Tu Lan Expedition 4days
Our most adventurous tour the Tu Lan Expedition is led by a caving expert from the British Cave Research Association, along with a skilled adventure guide, a porter team and cooks made up of local jungle men.
This skills-based caving adventure provides a highly informative insight into this unique caving region, home to the most spectacular caves and jungle of Vietnam!
On this tough jungle and cave trek there is plenty to keep your heart racing with some dark cave abseiling, waterfall abseiling, bouldering, climbing and a lot of swimming through the caves. Our secluded jungle campsites are spectacular and mostly different from those visited on our shorter treks in the same region.
Within 4 days and 3 nights, our Tu Lan Expedition will take you to almost all the explored caves and jungles in Tu Lan area. It will certainly be a life-time experience from the Cave Kingdom of Vietnam.
- Operating: from Feb to Aug (closed from Sep to Jan)
- Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
- Adventure Level: Moderate-to-hard for physically active guests (swimming necessary)
- Availability: Weekly, every Friday
- Small Group Tours: 2 pax – 8 pax
- Minimum Age: 16 years
- Tour Starts: 7:30 am – 8:00 am from any local hotel in Phong Nha.
- Tour Ends: 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm at any local hotel in Phong Nha.
Tu Lan Expedition 4D3N
Please make sure that your health is suitable for these activities with ease.
- 20 km jungle and mountain trekking, rocky terrain
- 3 km caving
- 600 m swimming in caves (from 100 m – 300 m each cave)
- Elevation change up to 150 m (between valley and top of mountain)
- 1 abseil in a cave (darkness) and 1 abseil down a waterfall
- 4 days and 3 nights in jungle and caves
- Trekking experience, must be able to walk 15km in one day
- Must be able to swim
We Will Provide
- Camping gear: hammock/tent, camp light, sleeping bag
- Caving & safety gear: caving helmet, caving headlight, life jacket, gloves
- Light PVC backpack (if you do not want to take your own, as it will get wet)
- Semi dry bag (for clothing and personal belongings excl. electronics) for inside the (light PVC) backpack
- Basic canvas trekking boots (only if you do not have your own pair) sizes 36 – 46
- Meals: picnic lunches, breakfast (day 2, 3 & 4), dinner (day 1, 2 & 3)
- Caving expert from the British Cave Research Association
- Professional English-speaking tour guide and guide safety assistant
- Porter team to carry all camping gear and prepare all meals
- Shared dry box for phones and small cameras (limited availability for larger cameras)
- Base camp water filter and purifier (used only by guide and porters), and water bottle
- Basic camping facilities with eco-friendly compost toilet using western toilet seat
- First Aid Kit and Medical Rescue Equipment (application by guides and porters only
- Secure Storage Facility at TLV Headquarters to store all luggage you will not be taking on the trek.
You Will Need
- 2 long (easy to dry) pants and 2 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (quick dry)
- 2 pair of shorts and t-shirts to wear at campsite and swim suit
- 1 pair of trekking boots/shoes (if you prefer your own comfortable pair)
- 1 pair of flip flops (sandals) for campsite
- 1 medium size towel
- 3-4 pairs of calf length densely woven socks (not ankle socks!)
- Personal items: mosquito repellent, sunglasses, hat, camera, underwear, toiletries
Pricing And Availability
Our Tu Lan Expedition is available with one departure per week on a join-in basis only (minimum 2pax). It is advised to book in advance as this is a popular tour and we are strictly limited to 8 guests per departure.
This tour is operated from February to August (closed from September to January). The first tour running in 2016 is on January 31.
Day1: Phong Nha - Tan Hoa – Rat Cave – La Ken – Gibbon Cave – Hung Dung
The expedition takes off with a pick up from your hotel in Phong Nha between 7:30 am and 8:00 am, before transferring to the village of Tan Hoa. Following a comprehensive safety briefing, the trek gets underway with a hike across peanut and buffalo fields (2.5 km), to the Nan River.
After crossing the river, the group will go through the first cave of this expedition called Rat Cave to reach La Ken valley at around 12:00 pm. At the valley, everyone will have time to relax and enjoy a picnic-style lunch to get more energy for the day.
After lunch, the group will start moving at 1:00 pm, and trek to Gibbon Cave a high level cave with many stalagmites and cave pearls. This site is named for the gibbons which sometimes visit the cave. It takes a further 90 minutes to reach the Hung Dung campsite (around 5:30 pm) where everyone can enjoy swimming in the natural pools and enjoy a delicious dinner at around 6:00 pm.
Day2: Hung Dung – Hung Nhai – La Ken Valley – Hung Ton
Breakfast starts this adventurous day around 8:00 am. Then, the expedition group will start trekking over the hill to the next valley, followed by a short swim through a cave. There will be time to enjoy abseiling down an amazing waterfall. Around 12:00 pm lunch will be served by the river. The group will have some time to rest and relax.
The expedition starts again at 12:30 pm after lunch. Everyone will climb over a mountain, and trek through the forest to reach La Ken at around 4:30 pm. It will take one more hour to reach the campsite. Everyone deserves a refreshing swim in the river, an amazing dinner with lots of food prepared by our local chef and interesting stories with our cave expert, or games with the tour guides and porters.
Day3: Hung Ton – Tu Lan Valley – Ken Cave – Tu Lan dry and wet caves
The day starts with breakfast ready when you wake up. Right after breakfast, we will climb up Lom Com Mountain and trek over some hills to reach Tu Lan Valley. We will then have some time to enjoy tea or coffee before swimming into Ken Cave to the photo viewpoint where a famous picture of this cave was taken. After that, we will swim back to the camp (or just let the water flow lead you back) and enjoy lunch next to the river.
After lunch, we will trek to Tu Lan Dry Cave and abseil down (10m) into the river passage of Tu Lan Wet Cave with the support of our cave expert and tour guides. The boats are waiting for us to paddle down to the first waterfall. We can have some time to take pictures before heading back to camp for dinner and a good sleep under the stars.
Day4: Kim Cave – Hung Ton Cave – Secret Cave – Tan Hoa – Phong Nha
Breakfast begins the day as usual. Today will be filled with lots of different activities. First, we will enter Kim Cave via the dry entrance, follow the dry passage to the underground river, and swim through the cave to exit into beautiful To Mo Valley. Then, we will swim into Ton Cave, explore the dry passage and climb up the ladder to exit the cave. At Ton Cave, we will have lunch, rest and recover.
After lunch, we will climb up to a small entrance to Secret Cave, pass through its narrow passage and enjoy spectacular view of the fields to Tan Hoa. We will then descend, cross the Nan River, walk across the fields to head back to Tan Hoa office. At Tan Hoa office, you will have time to take a proper shower that you have been waiting for many days, have a cold drink, collect your luggage and be transferred to Phong Nha.
We can tailor make a tour that will best match your budget – the guide below serves as a reference point for you to decide how much to spend on this trip.
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How our prices work:
All of the portion of the tour are private (unless otherwise stated): airport pick up, guided tour, etc. Price is based on 2 people travelling together so if you are a single person, the price may differ. We place a strong focus on both individualized experience and value for money – so please enjoy your tour booking process with us with peace of mind.