Son Doong Photography Tour
7 Days | Son Doong Tours
Dong Hoi - Phong Nha - Hang En - Son Doong - Hang En - Phong Nha
- Take this chance to explore the most unique cave in the world
- Capture the beauty of the underground world in your camera with professional support from our team
- Complete exploration of the rich ecosystem of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
15 years old
Son Doong is the biggest cave in the world and not many people have set foot in this wonderland. With extra equipment support and viewpoints offer by expert, you will definitely satisfy your passion and love for photography. Join with us on our 7-day tour to explore the finest beauty of the cavern kingdom and add Son Doong to your photo collection.
Dong Hoi – Safety Briefing – Local hotel in Phong Nha
You must arrive in Dong Hoi at about 2:00 pm in the first day to attend the safety briefing. After you arrive, our member will be there to transfer you and your team to either Oxalis Home Hotel or Ho Khanh’s Homestay. These locations are very close to Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park so you can venture around the place or simply rest till the meeting. Please note that breakfast and lunch will not be offered for today so you have to improvise yourself.
At around 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm, it is time for us to group up at the hotel restaurant and transferred to Oxalis Headquarters. Remember that you must attend to listen to the briefing otherwise, you will be dropping out of the group without refund. Here, you will meet our technical adviser and guide to listen to the safety briefing, check equipment and sign the Release Form. As for your belongings, please prepare them as we will collect and transport your luggage in individually labeled plastic bags to our porter team for the next day. You will only receive your belongings each evening in campsite so take equipment such as camera, tripod and keep them in your different backpack.
It is possible if you wish to capture the magnificent scenery of the sunset or the transition of the day to the night before the briefing, feel free to make your way to the roof of the headquarters. After the briefing, we will give you a helmet for the trip and you will take responsibility for it during the trip. Note that you must use a head strap, chest strap or other ways if you bring GoPro mounts.
Afterward, when everything is done, you will be transferred back to the hotel and dine with your team at about 7:30 pm. Rest for the upcoming day.
Phong Nha – Ban Doong Village – Hang En Cave
Our first day of the expedition will start with breakfast at 8:00 am and we will leave at 9:00 am. At the Headquarters, leave all your extra belongings and valuables before setting off with the guide.
First, we will take you to Tra Ang Bridge with an excellent viewpoint of the national park and the river below through Road 20 of Ho Chi Minh Highway. You will be given the chance to take photos as our tour guide will show you the significance of this place in our history. Your trek after that will be a little bit difficult since you will venture through national park and forest in which some parts are quite steep. However, it is a good opportunity for you to have the first glimpse of the wilderness of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. We will proceed along a stream until we reach Ban Doong Village, home of a special ethnic group of Vietnam. Take time to venture around and ask their culture and customs. You are allowed to take photos but you should respect the local and do not disturb their privacy. Then we will have lunch beside a small river.
Afterward, we will continue the journey and we will have to cross many rivers without little shade on the way. Even though the water is just on the knee level, we advise you to not wear Gore-Tex boots as they will retain water.
When you reach the mouth of Hang En Cave, it is time to explore the first cave your trip. We will give you headlight and then take you to the campsite in the cave. After about 30 minutes trekking, you will arrive at camp by about 3:00 pm. Here, you can wash and swim but if you interested, take your camera to hunt the swifts living in the cave or find a high viewpoint for a few shots.
At night, you will have plenty beautiful sceneries for your photography passion. The “window” in the cave might provide a beautiful night sky for you or if you lucky enough, the moon will shine through the cave. Dinner will be served at the camp and you can rest for the following day.
Please note that if you are unable to complete any stage on the first day, the guide team will decide whether or not you will have to return to Phong Nha and not allow continue. There will be no refund, unfortunately.
Hang En Cave – Son Doong Entrance – Hand of Dog – SD Camp 1
At 8:00 am, time to awake and start our day with hearty breakfast before a long hard trip ahead. After that, depending on the season and weather, our tour guide will bring you to a higher viewpoint over the camp where you can capture the remarkable sunbeams brighten the cave. You can also ask our team member to help you to have the best shot.
Then, we will move to other destination by trekking through Hang En Cave at about 9:00 am to 10:00 am. It is up to you to take photos on the long, dark passage after brightening up or wait until the famous exit which was featured in the Hollywood movie “Pan. After 30 minutes, we finally begin our way to Son Doong, the main attraction of our trip.
But first, you will have to travel a difficult way before satisfying your photography desire. Trek down to the river valley, then after about 1 hour you will climb a steep hill for another 45 minutes. When you reach the top of the hill, you can have a break and enjoy your lunch before a safety briefing and preparation to the entrance. Here, you will equip your harness and rope to climb and descend in Son Doong Cave.
Be encouraged as there will be many opportunities for you to fulfill your photography desire at the entrance climb and river crossings. Our guide will assist you on your way into the cave using ropes, harness, and other equipment. Then after few more climbs, the first and second river crossing is just ahead. These locations will also be the last washing places in the cave so you take notice.
Then, we will continue to our first campsite via the large passage of the cave. Take cautious since there will be drops on the rocky path and boulders which you have to climb over. However, you will reach other remarkable sites, the Hand of Dog, a massive thousand year stalactite ready to be captured in your camera. We will also install lightning support within Hope and Vision passage in which you can have a better view to Camp 1.
Finally, return to the campsite to relax after such wonderful day, dine with your team and share the great experience with others before sleep for the day.
SD Camp 1 – Watch out for Dinosaurs - Great Wall of Vietnam – SD Camp 2
Have your breakfast in the morning and we will begin our another photography adventure at 9:00 am. First, there will be some rocky climbs, some steep places and then finally reach a section called “Watch Out for Dinosaurs” in about 1 and a half hour by Cave expert and explorer Howard Limbert. The section opens the way to a jungle which seems to be a location in the famous film “Jurassic World”. Feel free to capture the remarkable gift of nature. After that, you will cross another impressive location called “Green Gours”. This spot is an excellent time-lapse photography opportunity that you must not miss. Then, rest and lunch before the magnificent scene of the first doline.
After regaining some of your energy, your photography trip continues as we will take you through the massive unique formations of stalactite and stalagmite, a pool of cave pearls around the cave on the way through the second doline and the main jungle. Reach the main jungle and discover the only unique jungle within the cave which will amaze visitors. After 45 minute venture through the jungle, we will trek the steep and slippery path to reach our second campsite in Son Doong. In the afternoon, enjoy dinner with your team.
Then, you will be taken to 80m high calcite barrier in the cave which is often being referred as the Great Wall of Viet Nam after being found in the first expedition of Son Doong by experts. On the way, Hold camera while you venture through a dry passage where there are huge stalagmites and a great view of the second doline. Additionally, you can find some creatures living as well including white spiders, fish, and woodlouse in Son Doong Cave and do some close-up photography.
There are two ways available for you to proceed to the wall. Either paddle on a beautiful underground lake or take the challenge and squelch few hundred meters through the mud pit. Everything is optional and you can also choose to abandon this location but please note that there is no washing location from this point of the day. If you decide to make your way to see the Great Wall, we will provide light support for a better view of high cliffs.
Your day will finish at the camp when you return in the evening. Feel free to relax and enjoy the delicious dinner with your group. There are numerous activities available for you here such as games or share photos or you can even continue to hunt the night sky through the doline. Overnight at the campsite.
Please note that dry boots are recommended here since there will be no water crossings besides mud pit. However, there will be no washing location on this day of the trip as well.
SD Camp 2 – Fossil Passage – Nat Geo View Point – Hang En Cave
As usual, we will have breakfast before beginning our fifth day of adventure. Pack your belongings and return to the first doline via a different way than in our previous day. You will have to rope and other equipment to cross this narrow oxbow passage above the underground river. It is possible for you to capture the stunning view from above.
Then, when you reach the first campsite at 11:00 am, you can have a short break there. Afterward, we will continue our trip by climbing down on the ancient fossil passage. Remember to capture coral fossils dated back to the age of dinosaurs and the view on the passage. After such exploration, we will descend back to the main path, cross the river and climb up to the entrance with proper equipment. Then, you can lunch near a pool where you want to wash if you interested. We will offer photography chances on the National Geo viewpoint to the large passage for those who interested during the way out.
At around 4 pm, the great trip through Son Doong Cave is over and you will venture to the entrance at around 4:00 pm then have a short break with snacks before proceeding to river valley where you can wash. Your last evening in the wild of Phong Nha will be your return to Hang En. Take this final opportunity to capture the beauty of the cave and feast on the hearty dinner with your team in the underground campsite.
Hang En Cave – Ban Doong Village – Phong Nha
After having breakfast, time to trek back to Road 20 and follow the river to reach Ban Doong Village. Regain your energy with snacks and fruit on the way before facing the last part of our adventure. Enjoy your final challenge by climbing to the top of the hill and award yourself with cold drinks prepared for you at the end.
After that, it is time to unwind and transferred back to Chay Lap Farmstay to refresh in the pool. Relax as you will have plenty of time to think about your great adventure and feast on delicious lunch with your group on the last night.
Please note that we recommend you to contact us in advance about your departure time so we can transfer you back to airport or train station. If you wish to extend your trip, please contact us to stay on extra nights at Chay Lap Farmstay.
Enjoy your final nice breakfast prepared by us before we transfer you based on your departure time. However, the check out time of Chay Lap Farmstay will be fixed at 12 pm so contact us to stay any more nights at the Farmstay. It is our great pleasure to help and we wish you luck in your upcoming trip.
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- Private transfer by air-conditioned vehicle
- Tours as mentioned in the itinerary
- Accommodation in campsite and farmstay.
- Local English Speaking guide
- Water and cool tissue
- Meals where mentioned (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Items of personal nature
- Travel insurance
- Tips/gratitude for guide
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