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“Surreal, out of this world experience!”
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 June 2018

You definitely need mental strength and fitness for this, but it'll be worth it. A 4 day jungle/cave trek which was more tricky than exhausting and well supported by the exclusive Oxalis tour group. Be prepared for wet feet, pack light, keep your concentration for safety and stay hydrated. Awesome scenery, huge caverns, subterranean rivers, fossils and great camaraderie.

2  Thank Yohendran B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 June 2018 via mobile

Absolutely no regrets
This is hands down the trip of the year for me.
It’s not everyday one treks into a series of cave systems, labyrinths, underground rivers and lakes to bear witness to what nature has in store
Each day was different but so rewarding at the end. The distances weren’t too bad but the terrain was incrementally challenging but manageable.
Our guides, cave expert, porters and cooks were incredible. While we made our slow approach to the campsite, they would race ahead to set up our overnight stops with excellent tents/mattresses and bags.
Besides that we were consistently fed with hot cooked dishes that were delicious that sustained us for the next days foray.
For those concerned about having to answer nature’s call, fret not. There was even a field toilet with a seat to bet. Best I’ve experienced in all my field trips.
So with our creature comforts taken care of there was only to get to the actual sites

We were constantly dwarfed by Outsized cave entrances and caverns ,awed by magnificent limestone structures, crystal clear and icy waters, ceilings in excess of 150m at some points, strange alien like landscapes, and a rousing climb up at Great Wall of Vietnam,
It is so other-worldly No words do this place justice
Well done to Oxalis and the entire support crew for their professionalism and hospitality.
Well worth the fee charged
This IS THE not to be missed, once in a lifetime experience.
Sign up, get fit and head out!

3  Thank Dred174d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2018 via mobile

We spent a week to explore this owesome cave, this is the best trek that we've ever done up To now. The stalagmites and stalagtites were really stunning. And the organisation was perfect from beginning to end.

Thank Louis B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2018 via mobile

Simply 1 of the best treks I have ever been on - Not only was the sights and experience incredible, but the organisation & service by Oxalis was top notch. Despite the difficulty in sections of the trek, safety was their top priority, and the team made sure that everyone was very well taken care of. It was so good, I am planning a return trek to take in more of the beauty of the Son Doong! Would strongly recommend the photographic tour, because the lights that they bring to illuminate the cave makes a huge difference to the complete experience!

5  Thank Ian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 May 2018 via mobile

This is honestly one of the most beautiful and mesmerising places I've ever been - I found myself (and other tour members) just standing and staring at the sites in awe uncountable times during the four day tour. Oxalis made the trip even more so memorable: their professionalism made me feel as safe as can be, and their eye for quality was suberb (oh my god the food...).

We hesitated at first to book the tour as it is quite pricey, however we don't regret even an inch that we did it in the end. This is definitely a trip I'll still talk about for many years to come. Anyone out there who is hesitating: put it at the top of your list and just do it!

Note though that this tour needs to be pre-booked online, it is not (yet?) available for last-minute booking in Phong Nha.

The Oxalis packing list was quite helpful, I was very happy with my smartwool socks and salomon speedcross shoes, which had a good grip on the often very slippery rocks. Quick drying clothes are a must and will make your trip all the more comfortable. Other things I was happy to have with me was my sweatband to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and the card games we brought to enjoy the cave camping evenings with fellow group members. 

Beforehand, I was slightly worried that the hot climate would be an issue for me - knowing that I get overheated and dehydrated easily in hot tropical weather. I filled my 1-l water bottle each morning with ORS powder to keep hydrated well which was very helpful, and luckily inside the cave the temperature dropped somewhat to a more agreeable level. The physical activity itself was not an issue for any of our tour members; I think that with reasonable fitness and relatively strong legs the tour is very doable. We trained with a few multiday mountain tracks over two months prior to the tour and this was sufficient for us. The most strenuous activity of the whole tour I'd say is climbing the great wall at the end, however this is quite doable too since it requires only about 5-10 minutes of your strength ;-).

Ah man just writing this review makes me want to go again!

3  Thank Kim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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