It doesn't get better than Oxalis in my mind regarding tour companies. They are just so well organized, helpful, hospitable and just genuinely nice that I honestly cannot think of one thing I would want them to change about their company or services.
I believe they are the only tour company in the area for any cave exploration, but that makes the standards they set for themselves even more appreciated because they don't have to be as amazing as they are.
I went on the Son Doong expedition with Oxalis, which understandably caused me to have to interact more with them over a long period of time. By the time I landed in Vietnam, I had been in contact with Oxalis for exactly a year, since Son Doong takes so much pre-planning. Before I was even a paying customer, they answered countless questions from me regarding the expedition and gave me tips for how to secure a spot when Son Doong availability opened. Once I was officially going on the Son Doong trip, they continued to answer any questions I had and worked to get everything finalized before my trip, including transportation to/from the airport.
I was already impressed with Oxalis before I arrived, but once I got to their base, I was beyond happy. Everyone there is so excited for you!!! I was understandably excited because I had been waiting over a year to be here, but for them to share my excitement and their happiness for me was amazing and so appreciated!
We got to their base probably 12 hours before we had to be there for our check-in and Oxalis provided numerous options for us to spend the day: relaxing by their beach, kayaking, biking. It was great to feel at home in a place so far from it.
I could go on and on about little things they did for me, but I hope whoever is reading this can have the privilege to experience Oxalis for themselves one day.
Special thanks to:
- Jamie, Trung & Mo for helping get us prepped for the expedition, answering all my pre-trip questions and making sure everything was as issue free for us as possible.
- Watto and Dave, our British caving experts. You guys were amazing and absolutely hilarious to both interact with and just watch your reactions to things people said. I felt completely safe under your guidance, so thank you.
- Kien, my tour guide, please NEVER change. You are amazing and hilarious. You were a great guide, and I was so glad to be part of your first lead tour through Son Doong. I hope you have many more trips, but never forget us. PS I'm practicing my slapjack, so be ready to lose next time!
- To all of the porters who blow my mind how much they are capable of. I wish I could remember more names, but Nhia and Bang stick out, and I appreciated their help and friendliness so much. These guys are PHENOMENAL and do more than you will ever know but with huge smiles on their faces. They are always looking out for your safety, and it's nice to know that if anything were to happen they would be there for you in a second. Thank you so much!
- Everyone else behind the scenes, because I know the Son Doong trip is a HUGE thing to organize and get perfect. It was for me, so thank you.
Oxalis, you made this a trip of a lifetime, Thank You.
PS Happy 5th birthday! I hope for the world's sake, you have MANY, MANY more!
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