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“Another world”
Review of Son Doong Cave

Son Doong Cave
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Son Doong Cave is in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province. This incredible cave was only explored in 2009/2010 by the British Cave Research Association. Situated in the deep jungle, the entrance to the cave was found by a local jungle man Mr Ho Khanh. Son Doong Cave is now the largest cave in the world and has understandably been the attention of many film companies such as the BBC, National Geographic, Japanese and Brazilian teams. It also featured in National Geographic Magazine in 2011. Son Doong cave is unlike any other caves on the planet. Inside this giant cave are two huge daylight windows which allows the light to enter many parts of the cave. At the base of these windows are large jungles which use the available light and so trees up to 30m tall are present. But Son Doong is not only about its immense size, the cave has amazing examples of some of the best speleothems in the world. Giant stalagmites up to 80m high and enormous rimstone pools are present throughout the cave. There are also excellent examples of giant cave pearls and a newly discovered side passage is full of large fossils over 300 million years old. As well as rare species of plants in the cave a number of new species of animals have recently been discovered. Monkeys, hornbills and flying foxes have all been seen in the jungle section of the caves.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 20 May 2015

I will never make it to outer space so I did the next best thing. Son Doong is another world and will stay with me forever. It was an honour to meet Mr. Ho Khanh who discovered the cave so many years ago. To explore it with members of the original British caving expedition was like being on the moon with the original astronauts. I truly feel privileged to have had this opportunity. Their passion for the cave is highly infectious. Their respect and care for it is reassuring.
Was it expensive? Yes, but worth every penny and then some when you consider the logistics involved and the excellent level of service, equipment, staff, safety and the care taken for the cave and its environment. Son Doong is in good hands with the Oxalis company. It is evident they respect and care for this treasure. I feel every cent was well deserved in part because of this but mostly because I could see how the money was spent.
You must be very fit and have great stamina. This is not an easy trip. It. Is. A . Challenge! For 5 days you will be trekking through the jungle in extreme heat and humidity, climbing over slippery, sharp rocks in near dark and climbing down again, crossing too many rivers to count both above and below ground and dealing with elements foreign to most of us. The over 50 kilometres are not easy ones. You will be camping and cannot expect to be clean, dry or particularly comfortable in this world. Be honest about your abilities and realistic about physical comfort in these conditions. Good hydration is not just extremely important; it is vital! Drink and then drink some more. Do not worry about having to urinate, you will sweat it out. I averaged 3 litres a day on the trail and drank a lot in camp.
Take every piece of advice Oxalis gives you seriously. They know what they are talking about. You are in good hands.
There are no adequate words to prepare you for the beauty of the caves. Pictures cannot do it true justice either in my opinion. You have to be there to understand that. You will have moments that are surreal and they will blow your mind! Remember that very few people have had this opportunity. To put it into perspective; more people have been to space and climbed Everest than have been here. This is truly something unique.
A waterproof camera or even a go pro are a must. You will have a hard time deciding which shots to take and will relish poring over them again and again. My only problem is..... What could possibly top this?

39  Thank T4tillerman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 May 2015

Imagine your are Gollum in the lord of the rings for 5 days. Incredible.

A bit slow from time to time if you're stuck with some less agile guests as well as keen photographers. I would be VERY SPECIFIC when you inform them on what your expectations are. I personally didn't like the photography marathon. stop-photo-stop-photo-stop-photo-rest-photo etc.

It's a facebook/instagram setup rather than an adventurous one.

Still great but watch out so that you don't get stuck with a group of slow people or wide load Americans.

18  Thank GlobbalGurru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2015

If you are up at Quảng Bình you have to see this amazing caves,
they go for kilometer and are 10 stores plus high. Very nice light
reflection inside with many dept colours, large pillars hanging up and down, different section inside creating a total different natural landscape while you taking it all in, take a good camera with you and you will get some nice pictures.

7  Thank Topend11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2015

I just completed the Son Doong Trek and I can honestly say it was the best thing I have ever experienced in my life. Although I have a terrible fear of heights, I was never really afraid for my safety thanks to the wonderful guides and porters from Oxalis who were always there to help me whenever I needed some reassurance - especially Ruth, Dave and Seven. There are literally no words to describe how beautiful and unspoilt this magnificent cave is so I encourage anyone who has the ability to see it to do it as soon as possible - there are rumours of installing a cable car to get to Son Doong which in my opinion would ruin the entire experience so don't wait - DO IT NOW! Bear in mind though that it is tough if you're not extremely fit or you have difficulty scrambling over boulders, climbing ropes, or you are unsure of your footing on slippery, steep surfaces. By the way, as we were warned in the briefing, don't expect to come on this trip and lose weight as you get fed a lot (and I do mean a lot) of top class, delicious food - thanks cook!

15  Thank CandyMac81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 April 2015

Best trip ever! Son Doong is the 8th Wonder of the World. Oxalis is a brilliant bunch of people to do it with. Adam, Dave, Bamboo, Jamie and others - all awesome. Trip was hard (50km of hiking and caving) but worth every penny. 99% of people will never get to experience something like this in their lifetime. The most haunting, alien landscape I've ever seen. Raw natural beauty. And Rice Wine.

30  Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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