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“Professional team, stunning scenery, incredible caves”
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, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed July 6, 2015

The Tu Lan cave system is absolutely stunning - enormous dark caverns and cool rivers surrounded by thick jungle. The scale of this cave system needs to be seen to be believed and standing quietly in these epic caves is a genuine 'wow' experience.

We joined the Oxalis Tu Lan 4 day expedition and, to our surprise, we were the only two guests on the tour. The team from Oxalis were very professional and friendly. Our British caving expert Dave and local guide Thang did an excellent job of guiding us through the jungle and numerous caves. Their knowledge of the cave system really added to our experience. The support crew, which included the porters and cooks, did a fantastic job and made our trip very, very comfortable.

The Tu Lan 4 day expedition is a challenging activity. Our tour was in early July and the weather was very hot and dry. We heard it can be wet at that time of year but that wasn't our experience. Fortunately, the cool creeks, caves and rivers took the sting out of the heat and made everything manageable. There was quite a bit of trekking through the jungle and the odd climb up and over a ridge line. Anyone who hikes regularly will manage without too much stress. Some of the caves have a bit of climbing and rope work. The guides are there every step of the way and help when required. Any rope activity is carefully controlled by the guides and safety is their top priority. Many of the caves have rivers running through them and we spent a fair chunk of time swimming.

The jungle camps were great. We stayed at three different river side camps over the four days. We brought along our own hammocks however the ones provided by Oxalis looked very comfortable. All meals are prepared by the cooks over a fire and the food is delicious. Every meal was different and there was always plenty to go around. The evening meal was also complemented by a cup of 'happy water' (rice wine). Clean water was plentiful as it was taken from the river and run through an industrial three stage membrane water purifier. It worked perfectly.

The porter team carried most of our equipment from camp to camp. All we had to carry was what we needed for the day - water, camera, etc. Everything we carried in our day packs needed to be waterproofed as we were swimming with our bags regularly. Oxalis provide some dry bags and barrels but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Comfortable, quick draining shoes with good grip are highly recommended. We crossed numerous creeks and rivers and swam in our shoes frequently over the 4 days. The quicker the water drains out, the better.

Dave the caving expert was very helpful setting up for photos and providing photography tips. ISO 400, F-stop 5.6 and 4-8 second exposures. He also coordinated the 'painting of light' around the caverns so all the detail showed up in the photos. Good work.

Overall it was a fantastic, adventurous experience. It has tempted me to visit again and join the Son Doong expedition next time.

3  Thank MalHam218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 1, 2015

We visited Hang En Cave on the 2 day and 1 night tour.A fantastic experience, with very professional, friendly and informative local guides. The views in the cave are spectacular and the pictures do not do it justice. Also the food was great, of which there was plenty. I would potentially even do this trip again, thats how good it was!

1  Thank Joe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2015 via mobile

We did the 2 day 1 night Hang En cave trek and had a great experience with Oxalis. The tour began with a safety briefing and introductions to our guides at Oxalis HQ where we were also supplied with our equipment - drybags for our belongings (essential as we started the trek in the rain), helmets, protective gloves and boots. The boots provided by Oxalis were canvas high top style pumps, which I was initially unsure about but they proved to be comfortable and perfect for the trek - lightweight and quick drying. Most of our group chose to use them, but ordinary hiking boots would also be suitable. Just be aware that this trek involves many river crossings - up to our waists at one point!

The hike itself was mostly downhill and fairly easy on the first day, but a lot more challenging on the way back as we returned up the hill we had descended on the way out. The reason given for returning via the same route was to minimise the environmental impact of the tours.

We were accompanied by three guides for our group of 8 - one experienced tour leader, one leader-in-training and one guide new to the company. All were friendly and professional and spoke good English. We felt in safe hands throughout the trip. Also accompanying us were several incredible porters carrying equipment and food although we saw very little of them as they sprinted past us in their flip flops carrying huge bags on their backs!

Food was prepared by the porters and always tasty and plentiful. Water was also provided.

The cave itself was indescribable - just the most incredible view. We explored the cave in the evening and then again in the morning after a comfortable nights sleep in well maintained tents. At that time of year (January) it was a little cold in the cave so a warm jacket was needed and we chose not to swim, although some of our group did.

We felt that the company were conscious of the environmental impact of the tours. Toilets were composting and all litter was cleaned up and taken away.

This was one of our best experiences in Vietnam and certainly the most professionally run and customer friendly tour we did. We had a fantastic time throughout the trip and would wholeheartedly recommend it.

1  Thank 25today
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2015 via mobile

We booked the Hang En cave two day tour and it was just incredible. The staff were all fantastic, and made the experience unforgettable.
The hiking in the Vietnam heat and humidity proven difficult (especially the up hill at the end), but it was worth the sights of the cave.
The camp facilities were very adequate, and the dinner served at the cave was very tasty. It's a beautiful part of Vietnam, it can't be missed.

2  Thank meg_cameron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 23, 2015

My boyfriend and I did the 2 days/1 night trek to the Hang En Cave and it was an incredible experience! When reading this review, keep in mind that we are quite athletic.

First off, it is really amazing that we got the opportunity to visit the third largest cave in the world (currently)! Although, since so many discoveries keep occurring in this area, this may not be the third largest cave soon!

Day 1
Oxalis bus picked us up from our hotel and took us to their business where we filled out forms and got our introduction. They did not have hiking boots that fit our feet (I'm a women's 4.5 and he's a men's 14). But our runner's were perfectly fine and to be honest, the boots they offered had no support/little grip anyways. If you have hiking boots, it would make the slippery rocks across the rivers less difficult.

Day 1's trek I would consider easy. It was mostly downhill the first half, and flat the second half. The only reason it seemed a bit tough was because it was 34+ celcius! But they have a filter pump for lots of water. The cave was surprisingly really warm at night, but the water was a nice refreshing swim! Just make sure you have bug spray!

Dinner was really delicious and there was a lot of food to go around. However, more protein would be nice!

Day 2
This trek back was unfortunately the same route as the path to the cave. However, the second half I would consider to be medium to hard difficulty getting up the hill! You basically take stairs for an hour and a half in the crazy heat! Our group went really fast... Which was an awesome challenge for 4 of us. However, I think it was way too fast for most people, making it a bit unsafe in the heat and for beginner's. (What is crazy is the porters carry up to 50kg of supplies up that hill!!! Strongest people I have ever encountered).

Also, I was unaware of this myself, but other more experienced hikers from the group informed me that the limestone we were walking on in the cave should not have been walked on by us, as it takes thousands of years to form, but is easily destroyed and turns black when touched. You can clearly see evidence of this in the caves. I hope the rest can be preserved.

The guides spoke English fairly well and tried to enhance group moral. One of our guides had never been to the cave before, which was fine, but he did not know anything about the cave! So we felt there should have been 2 experienced guides who had been there before, and the new guide shadowing along.

Overall, this was an incredible experience. The group we went with were amazing and we all hung out after for dinner and drinks! Just some collective tips that we all discussed were: to have a slower treks/more rests so that we can fully enjoy the scenery and not overheat; have better foot placement tips from the guides; have the strongest/more experienced guide at the back.

1  Thank Alicia_0409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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