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“Son Doong Tour”
Review of Oxalis Adventures

Oxalis Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed May 19, 2015

I did the Son Doong tour with Oxalis in early April and it was quite fantastic. The preparation was adequate and tour guides were really easy to get along with. A heavy focus on environmental protection was enforced during the hike and it was evident throughout the cave and surrounding areas. As an American, I have a knack for finding the bad in every situation and complaining about it. (natural gift of Americans). None could be found in this tour.

If I had to make any side note on the trip, I'd say that the company is under charging for the quality of service provided and the enormity of the scenario. I'm recommending this to all my friends and family. Not that it's necessary with the ABC Good morning america coverage.

For safety's sake, I recommend elderly, injured, or out-of-shape (including round) individuals skip this tour as your inability to climb, hike, maintain stamina affects the entire group. Not only their experience, but their safety. The preliminary vetting of customers if answered honestly, should cover this, but people lie in bids to complete bucket list items.

With any luck, the government will support this operation for years to come.

Lastly, a shout out to Oxalis and the porters. You guys were amazing. And that rice wine you guys brought along... whew

3  Thank JeiDouglas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"once in a lifetime"
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Reviewed May 12, 2015 via mobile

Did the 2day-1night trip into Hang En cave. This is a very legitimately run company. They were very focused on safety and the environment. It was so nice to see the guides actually leaving the path to pick up any garbage they found along the way (definitely not common in Vietnam). Our guide Annetta was so great! Spoke very good English and was friendly, funny and helpful. You could easily see her passion for her work and the caves. She went above and beyond for us. At the end of our tour she joined our bus into Dong Hoi. When we couldn't get on the train (it was packed due to a national holiday) she stayed with us as long as she could calling hotels to try and get us rooms (also all full due to holiday). She actually almost missed her train due to this. She even went so far as to get one of our emails and write the next day to make sure we were all ok. The caving experience was amazing. Caving and Phong Nha area to me would be the number one must do in Vietnam (this is my second time to the country). I enjoyed it much much more than I did Halong Bay!!!The food the porters prepared was so delicious...and not just for a cave. We had a large meal following the long days trek of fried chicken, spitfire pork, green beans, morning glory, french fries, tofu steak and rice. I would strongly recommend this experience and to top it all off, stay at the Phong Nha farmstay before and after your caving adventure.

6  Thank fac767
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2015

We did the Hang En Cave (2 days, 1 night) adventure and we had an AMAZING TIME! I must say I'm not normally the type of person to enjoy camping activities but I do LOVE outdoor adventures. This adventure was actually my first real camping and trekking experience! We started off with a trek into the jungle and visited a minority village, more trekking and finally reaching Hang En cave where we camped for the night. The cave was simply BREATHTAKING and I was in complete awe of its beauty! Well worth the trek in 37 degree heat! We cooled off in the cave too with a swim in its clear blue lagoon pools! Dinner was also delicious and well prepared!

3  Thank Jenny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2015

We did the 2 days 1 night Tu Lan cave expedition on the beginning of April. We booked our tour by reading all the five stars reviews and were thrilled to swim into the caves.

First, you should know that by doing this trek, you won't get wet until late in the afternoon on the first day. We did the trek on a 37°C-HOT-day and in this kind of temperature, it is NO easy trek! Some of us were very athletic people but nobody thought it was an easy nor medium trek with those climbings through the jungle....

A woman in the group, at some point in the first day, had trouble catching her breath and was kind of overheating. We were not really taking any breaks so I asked our guide to give her a 10 minutes break to rest and then be in a better shape to go on. THE GUIDE LAUGHED AT ME FOR ASKING!!!!!! He said we was doing this job for a year and a half and knew better what to do. I told him she wasn't enjoying her trek, he didn't care. Such a bad kind of guide.

A few minutes before getting to the camp, we asked if there was beer at the camp. The guide said yes, cold beer. Everybody cheered! When we got there, there was no beer a the camp... humour I guess. Nobody found that very funny. The guide, throughout the journey, was constantly answering our questions with "jokes", but the fact is that we were waiting for real answers to our questions, they never came.

The first day, I had pancakes for breakfast and the guide laughed at me for not eating a more sustaining breakfast, because I was feeling weak before launch. The thing is, pancakes is what they served us on the next morning. The food at the camp was just ok and not very sustaining, no much protein and plenty of cakes and cookies.

When we got in the caves, it was just amazing. We swam in completely dark caves and it' was scary, exciting and very memorable. The guide didn't had much information to give us about anything and that's a shame. We were definitely waiting for more information.

Finally, even with this bad experience with the guide, we enjoyed the caves and were happy with our journey, but expected more, for the almost 300$ each we paid. The site is memorable, but the organization is not impressive.

*Please Oxalis, if you read my review, I can tell you the name of the guide and the exact date, you should really do something about him. He is a real problem to your organization, it was the WORST guide we had in Vietnam, the worst.

17  Thank Joëlle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 5, 2015 via mobile

We went on the overnight Hang En trip with Oxalis and were absolutely excited about it. We started with a hike through the jungle, crossing numerous rivers and a remote village. The scenery was breathtaking and we had a tasty breakfast under some trees. Then in the afternoon we finally reached the cave and were blown away by its beauty. The camp site has a perfect location on the bottom of the cavern with great swimming justb5 meters away from the tents.
We explored the cave a little more and reached other areas that were equally beautiful.
However, one of the best parts was the dinner that was prepared in the evening. There was BBQ pork, fried chicken, a meat stew, cabbage, morning glory, French fries, beans and everything was so delicious.
On the next day we hiked back the same way we came and were tired and happy when we were finally greeted with a cold beer at the pickup point.
To sum it up, it was a truly unforgettable adventure. One downside for me was the price, which is a bit steep in my perception. Also the fact that they put envelopes for tips on every table after the tour was something I didn't like that much because they should have made enough money to pay everyone adequately.
For the tour planning itself I would suggest to start a little earlier the second day so you don't have to hike at the hottest time of day.

Thank Patrick H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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