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“Tu Lan 1 day trip - couldn´t be a better way to see Vietnamese nature”
Review of Oxalis Adventures

Oxalis Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Oxalis Adventure Tours is organizing trekking tours below:- Trekking to Hang En (Swalow cave) the same system with Hang Son Doong (Son Doong cave) the world's biggest cave.- Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park Tour- Trekking to Tu Lan cave system, Hang Ken cave, Hung Ton cave system- Kayaking tour to 1500m inside Phong Nha Cave- And other special adventure tours. Oxalis is socialized in caving adventure, trekking, and jungle camping, Oxalis is working with Howard Limbert - the BCRA expedition team leader who found Son Doong cave to do caving education, training and cave exploration. Quang Binh is the best place for caving in Vietnam and in the region, best Vietnam Caves, and World largest cave Hang Son Doong
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Reviewed April 16, 2015 via mobile

We did the 1-day trip with a Vietnamese guide, Vu, who spoke English fluently. The porters didn´t have the same vocabulary though, but they were easy going young guys.

First of all I was drawn to the good website with information about how they are doing the trips and their goals. I liked that even though they are the only company with lisence to run tours, they do take the nature and sustainable tourism seriously, which you can see on the equipment and campsite. The company is also being run by Vietnamese people, and they employ approx. 200 people, which gives alot of work for the village people. The logistics with food and drinks were great. We had a very good meal for lunch.

The best part was the swimming through the caves. Best trekking experience ever and it wasn´t exhausting at all (although we´re tired now that we´re back at our accomodation). I really recommend this experience. Incredible nature with big hills surrounding rice paddies and corn crops. Amazing!

1  Thank Jo L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 14, 2015

As an older couple (both in our fifties) we were somewhat worried that this one day trip may have pushed us a little hard even though back in our home country (Australia) we both do a fair bit of bush walking.

There were times especially going over the hill onto the second cave (Tu Lan) that we both sounded like steam trains but the pace set by the guide matched the groups total physical ability and by that I mean there was absolutely no pressure placed on anyone in the group to walk at a pace far greater than what they where capable of.

Rest breaks where often, these gave our guide time to take questions from the group and give out information and history on the caves..

Having said that I will admit we both slept like logs that night.

Onto the more personal side of the trip - we were picked up on time and welcomed aboard by our guide for the day Bihn.

After picking up everyone for the trip, during the hours drive to out destination, Bihn gave us a few history lessons on the local areas and culture. The drive itself was through some amazing rain forest country on good roads.

Once we arrived at the departure office we were given time to get properly attired for the trek and were fully briefed on the days walk without being pushed..

The same as when we returned, no hurrying and rushing, plenty of time for a cold drink and to get cleaned up (hot showers for those that needed).

The walk to the first cave (Dark) was quite relaxing and gave us time to get to know the other customers plus our porter Linh.

I won't go into the cave experience for personal reasons except for the brilliant swim through Tu Lan but what I will say is that both Binh and Linh remained extremely professional throughout the whole trip as did the other porters who we only met at lunch after they had set it up ready for our arrival. (Food was good and plentiful including snacks on the walk, water was also there when you wanted it).

It was great to see locals so enthused about the job they do and why they do it. I can honestly say Binh answered every question that was thrown at him, even when I asked him to tell me a Vietnamese joke.

Oxalis provide a well run relaxed service for those that visit their areas, they are committed to the caves and the environment, I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone that wants to visit the Phong Nha district

As a foot note - After spending nearly three months in Vietnam, Dong Hoi and Phong Nha would have to be the cleanest city/ town we've come across so far, that's not to say it's spotless but it was one thing we first noticed on arrival. Oxalis politely but firmly push the environments well being, I wished the rest of the Vietnam I know would take note.

1  Thank Richard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2015

We booked the Tu Lan 4 day expedition with Oxalis in April. It was without a shadow of a doubt one of the best adventure experiences I have ever had, and doing the 4 day trip was definitely the right thing for us.

As others have said the caves are breath-taking. On the four day expedition there is a mix of activity including dry and wet caves, hiking in the jungle, camping in the forest, some abseiling and some rafting in a cave. Each of the four days had a different mix which meant that it never became repetitive. The expedition is suitable (in my opinion) for anyone of a reasonable level of fitness, but is strenuous and includes some long hikes.

Given the geography of the area and the type of trip, there is by necessity some organising at the start and then a fairly mundane two hour hike to get into the jungle, so a multi-day trip is advised. Once in the jungle however, the trip is never dull and four days felt like a good duration. Safety was well managed in the caves and the camps were well set up by the porters before we arrived. My only real criticism is the food which I felt was poor in the camps. I think Oxalis should revisit this.

Everything else was amazing. The pictures you see do not do the caves justice, and the jungle was just wonderful. I would definitely recommend

Thank phil s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2015

What a trip it was. Caving is certainly the last bastion of adventure sports left which is still unexploited. I am glad I switched from Halong bay tour to this. Although little expensive, but it is worth every single penny. Perfect guides, perfect company and true professionalism. If you want to see the interior of Vietnam then this is it. Hang en cave is located in a very remote part of Vietnam with laos border close by. You feel like a explorer while hiking through this wild country. Numerous river crossing, leeches and chance of coming across some wild animals. And once you enter the cave, its totally unreal. You feel like you entered Juraasic park and you will be welcomed by some dinosaur hidden inside, but instead you meet millions of swallows. It is strongly recommended, oxalis are true professional, they and they doing a really good job in developing the local community. The money you give is put to good use, so dont worry and have an adventure of your lifetime!!!!

Thank Shashanknomad1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 6, 2015

Son Doong will remain an unforgettable experience for me. We had a great group which is a bonus. Son Doong in itself is unfathomable, you have to see it and feel it! Oxalis facilitates to make this happen in the best way possible. The booking communication commenced with Jamie who was always prompt & precise in her responses and a pleasure to have met her. The rest of the office staff are also super friendly.The expedition conducted by the Bristish and Local Guides / Porters work in harmony. They all know what they are doing and Thank God! for that because Son Doong terrain definitely requires a very high level of expertise. Our guides from the UK were Deb and Watto. Deb encouraged & helped me make it over the steep mountain after Do line 1, as my balance & confidence was off! Thanks Deb so much!. Watto with his Yorkshire accent and humour was a treat! He held my hand during those wobbly feet moments and at those tricky passes. Him singing 'Dont fall off the roof cause you'll make a hole in the ground......'' (how apt was that for me haha!) and asking me to 'Stand up woman stand up' is still ringing in my head! Hats off to the passion with which he made photography possible. Thanks Watto! We had Dzongh, the young local guide and he is an absolute delight! extremely confident, empathetic and a strong young man. He shared information well and I watched as he keenly ''pro actively'' attended to each and everyone in the group at all times. He even taught us some local games which when blended with sips of rice wine :) made for a good laugh, so welcoming after a hard day Thanks Dzongh!. I forget the names of the other porters who gave us a helping hand and assisted well including at those 'use of harness' spots. Its amazing to watch them carry 35 or more kilos on their backs through the same tough route! The highlight of the evenings was the 'feast' that awaited us at camp! OMG, one wouldn't believe that yummy dishes including a wide vegetarian choice for me, served in the wilderness, Kudos to the chef! Thank you Oxalis team for honoring the flora & fauna of Son Doong I believe that because its how you do what you do, you are blessed by SD to bring each one of us back unscathed! All the best to each one of you and continue keeping Son Doong safe!:)
For those joining the expediion some friendly tips:1. carry the absolute bare minimum items cause most folks generally bring more than required which the porters have to carry. 2. To be mindful & very generous when tipping the Porters at the end of the trip. 3. Its nice to buy from the local shops in Phong Nha some sweets, biscuits for the children we meet on the first day of the trek at the village stop. 4. Get to Phong Nha atleast a day or 2 prior to the trek and stay at Ho Kahns homestay at the bungalow facing the river, Mrs Ho Kahn and her family are lovely people. 5. Denise and her team do a fantatsic menu, great ambience and excellent service at the Oxalis restaurant (7 mins by cycle from Ho Kahns). 6. The products like the T shirts / trousers sold at Oxalis are a good buy as the money goes to charity.

1  Thank Kiah10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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