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Wonderful cave

This is the largest cave on the world. If you want to visit this cave, you should prepare... read more

Reviewed 25 October 2018
Victor P
via mobile
Great Cave

The beautiful life is here. The trip is full of surprise and lightning --- >>> Quang Binh straight... read more

Reviewed 22 October 2018
phuongthaon589
,
Vietnam
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Recommended experiences in and around Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
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Reviewed 12 July 2017 via mobile

I see a few reviews about the price (some from people who didn't even do it? Why do you get to review this cave if you haven't gone...) and yes it IS pricey. This is a trip you have to save for and make some sacrifices to be able to go. and I will say that it is not great that it is unaffordable for most Vietnamese, which is my only criticism of the entire operation/setup between the government and Oxalis in terms of exclusivity.

However, it is an incredible incredible experience and the company does a LOT to create a thrilling, enjoyable and SAFE experience for those that go in. There are no trails and a lot of dangerous parts to this trek. And when your body is pushed to the limit everyday, you really appreciate all that the porters and guides do to help setup camp and make sure you're watered and fed and healthy while in the cave. Sorry, but that all takes a lot of money to operate and at the very least you should know that the company employs hundreds of locals and some of your money is directly helping to raise the living standards of many families in that area.

Some tips:

Yes you should be somewhat physically fit. Make sure your body is at least capable of rock climbing, endurance hikes, sustained cardio and then the rest is mental.

Don't forget the talcum powder.

Yes people get leeches, but it's no big deal. Overall, it's probably best you get over your fear of bugs. Oh and snakes. We saw a west corral?snake in the cave that was pretty dangerous..

Don't spend too much on shoes. Good hiking boots will do (my partner bought some last minute North Fakes and they worked great).

Everything gets wet so having clean underwear and socks everyday was so worth it. But overall, pack less than you think you need. Quick dry clothes and things are awesome if you're prioritizing what to buy/pack.

Honestly I preferred long sleeves (and I went in June!) because it kept me cooler, protected against sun and bugs, and offered handy sleeves for wiping sweat, etc.

If you bring biodegradable soap, everyone will be your best friend haha.

Bring candies or pencils or something small for the village you stop at on the first day. You don't have to but it's a nice thing to do.

Bring rehydration tablets so you don't cramp up at inconvenient times.

The last day involves a really tough sustained climb back up to the road. I brought headphones and played music, which made it bearable and gives you mental energy.

I found that by the end of the first day I was already really sore and that my core strength was shaky, I wish I had brought some Advil or muscle rub, maybe tiger balm, to give my body a way to recover faster at night between days. By day 5, I swear I was walking on toothpicks.

Come with an open mind, a flexible attitude, your sense of adventure and an appreciation for beauty (although that last won't be hard to do ;).

Date of experience: June 2017
48  Thank Shivani B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2017

The cave is absolutely stunning and other-worldly. Dolines provide sunlight, air and jungle at just the right spacing along the entire length of the cave.

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank sting800
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2017

I just returned from the 5 day expedition into Son Doong Cave, and it was incredible. Having been to over 70 countries I can say that I have not been as astounded by the sights before my eyes anywhere else in the world.

This is a very demanding and difficult trek, and you should be in great physical shape to do it. The best advice I can give is to follow the instructions that Oxalis Tours sends you upon accepting your application (and they will evaluate your fitness and ability levels before agreeing to let you come). Buy the right shoes, the right socks, and the right gear-otherwise you will be miserable. It's hot, wet, slippery, and challenging-although they feed you three hot meals a day and take care of all your camping setups and dismantles.

I would strongly suggest going on the Photography tour as opposed to a regular trek-it is the same itinerary but the photography tour is $1000 more-but for this, they bring in powerful floodlights and light the cave for impressive photos (otherwise you can still take pictures but they'll be dark and you'll miss the grandiose stalactites and stalagmites that disappear in the distance within the confines of the cave (an iPhone won't really do it justice, bring a nice camera but prepare for it to get dirty, muddy, and possibly malfunction due to the heat and humidity within the cave).

Do your research, prepare, and enjoy the trip of a lifetime-and remember that it's not for everyone. The best favor you can do for yourself is to be ready and know what to expect.

Date of experience: June 2017
18  Thank akostich_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2017

There are some treks in the world that are all about the journey and not just the destination. Son Doong is a world ahead on both the journey and the incredible destination. Each day when we would get to camp, a coffee was always there and I just could not believe the sights I had seen. Oxalis are world class and they really do make the journey so enjoyable. I was concerned about doing this as I am getting old but I did it and I had nothing to worry about. You will need to train and you will need to be prepared to be wet as you cross lots of rivers but that makes it fun. I loved every minute of this trip and it is like nothing else on earth. I felt so humble and so into the now like never before. A truly life changing experience with an incredible company. Book well in advance and don't think twice it is worth every penny and more. I could not find the recommended 5 10s in Australia so had to purchase the Camp4 5 10's they were great and had good grip. Book it now and don't look back.

Date of experience: May 2017
7  Thank Reap9196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2017 via mobile

Son Doong was the most incredible experience of my life. Its also the most beautiful place I have ever been. Breathtaking, majestic, otherworldly, etc. The tour operator Oxalis was absolutely flawless and they made the experience fun and rewarding. You absolutely have to book in advance. This is not a very wordy review, but I cant put into words how amazing the experience was. I didn't want to leave. If you want to take photos inside the cave, you must have a tripod and a camera that can do long exposures and operate on full manual.

Date of experience: June 2017
10  Thank Kathryn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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