Trekking through Tu Lan cave in Quang Binh province
If one defines caving tourism in Vietnam as Phong Nha – Ke Bang, Tu Lan is the girl next door.
Lesser known and far wilder than the well-lit caves frequented by busloads of tourists, the Tu Lan system sits inside the limestone mountain range that surrounds the Tan Hoa valley commune in Minh Hoa District.
The valley lies north of Phong Nha on the Ho Chi Minh Road in the central province of Quang Binh. Golden corn fields pop out of the thick jungle green when one visits between April and June.
Tu Lan was discovered by local fishermen in 2009 and explored by members of the British Cave Research Association in 2010.
The 200-hectare karst cavern lies lower than its neighbors in Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park so streams twist through its center.
There’s only one way into Tu Lan; you have to swim.
But that is gentle enough compared to the next part: climbing over cliffs that have been standing there for hundreds of millions of years.
There are five more stretches –both swimming and climbing– inside the system, where the path rises and falls, widens and narrows.
Jungle trekking on the way to the Tu Lan cave system in Quang Binh Province.
Natural rewards pull you through, like drying your soaking clothes in the wind and sunshine on the high cliffs.
Inside Tu Lan, many rocks look almost man-made–rounded and patterned as if drawn on by cavemen. Some things look as if they must have been placed there on purpose — like the oblong stalagmites that surround a swimming hole.
The dry cave at the end of the system features a vast roof that lets the sun shine through two large openings illuminating scores of glittering stalactites inside.
Oxalis Adventure Tours is the only firm licensed to provide caving and trekking tours in the area.
They’ve added wood stairs and panels to aid you through the most precarious parts of your journey.
The rest is left to you.
The company pledged on its website to keep the cave system as natural as possible by adding no construction or housing to ensure every visitor feels like the first person in the cave.
Oxalis takes bookings for one day to six day treks.
They’re categorized from very easy to very hard.
The company supplies a helmet, trekking boots, a headlamp, a life jacket, climbing gloves and rope.
Pristine Co To Island, Quang Ninh
1. Where is Co To Island?
This untouched island is located in Quang Ninh province, comprising of 40 islands varying in sizes. Three most important ones are Large Co To Island, Hong Van and Van Chat.
2. What to see and do?
In spite of the developing tourism, the island still has its own aesthetic beaches that await you any time. With the white sandy beaches, blue and crystal-like water and tropical climate, Co To Island is always one of the best Vietnam destinations that you should visit in your journey. Co To is charming both the day and night, from the early morning until mid-night. The bright sun and dime moon are definitely captured in your eyes. Moreover, you can walk along the beach, head to the green pine forest, discover the imposing lighthouse, bathe in the blue water, go fishing and see the coral reefs or enjoy the seafood such as shrimps, fishes, etc …
The Green Co To Island
Enjoy the most romantic moments alongside beaches
“Paradise” of sea-food in Co To Island
3. How can you get to Co To Island
From Hanoi, take a car to Cai Rong Town, from 150 km from Ha Long.
How visitors live when discovering Son Doong Cave ?
Travelers will have many exciting experiences in the wild such as spending 5 nights sleeping in a tent under the cave, enjoying BBQ with chicken or pork prepared by local chefs, relaxing swim in underground rivers…
Each conquest Son Doong tour has only to 10 guests with a professional staff consisting of experts, medical staff, guides, chefs and luggage porters.
The Son Doong adventure lasts 7 days including 5 days experience entirely in the natural environment with fantastic activities like picnicking, camping, sleeping tents, bath springs … This journey will include 2 nights in En Cave and 3 nights in Son Doong cave.
Travelers will have chance to enjoy the delicious meal amongst the lush green jungle, on the way trekking from Doong Village to En Cave.
The tour offers a professional chef and 2 partners, who prepare meals and arrange seats for all travelers.
In addition to the delicious dishes prepared at the Son Doong Cave, visitors also have chance to savor fresh seafood and specialties of the surrounding villages of Phong Nha.
It takes around two hours to prepare a meal. The menu features many yummy dishes including BBQ of chicken or pork eating with salt, which is a local specialty of Quang Binh.
In the evenings, visitors can enjoy leisure activities like playing chess, singing, chatting with the porters…
The tent also has sleeping bags for travelers.
A flush toilet using rice husks compact is prepared for guests during the Son Doong tour. Each campsite has at least two clean toilets for travelers.