Vietnam cave expedition
Days: 7
From: $3650
Style: Outdoor Adventure
 
IN A FEW WORDS
 
Less people have seen the inside of Hang Son Doong than have stood on the summit of Mount Everest. Join us on this otherworldly expedition and become one of the lucky few who have had the life changing experience of exploring the world’s largest cave.

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WHY THIS TRIP IS UNFORGETTABLE

Imagine trekking straight into the depths of the world’s largest cave on an expedition unlike any other. A cave so massive that a 747 could fly through its largest cavern. A space so mesmerizing that it forces you to question whether you are still on this planet at all. Foreign landscapes found nowhere else, enormous stalagmites rising from the ground and statuesque stalactites hanging from the ceiling like an alien species. Jungles emerge from inside the cave itself, a scene so surreal that you have to see it believe it. Misty clouds envelop the whole scene, a result of the cave’s own localized weather system. Passages adorned with ancient fossils offer evidence of the millions of years that have passed on this Earth.

As you approach the jungle just outside the entrance, the rush of cool wind that cascades out brings to life everything inside of you. Hazy, cold and exhilarating, it is apparent that there’s something magical waiting just beyond the opening to the cave.

 
ITINERARY:

Day 1. Welcome to Vietnam!


Arrive in Dong Hoi where you will be met by our driver and transferred to Phong Nha for a group briefing and orientation into the week ahead. You’ll then have the rest of the day to rest, relax, wander around the village of Phong Nha and most importantly, get ready for the adventure ahead! Accommodations: hostel (upgrade available)




Day 2: The Journey Begins


Enjoy breakfast at 8:00 am before departing at 9:00 am for the first leg of the expedition. You’ll leave extra luggage and any valuables at Oxalis headquarters before heading to pick up the porter team and setting off for adventure. After a 45 minute drive along Road 20 of the Ho Chi Minh Highway you’ll reach the trailhead, where you’ll start trekking for approximately 1 hour downhill through the forest, which is quite steep at times. Walk for half an hour along a small stream to the minority village of Ban Doong, which is a real highlight for many on this expedition. Learn more about this unique ethnic group of people and enjoy lunch beside a small river. You’ll then reach the entrance to Hang En Cave, home to thousands of swifts. Here you’ll be given your headlight and you will trek/boulder approximately 20-30 minutes to your campsite inside the cave. The group should arrive at camp around 3:00 – 4:00 pm where you can enjoy swimming and washing within the underground river. Dinner will be served at the spectacular campsite with numerous photographic opportunities. Accommodations: cave camp




Day 3: Descending Into the Earth


You’ll be in for a very tough day today so it’s best to enjoy a big breakfast, as you’ll need your energy! Start your trek at 9:00 am through Hang En Cave for about 30 minutes to reach the magnificent exit, made famous by many photographers over the past few years. You’ll scramble down to the river valley and then it’s an hour walk through the river, so your boots are going to be wet for most of the day; it is unavoidable, yet part of the fun. You’ll then start climbing a steep hill for about 45 minutes with some rocky sections to start. At the top of the hill you’ll enjoy lunch, a safety briefing and fit your safety harness and prepare for your big journey underground. A steep descent with a couple of short rope climbs brings you at last to Son Doong entrance. With your safety harnesses, you’ll then start the 80 m descent into the cave by making a number of short climbs, using ropes and safety lines with your guides’ assistance. There is no rappelling or abseiling at any point during the expedition. You’ll then enjoy a few more climbs and bouldering to reach the first and second river crossings inside the cave, which are no more than knee-to-thigh deep depending on the water levels. You should have a wash here, as it will be the last washing place for the day. On your way to the first campsite in the first large passage of the cave, you’ll have to be extra careful as there are a number of big drops and scrambling over boulders along a rocky path before reaching one of the most spectacular views: Hand of Dog and daylight streaming through the cave, thanks to the first doline! You will then scramble down to the first campsite of Son Doong around 3 – 4 pm. After a tea and coffee break we will head down to view the ancient fossils. Here there is a chance for a short and cool swim, but no washing. You’re in for another big meal with your team before turning in for the night. Accommodations: cave camp




Day 4: Watch for Dinosaurs


Your day begins with a hearty breakfast with your team before a 9:00 am departure towards your second campsite in Son Doong Cave. You’ll start with some rocky climbs, which are quite steep in some places, as you reach the first jungle within the cave at Watch Out for Dinosaurs. It will take about 1.5 hours to travel within the cave from Camp 1 to Watch Out for Dinosaurs. After a short break you’ll be going down the rocky path to reach the enormous Green Gours, one of the most magnificent and famous photography spots on the tour! A light lunch is provided with an incredible backdrop of the first doline. If you are lucky you may even catch some sunbeams, which make for truly spectacular photos. It is then a walk through the cave past gigantic formations and plenty of cave pearls towards the light of the second doline and main jungle within the cave. Follow the path past the beautiful foliage reaching towards the light, to reach the underground jungle, unlike anything you could experience on the planet! Cross the jungle for around 45 minutes to reach the steep and sometimes slippery path down to your second campsite within Son Doong Cave. You will reach camp around 2 – 3 pm. After a short rest at your campsite, you are back on your feet and heading deeper within the cave. You’ll pass through a very large dry passage with huge stalagmites and great views back to the second doline. Many new creepy crawlies have been discovered within this passage including white spiders, fish, woodlouse and shrimp species, so be sure to keep your eyes open. You will have many of great opportunities for photography here. You’ll be back at camp again around 5 pm to enjoy a sensational dinner with your team and delight yourself with an evening of games and entertainment, or simply relax and soak up the views at what is quite possibly the very best campsite in the world. Accommodations: cave camp




Day 5: Last Day in the Cavern


After refueling with another hot breakfast you’ll pack up camp and start heading towards the Wall of Vietnam. Scaling this wall will use a combination of ladders and ropes, but you will always have a safety line and people to look after you. After this strenuous ascent, you will see the light from the exit. Pass more flowstones and cave pearls, and see the calcited animal skeleton. Enjoy a picnic lunch before emerging into the jungle again. A short but fairly rocky path will lead you down to the bottom of the hill, and a short hike to the road. Cold drinks await you at the top of the hill before a 45 minute drive back to Chay Lap Farmstay where cool towels and a refreshing swimming pool are waiting for you. You will have time to relax after your long trek before enjoying a group farewell dinner with your fellow expedition team members. Accommodations: homestay




Day 6: Rest & Relax


Spend the day relaxing and taking in the sights and sounds of the town. You will be blown away by the remarkable scenery, being surrounded by karst mountains, idyllic green rivers, rustic villages with beautiful local people. One last group dinner before departing tomorrow. Accommodations: hotel




Day 7: The End of the Journey


Unfortunately all good things must come to an end...or do they! Although we head home today, the sights and experiences in Vietnam will be forever a part of your life! If you're not ready to leave yet, let us know and we can help you extend your stay. Accommodations: your own bed!





INCLUSIONS
All inclusive convenience meets Beyond the Map adventure! We've thought of it all so you don't have to once you leave home!      

Local, private transportation. No random drivers, no cattle-herding tour buses!

 
Rustic & modern options available, depending on your style and budget. 
Breakfast, lunch  & dinner each day. Hangry-free guaranteed!

All activities outlined in the itinerary are included in your cost before you ever leave! 

From start to finish, we're with you! Unlike many companies, our expert guides are there 24/7 to provide unique information, answer questions and even deliver the occasional joke! 

Why Travel With Us
Support locals and small businesses 
Skip the tourist trails and get off-the beaten path
Have a small group? Customize the trip for your specific interests 

Name, Title

I would recommend BTM for any trip you and your friends want to go on, or to any organization interested in planning a trip... especially if you are interested in "getting out there" and not just stopping at the common tourist spots everyone goes to. 

Steve Blatney

This was hands-down one of the the most exciting, rewarding, and memorable trips I've ever been on! The peace of mind to know that I didn't have to worry about anything was worth every penny. All I had to do was show up. Cody and Lystina took it from there. No stress, no anxiety, no rushing around or wasting time trying to find an activity or a place to eat. I got to sit back, relax, and experience a whole new world that was far beyond my map.

Name, Title

Since I've been back I have recommended these trips to so many people because this company creates these remarkable journeys that allow people to experience the world in a unique way. I can't wait to go on my next expedition with Beyond the Map!

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ADDRESS

3440 NE 12th Avenue

Oakland Park

Florida 33334

cONTACT

info@beyondthemap.org

Tel 1: 724-757-6474

Tel 2:: 724-316-4225

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