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“Hang En Cave 2 day trip - highlight of my 3 months in South East Asia”
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: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed August 10, 2016 via mobile

Our 3 guides, Hieu, Lam and Bao, were absolutely fantastic. They were fun and made everyone introduce themselves on the bus to the office. Their safety briefing was great and I felt safe at all times with them.

The ride from the office into the park is very picturesque. The guys went out of their way (including climbing on top of a billboard to get signal on their phone) to help a girl who had left her passport in Ninh Binh.

We were given helmets before beginning our trek through the forest. The start is all downhill for around an hour and a half. We stopped halfway for lunch in a small village. Lunch was baguettes which you made yourself - delicious and plenty of snacks. The guys refilled water bottles at every stop.

When we arrived at the entrance to the cave we were given gloves and headlamps. The walk into the cave was fun and included lots of scrambling. Once we arrived we were given a tour of the facilities and then went swimming in the pool and jumping off rocks. Once changed we had dinner. There was so much food and it was all delicious. We played cards with all the porters and guides.

We were up early for breakfast which was again delicious. We then donned our head gear and walked to the exit of the cave. Absolutely stunning views of stalagmites and stalactites. The guides explained everything we were seeing and the geology of the area really well. On the way back we walked along the river bed. We left the cave just before 11am and headed back the way we came.

We stopped at the same village for lunch and had pho - the best I had in the whole of Vietnam. We then continued our trek which was all uphill this time. We were all dripping with sweat and being eaten alive by mosquitoes so make sure your bring plenty of insect repellent.

On arrival back at the offie you can use their showers if you are heading straight on a bus or train and you can also order food tgere. If you not you will be dropped back at your hostel after an exhilarating two day trip.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. For me and the rest of my group it was worth every penny! Now I just need to save enough money to go on the Son Dong trip! Thanks to all the guys working at Oxalis!

1  Thank Emma R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OxalisAdvTours, Manager at Oxalis Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2016

Hi Emma,

How wonderful to read your review for our team with Hieu, Lam, and Bao.

Thanks for naming this highlight of you 3 month in Southeast Asia. This motivates our team a lot to keep providing once-in-a-life-time cave adventures in this beautiful region of Vietnam.

Oxalis Team looks forward to seeing you again next year on Song Doong Expedition. Please keep in touch and book your tour the soonest in mid-August.

Cheers,
Oxalis Adventure Team

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Reviewed August 8, 2016 via mobile

Best thing I have done in Vietnam. The experience was unique. The Oxalis guys were locals and extremely passionate and helpful. Very well organised and safe. It does really require some fitness because climbing in the Vietnamese jungle was hard but the satisfaction immense. Consider wearing the boots they offer. They look cheap and simple but trust me
They are expensive for the local standards ($20) and designed for the Cambodian army. They are really good and comfortable but take a size bigger to wear nicely with thick socks. I had brought my hiking trainers but did not use them. I carried them with me just in case but never wear them and kept them dry. Be prepared if you go for the 2 days hike to spend all 2nd day wet. The fist day you will get wet with your sweat. By the way be prepared for the mosquitos and have with you long sleeves and long trousers even for the camp...they will be useful for the mosquitos which are plentiful. When returned from the jungle my body was aching but the satisfaction was running through my blood in very high concentration.
Very highly recommended adventure and do it with Oxalis, it is an adventure of a lifetime and the guys really make it happen for you.

Thank Takis G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OxalisAdvTours, Manager at Oxalis Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2016

Hey Takis,

How great to read through such a helpful review.

Your description of the shoes and Tu Lan Caving routine is definitely a good reference for those who are looking for a real adventure in Phong Nha. We feel sad to know you got mosquitoe aching, yet surely they are not harmful any at all. On the other hand, we will advise upcoming guests of mosquito conditions in Tu Lan campsites for sure during their blooming season in July. Thanks again for your sharing.

Wish you all the best,
Oxalis Adventure Team

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Reviewed August 8, 2016

People on this trip were amazing. Guides are very competent and well prepared. Activities are very nice. Thank you so much!

Thank Stéphanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2016

Talking my fellow trekkers, many of us came know about the Hang En Cave Adventure by Oxalis after reading the New York Times article about the very same tour. I recommend reading it for everyone interested and is it probably a much better account than I could ever write. It is easily found via Google.

The Hang En Cave Adventure by Oxalis (2D1N) was definitely the highlight of my Vietnam trip.

The Phong Nha National Park has become a bit of a backpackers' embassy and as such a market of activities ranging from cheap thrills to serious experiences catering to difference price points makes for an array of choice. Hang En is probably situated in the slightly serious and more expensive end. For your money you pay, the experience you get is priceless. On a more holistic note, if you have only scheduled a one or two-night stay, consider extending it. In my 3 night stay, I barely scratched the surface of everything that I wanted to do.

Been one of the pricier tours, there is the unintended benefit of attracting a group of very like-minded 'older in age (25 - 36) but young at heart' individuals. I felt this was one factor which really enriched my experience in addition to the tour itself. Despite coming from diverse backgrounds, we were all at similar points in our lives, our life experiences framed strangely similar fashion as such, by the end of the trip there was a strong bond of solidarity between us.

For photographers, if you unsure about bringing a tripod, I highly recommend it. If you have the money, more than anything else, investing in a sturdy travel tripod will benefit your photography experience immensely. For most of the trip, I used an 18 - 36mm wide angle zoom (35mm equivalent) and to a lesser amount, a standard 24 - 70 mm. However, if you don't have access to an ultra-wide I can safely say most of the sublime majestic scenery can be captured easily with 24mm focal length. For the most part, I stayed within the 21mm to 36mm. That been said, using a zoom lens was indispensable, as the trek to and from the Hang En campsite was for the most part continuous, with brief stops for respite and meals. There are stops the most scenic views, but remember that if you want to get the best quality images, I recommend being well practised in long exposure technique (Framing, tripod deployment, timer, shutter delay, lower ISO, bracketing for HDR et cetera). Bringing along a small cardboard card to block out flare would also be beneficial.

In spite of everything I've written, I feel the Hang En trip would appeal to just about anyone who has an appreciation of nature. To anyone concerned about fitness, most of the group found it neither hard or easy. The reward at the end of the first day is the opportunity for a swim at a beach of water that lies at the base of Hang En. There is much written about the final ascent at the end of the trip, don't let this dissuade you, it is hard, but the staff are patient and will everyone will encourage you the whole way. Don't forget there is cold drinks and an air-conditioned bus at the top.

Thanks to everyone at Oxalis for a great trip.

Thank qtart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OxalisAdvTours, Manager at Oxalis Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2016

Xin chao qtart,

Thanks for leaving such a detailed review especially for whom love taking photos inside the cave. This cave is definitely a wonderful place for spectacular photos and we would love to see your works after this trip. Furthermore, how great to read through your feelings of Phong Nha town and all sharing of your actual experience here. It means a lot for us to contribute better for this area and partly support consulting our coming guests during their trip here.

Oxalis really hopes to welcome you again in Phong Nha probably for the trip to Hang Tien with wonderful shots of this beautiful cave of fairy land.

Wish you all the best,
Oxalis Adventure Team

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Reviewed August 4, 2016

We really had an amazing weekend in Hang En cave with Oxalis. We built up our own team with 17 ppl (seems a big group for them). Thanx God, all the things worked well. Camping in the world's third biggest cave is awesome. Abt Oxalis, we highly appreciate the way they treasure the nature and attempt to protect things as original. The tourguide and porters are so professional, thoughtful and helpful. We got a lot of news and updates from the tour services and could well prepare accordingly. During trekking, we got both heavy sunny and heavy rain weather, but it just makes the memories abt this trip get more unforgettable in positive way.

Thank Vu T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OxalisAdvTours, Manager at Oxalis Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2016

Xin chao Vu,

How wonderful we feel to receive such nice words from you.
Thank you so much for your acknowledge of our professionalism, environment protection, and helfulness. This motivates our team a lot to keep going such a great way to provide the world-leading trek to Hang En and maintain this precious nature wonder as much as we can.

Wish you all the best on your on-ward travel and we hope to see you again in Phong Nha.

With the kindest regards,
Oxalis Adventure Team

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