vietnam, here are 10 skills that will surely come in handy:

1.    Resourcefulness

It is important to understand that challenge is the second name of adventure and you’re bound to face difficult situations and find yourself in a complete dilemma as to how you can get out of it. Such moments and situations will bring out the true adventurer in you and you need to be as resourceful as you can. Adventuring in Vietnam isn’t a cakewalk and requires the adventurer to have the skill and ability to improvise and turn things around to his/her advantage when things go wrong.

One of the golden rules of adventuring is to realize that one item doesn’t just serve one purpose!

2.    Smart packing

When you decide to take on an adventure in Vietnam, spend some time packing your backpack properly and judiciously; it’s highly advised to make a packing list list to not miss out on anything essential and you should put items in order of their outdoor importance. It is really important to remain organized in order to have an enjoyable adventure experience. Be prepared and acknowledged of where you would travel to, what kinds of terrains you might face; a tropical jungle, a wet river cave or even climbing a mountain so you can arrange your packing list properly.

Adventuring in Vietnam, for example trekking in the remote jungles & caves of national parks is going to have your body exposed to factors like harsh sunlight (in summer), insects, potentially skin affecting plants, sharp limestone rocks and the like. It is recommended to wear full sleeve t shirts and trekking pants to protect against any of the above mentioned factors. Bright-colored & quick-dry t-shirts are highly recommended since it’ll be easier for you to stay in sight while in the wildlife, keep you cool on sunny days because of the humid weather conditions.

3.    Navigational ability & facing the wildlife

While you’re adventuring in Vietnam, make sure you don’t get lost in the wilderness, leave some markers for you to identify if you happen to forget the path you took, understand how to discern which direction you’re facing and remember which direction you’re headed to! This also applies to motor-biking adventurers riding across the remote areas of Vietnam.

A country like Vietnam is so rich in terms of biodiversity; you’ll surely have a total blast while on an adventure here. The flora and fauna is truly breathtaking and adds to the charm of the entire wilderness of the country; you’ll find anything from snakes, leaches, monkeys, wild boars and maybe even a black bear if you’re adventuring deep in the jungles of Vietnam. Whenever you’re planning to venture deep into wild territories like these, make sure you do it with a tour company and not solo.

When face to face with a wild animal, don’t try to scare it away unless it threatens to attack. Make sure you control your excitement and refrain from getting closer to take a picture, especially with regards to snakes. The climatic conditions and tropical nature of Vietnam’s jungles are the reason for numerous venomous snakes.

On the other hand, if you join an adventure tour like Oxalis Adventure in Vietnam, the level of thrill you experience will be just the same or even more, but the highly trained staff will make sure you don’t get lost at any given point during your adventure in thick jungles and giant underground caves of Vietnam!

4.    Mental strength & emergency situation preparations

Adventuring in Vietnam will surely be one of the most adrenaline pumping and unforgettable experiences of your life. If you’re a true adventurer, you know how crucial it is to have a stoic mental attitude and be tough! As the saying goes, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do” you will need to always remember this while adventuring in Vietnam. There will be times when fatigue takes over and your mind starts making excuses about your body not being able to push any further, shun such thoughts and pull yourself together like a hardcore adventurer would!

You should also prepare for yourself some survival tricks to calmly handle the emergency situations. When you know you’re in an emergency situation and venturing further could land you in a much more dangerous predicament, stay calm and think the solutions or choose to stop and return. Adventuring in Vietnam is truly exciting, but equally dangerous if not done with utmost standards of safety.

When you know your abilities, you can push them to the limits; but if you are not sure about something during an adventure, don’t do it.

5.    Proper Hydration

Given how unforgiving the humidity can be in a majorly tropical country like Vietnam, it’s always a good idea to remain properly hydrated while on an adventure! It is never advised to drink water from any water bodies in the jungles, like rivers, streams or small lakes. These bodies might contain certain kind of bacteria that your body isn’t even remotely accustomed to. Make sure so fill your water bottles with filtered water prior to the commencement of the adventure.

It is important not to ignore the signs of dehydration; including extreme fatigue, dried up skin, chapped lips, dry throat and bad headaches. You can also carry some electrolyte tablets with you to make sure you don’t lose hydration in crucial moments during your adventure in Vietnam.

6.   Eat to keep going

You are surely aware of the fact that food is the fuel our body needs in order to function to the best of its ability. Make sure you carry food that is easy to prepare, light to carry and keeps you energized for longer durations during your adventure in Vietnam. Understand that your body requires carbs for energy, fruits for fibers and proteins for muscle recovery. Try carrying some food items like nuts, instant noodles, apples, jerky etc. and avoid trying strange food before going on an adventure to prevent food poisoning.

Assuming that you’re in a situation where you’ve run out of food and wish to explore the wilderness to look for food, make sure you don’t eat any plants that you’re in doubt of. If you can properly identify a plant to be an edible one, you can go ahead and gobble it up.

7.    Eco-friendliness

When you’re adventuring in Vietnam, you need to be very environmentally responsible and ensure zero disservice to the nature no matter what. If you’re venturing deep inside a jungle, make sure you take out nothing but memories and leave behind nothing but your footprints. If you decide to do an adventure tour with Oxalis Adventure to explore the giant caves in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park of Vietnam, make sure you don’t tamper with the cave formations inside the cave.

If you’re carrying any plastic for whatever purpose, make sure you bring it out of the jungle and try your best to recycle it upon your return. You must also avoid using soaps, shampoos or toothpaste to wash in a river of the jungle, as these contain chemicals which are highly detrimental to the rivers etc.

Don’t ever start a fire unless that’s your last resort for survival. Vietnam is a country that takes environmental conservation and responsible tourism very seriously and adventure tour operators like Oxalis Adventure highly advise against any practice that can potentially cause harm to the nature.

8.    Politeness towards locals

While you’re adventuring in Vietnam, you will see that the locals everywhere will go out of their way to help you and make your overall experience more cherishing. They might do things that you’re not used to back in your country, but we rest assured they’re doing it in your best interest. Don’t get offended and help them help you whenever you do require help.

Vietnamese people have a very welcoming and friendly culture. While adventuring in Vietnam, don’t miss a chance to experience their local traditions and remain respectful at all times.

9.    Controlling alcohol intake

It is understandable that when you’re out with your friends adventuring in Vietnam, you’d surely be feeling merry every now and then and would want to sip on some beer or other alcoholic beverage. It is highly advised not to ever get drunk while adventuring in the jungles of Vietnam or even generally while adventuring.

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to horrible accidents if you’re on an adventure.

10.    Knowing when to inform people

When you’re out and about, having the adventure of a lifetime in Vietnam, make sure you inform your family or closed ones about your whereabouts well in advance. The reason behind this is the fact that in a lot of places there is absolutely no network coverage and you will not be able to make any phone calls whatsoever, unless you have a satellite phone.

When Oxalis Adventure takes adventurers deep inside the pristine jungle and majestic caves of the region, the staff always carries a satellite phone in order to take quick action during emergency situations.

If you hone these 10 skills and implement them, you will be perfectly fine while adventuring in Vietnam.

Check out Best Trekking Adventure in Vietnam and also Phong Nha: The Best Adventures in Asia to make the most out of your trip to this beautiful land!

 Keep up the wild adventure spirit!

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.