Went with the Son Doong Tour with Oxalis. High class service. Pickup from the airport to the hotel. Friendly chat with tour guides and full preparation speech from the organizers.
We went with Deb and Wato, highly experience and knowledgeable cavers. Song Doong... words cannot explain the sheer beauty and time spent there. As a serious photographer, I'll most likely hit one or two scenes that will give me the money shot. In this tour, almost every turn of the corner produced breathtaking shots.
Deb's kindness and Wato's drill sergeant demeanor (don't worry, he's actually a teddy bear) were the perfect complement for us. Special thanks to Bamboo (our Vietnamese Tour Guide) and the countless porters who carried many things to and from the cave. They are the backbone of the tour.
You have to be in decent shape to do the tour, so don't expect a walk in the park. That said, I'm a bit hefty but I survived the tour fine. But as a baseline, if you can't reasonable walk and/or run a trail of 8 miles, expect a bit of a struggle. Day 1 is the big test. If you can't do it, they will turn you back. And considering the high demand and short list of people coming to the tour, please know yourself and your limits, because that's just one spot you're taking away from someone else.
And the dinners are awesome! It's not just great cave food, it's great food period. Train chefs, folks. You'll love it.
I don't have enough adjectives to describe this adventure, because it's more than an adventure or experience. It's a life memory. You can never have enough of those.
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