In one word: incredible- but in the true sense of the term. Even inside Son Doong, the scale of everything is unfathomable as you routinely mistake rock formations as being tens of feet away when they are in fact hundreds away.
We toured with a group of 10 friends (from the U.S, U.K and Japan) mid-march (beginning of the dry season) and got to experience the entire spectrum of weather conditions- hot / humid jungle, rain and lightning storms, fog, sun, you name it. Be warned you will be wet most of the time, but after the first couple river crossings you'll feel right at home.
The beauty of the cave is beyond compare. It makes for an extremely cooperative subject in photography and no matter SLR or smartphone it's very hard to take a bad picture. Bringing a tripod is a good idea if you want to capture 'painted' shots where the porters / crew will light up the various rock formations and pose you in ways so cool you look like a god / goddess.
The entire porter team is exceptionally friendly and the staff appear to be more family than a collection of co-workers at times. The food is phenomenal and (according to the consensus of our group) far better than the local fare in Phong Nha. While the food is mostly Vietnamese, the chefs also offer western favorites like French toast and crepes. Eat as much as you can while you have the chance!
Finally, one last word about the company- they are extraordinarily committed to the preservation of the cave and the well-being of the local community. Even outside of the trekking experience they are working tirelessly to ensure that the cave remains as it is, politically combatting richer investors who would see to adding paved roads, cable cars, and a gift shops to bring in the most buck. Needless to say, if you care at all about the majesty that is mother earth, your money will be well spent.
And big thanks to our guides, Howard and Watto, British caving experts, for their professionalism. (Howard and his wife were the 1st people to explore this cave!)
So why are still reading this? Book while you still can!! :-)
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