Tu Lan Expedition

Our most adventurous Tu Lan experience, this mini-expedition is led by a caving expert from the British Cave Research Association, along with a skilled adventure guide and porter team and cooks made up of local jungle men.

This caving adventure takes you into remote areas of this unique caving region, home to the most spectacular jungle and caves of Vietnam! You will also learn some caving techniques, and see how to set up jungle camps. Cave photography is an option and the guides will be able to assist you producing top quality images in the caves. On this tour we will bring 2 very high power 2,500 lumen flood lamps to make photography and video possible.

On this 35 km tough jungle and cave trek, there is plenty to keep your heart racing with some dark cave abseiling, bouldering, climbing and a lot of swimming through the caves. Our secluded jungle campsites are breathtaking and mostly different from those visited on our shorter treks in the same region.

Our Tu Lan Expedition will take you to Hang Tien Cave, one of the largest caves in the region, and with your caving expert you’ll explore up to 2 km of this huge and impressive cave, which is certainly a highlight of the expedition!

Itinerary

Day 1: Phong Nha – Tan Hoa – Secret Cave – Tu Lan

The expedition takes off with pick up from your hotel in Phong Nha between 8:00 am and 8:30 am, before transferring to the village of Tan Hoa. Following a comprehensive safety briefing, which will include abseiling from a cliff 15m high, the trek gets underway with a hike across peanut and buffalo fields (2.5 km) to the Rao Nan River.

After crossing the river, it’s a 50 m climb up to the entrance of Secret Cave. Then, climb down to Hung Ton Valley (100 m), where lunch will be served picnic-style. Cross Hung Ton Valley and conquer Hung Ton Mountain. A 2 km trail leads the way to Mango Mountain, It’s 2 km more to Tu Lan Valley and then arrival at Tu Lan Valley campsite for swimming around the cooling waterfall before a well-earned dinner with the team.

Day 2: Tu Lan – Hang Ken – Hang Kim – Hung Ton Valley

Breakfast starts this adventurous day off right, with a trek to Tu Lan Dry Cave and an abseil 15m into Tu Lan Wet Cave followed by a 1.5 km journey through the cave on small rafts to the underground waterfalls.

At the time of writing this has only ever been visited by the original 4 explorers. This is very exciting caving and very different from all other tours. Return to the campsite for swimming before a picnic lunch at camp. Continue the fun with a 200 m swim into Ken Cave for further cave exploration. Again we will take you much farther into this beautiful cave including long swims and short climbs in very well decorated and pristine cave passage.

After returning to camp, head out for Hang Kim (500 m trek) and proceed with further cave exploration. Swim and climb through Hang Kim (1 km) and exit at To Mo Valley. Trek to Hung Ton Wet Cave and swim through to the Hung Ton Valley Campsite, where another amazing BBQ (or vegetarian) dinner will be served. Sleep under the blanket of stars in Hung Ton Valley.

Day 3: Hung Ton Valley – La Ken Valley – Hung Nhai

Start off with breakfast and a 2.5 km trek across Hung Ton Valley and over the hill into La Ken Valley. Enjoy the cool river before trekking uphill and over the mountain to Dung Valley (2 km) where you will enjoy lunch en route.

Follow the river and then prepare for a challenging rocky hill climb to get to Hung Ran Valley. Visit a small cave and waterfall before arriving at another beautiful valley Hung Nhai. This leads to an uphill trek where a panoramic view of Cao Quang can be seen. We continue to reach our campsite next to a beautiful blue lagoon for dinner and a well earned rest.

Day 4: Hung Nhai – Hang Tien – Phong Nha

Breakfast begins the day, and straight away we climb up to the impressive huge entrance to Hang Tien. This is the only tour that visits this amazing cave.

With help from the cave experts it will be possible to explore deep into the cave. This will be a tough 4 hour cave tour to the far reaches which involves climbing through some exceptional pristine cave passage. Very few people have ever seen this remote cave and this tour gives you the chance of seeing and doing something very few people have done before.

This is a fitting climax to the tour before we finally walk along a river with a final river crossing to meet our pick up to transfer to Phong Nha before 7pm.

  • Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
  • Adventure Level: Moderate-to-hard (35 km) for physically active guests (swimming necessary)
  • Availability: Weekly departures on Sundays
  • Small Group Tours: 2 pax – 8 pax
  • Minimum Age: 16 years
  • Tour Starts: 8:00 am – 8:30 am from any local hotel in Phong Nha.
  • Tour Ends: 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm at any local hotel in Phong Nha.
  • Price: 14,000,000 VND