If you intend to visit Quang Binh in your Vietnam travel journey, you should not miss out on the opportunity to explore Son Doong Cave. The Son Doong Cave tour allows tourists to experience the thrill of discovery, as they traverse through passages that have remained hidden for millennia.
1. Why is the Son Doong Cave tour worthwhile?
Discovered in 2009, Son Doong is the biggest cave in the world, which was recognized by the National Geographic magazine. This cave is the largest Vietnam caves, with a volume of about 38.5 million cubic meters.
Since 2013, the Son Doong Cave tour has become super popular for people who love adventures. The National Geographic called it the best adventure tour in 2014, and in 2019, the British TV channel Dave Television ranked it as one of the top 5 adventure trips worldwide. Even the British Daily Mail voted its campsite the coolest in the world in 2017.
Here are some highlights of the Son Doong Cave tour:
- Exclusive exploration: Oxalis Adventure is the only organization allowed to provide Son Doong cave tours. This means you will get a unique and well-organized experience.
- World’s biggest cave: You will get to explore the biggest natural cave in the world, of which scenery changes all the time.
- The cave’s ecosystem: The cave is so big that it has its own ecosystem with clouds. It’s like a whole different world inside the cave.
- Ancient forest: Inside the cave, there is an old forest that is like a glimpse into nature’s past.
- En Cave: On this tour, you can also check out En Cave, in which a Peter Pan movie was filmed.
- Awesome campsites: The campsites inside the cave are designed to let natural light in. On sunny days, you can see sunbeams light up the cave.
- Great staff: Each tour has a solid team of staff to keep things safe and fun. They include safety experts, guides, assistants, cooks, porters, and rangers from the national park.
2. The official Son Doong Cave tour price
Only 1,000 tourists can experience the Son Doong Cave Vietnam tour a year. The Son Doong Cave tour costs $3,000 per person. The tour organizer will pick you up at the airport or train station. They will provide meals, arrange places to stay, give you safety gear like helmets, and even sort out travel insurance. It is all taken care of, making sure you have a safe and enjoyable adventure in the biggest cave in the world.
3. The adventure level of Son Doong Cave tours
Son Doong Cave tours come with different adventure levels to match your fitness abilities. Oxalis Adventure has made a scale to help you pick the right tour, in which there are 6 levels in total. Level 1 is the easiest, which is good for anyone. Level 6 is the toughest, only meant for those who do sports or mountain climbing often. If you are used to activities like forest trekking, the Son Doong tour will be a comfortable and enjoyable adventure for you.
4. The detailed itinerary for Son Doong Cave tours
4.1. Day 1: Phong Nha – Safety Briefing
On the first day, you should make sure to be in Dong Hoi City at 3 pm, as there will be a safety briefing at Oxalis’ office at around 5 pm. If you miss the briefing, you might not join the Son Doong tour, and no refund will be given. You will sign some papers and get your gear. The safety experts will also check your trekking shoes and backpack. After that, the group has a welcome dinner at Oxalis Home to get to know each other. After dinner, you will head back to the hotel, get your stuff ready for the trek, and rest up for the exciting adventure ahead.
4.2. Day 2: Doong Village – Hang En Cave
The expedition starts with a steep 350-meter downhill walk in the national park, then a 30-minute forest walk to Ban Doong Village. After lunch, a 3-hour walk will take you to Hang En Cave for camping, where amazing views of nature open up on the way. Inside the cave, your tent will be ready with your name. There is also a lake for swimming too. Dinner will be prepared, getting you set for a restful night before you head to Son Doong Cave the next day.
4.3. Day 3: Son Doong Entrance – Campsite Doline 1
In the morning, you will further explore Hang En Cave and see the cool exit from the Peter Pan movie. Then, you will cross a river and go up a steep hill to get to Son Doong Cave’s entrance. After lunch at the entrance, you will get the gear for a safe descent into the cave, and there will be a safety briefing to guide you.
After coming down the entrance slopes and crossing more rivers, you will see the big “Hand of Dog” stalagmite. At around 4 pm, you will reach the first campsite in Son Doong called “Level Playing Fields” just before Doline 1. There are bathrooms and places to change here too.
4.4. Day 4: The Garden Of Edam – Campsite Doline 2
As you explore Son Doong, there will be steep climbs, tight caves, and ropes to reach the area called “Watch out for Dinosaurs”, or Doline 1. Going down from there, you will get to the “Green Gours” on the other side. This is a gorgeous spot, especially on sunny days when the sunlight comes in. After having lunch here, you will walk on calcite pathways to the “Garden of Edam” at Doline 2, a delicate area with the view of a forest. Going down a slippery part, you will get to the campsite where you can rest, take photos, and enjoy the view.
4.5. Day 5: The Great Wall Of Vietnam – Son Doong Exit – Chay Lap Farmstay
After breakfast, you will gear up with safety equipment and get a quick safety briefing. This readies you to take on the Great Wall of Vietnam, which is one of the coolest and most challenging cave experiences in Son Doong. After lunch on top of the Wall, you will leave the cave, tackle a final rocky part, and trek through the forest to get back to Ho Chi Minh Trail. This is where the Son Doong Cave tour ends and you can celebrate with chilled beer and soft drinks. Around 3 pm, the guide will take you back to Chay Lap Farmstay.
4.6. Day 6: Chay Lap Farmstay – Dong Hoi
According to your schedule, you can either be picked up after having breakfast or spend some extra time exploring additional attractions in Phong Nha before departing. There are numerous renowned spots to visit here, including Phong Nha Cave, Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Chay Lap Water Sport Center, Blue Diamond Camp, and Paradise Cave.
5. What to prepare for your Son Doong Cave tours?
To ensure a great Son Doong Cave tour, it is recommended that travelers bring the necessary items for the expedition. The expedition involves varied terrains, which calls for quick-dry, long-sleeved T-shirts, trekking pants, waterproof jackets, and appropriate shoes and socks. Accessories like mosquito repellent, sunglasses, sunscreen, and personal items such as towels, hygiene products, power banks, medicine should also be packed.
6. Things to consider before booking Son Doong Cave tours
Before booking a Son Doong Cave tour, keep these points in mind:
- Experience: You should have trekking experience.
- Fitness: Regular involvement in sports or outdoor activities is recommended.
- Payment: If your booking is approved, you should pay 100% of the tour fee for confirmation.
- Cancellation: You can get a full refund if you cancel the tour 90 days before departure. Changing the dates is possible if there are free spots. Late cancellations will incur charges.
>>> Don’t forget to check Dong Hoi weather in advance!
After exploring Quang Binh, you should consider extending your travel journey in Vietnam by visiting some well-known cities, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long. In these cities, it is recommended to stay at the hotels and resorts of Vinpearl.
Vinpearl provides a chance for you to enjoy exceptional facilities and outstanding services. To further enhance the time at Vinpearl and in Vietnam, make sure not to overlook the entertainment complexes of VinWonders. They feature a variety of exciting activities and remarkable shows that will cater to visitors of all ages.
The Son Doong Cave tour is a truly exceptional adventure into the heart of the planet. Exploring its stunning landscapes offers a unique experience that’s hard to find anywhere else. Hopefully, this article has provided you with all the necessary information for your upcoming trip to the biggest cave in the world.