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“Great for your Adventure Vacation!”
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 18 July 2018

This trip was fantastic, a bucket list item for sure! Oxalis does a great job and really takes care of you. The pictures you see do not do this place justice. As gorgeous as these pictures are, I guarantee you that what you'll see is even more breathtaking. Worth every single penny.

Guides and Staff: When we arrived, our guide, Vu actually greeted us at the airport to makes sure we made it okay. We had the afternoon to relax (the Oxalis headquarters is right next to a river where we went kayaking!) before the evening safety briefing. Vu and our safety expert Deb were excellent at giving us all the information we needed, even checking our shoes to make sure they would be appropriate for the trek. Vu is knowledgeable, professional, and hilarious in a very dry, British kind of way. Your porters and safety assistants are the most badass people you'll meet; tip them well.

Physical Challenge: This tour is VERY physically demanding. That being said, people of all ages and body types do this tour because it is said that even the fittest crossfitters are not always the ones who do the best here. It's the terrain that people are not used to, and being a gym rat does not necessarily prepare you for it. But you are accompanied by AWESOME safety assistants who will sometimes literally hold your hand through the hardest parts. Just make sure you're flexible (you'll be doing a lot of reaching for the next ledge), that your knees are healthy, and that you've got good mental endurance. (That last day feels so long.)

The gear you need: Oxalis has an excellent list on their website of everything you need. READ IT CAREFULLY. Long pants and long socks are recommended for a reason: the jungle has leeches and they WILL find you. Bring sleeved shirts because as hot as it is, your backpack will rub your bare shoulders raw. Make sure your shoes are both breathable (you will walk through A LOT of rivers) and has good traction at the bottom. (Some places are quite slippery.) Compeed and foot powder saved my life; get some.

Also, Oxalis sells AWESOME trekking pants and long sleeved shirts at the HQ. (They were both cheaper and better than the things I brought.) If you want, buy some and your money goes to help the local villagers.

Lastly, remember that this is an adventure. You WILL get wet. You WILL get dirty. You will go a few days without a proper shower. If you go in accepting that, you'll have a amazing time.

Date of experience: July 2018
3  Thank gazbostock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"son doong"
in 34 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 11 reviews
"bucket list item"
in 4 reviews
"machu picchu"
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"makes a huge difference"
in 2 reviews
"signed up"
in 3 reviews
"wool socks"
in 3 reviews
"great pictures"
in 2 reviews
"porters carry"
in 3 reviews
"natural wonder"
in 4 reviews
"slippery rocks"
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"pair of shoes"
in 2 reviews
"got sick"
in 2 reviews
"week trip"
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in 3 reviews
"words cannot describe"
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Reviewed 30 June 2018

It's truly an incredible other-worldly experience. Every amazing view you see simply feels too magical to be real. All the photos you see (which are pretty awesome-looking) simply can't do justice to the sheer scale you experience being there.

Go book this trip as soon as you can!

Date of experience: May 2018
1  Thank sperlman915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2018 via mobile

This was a phenomenal trip! Physically demanding for sure, but definitely do-able, especially with helpful support from staff when needed. Oxalis definitely has this trip figured out, and it is really impressive how they put these 4 days together. Even though there were times I was nervous (like abseiling), I ALWAYS felt safe. I loved all of the different environments, but also loved being pushed outside my comfort zone. The Oxalis website is a great resource, and the packing list is spot-on.

Date of experience: June 2018
3  Thank DBandJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2018

It's really really wonderful places. I gone step by step on surprising of mother creative. Words can't express what we saw. So, come and feel. :)

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank vthvan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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.

Date of experience: June 2018
2  Thank Yohendran B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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