Tuyen from Tigit/Chrunix had a fantastic adventure visiting the natural Tu Lan cave in Quang Binh with Oxalis Adventure Tour. This is an article translated from Vietnamese to English and then cleaned up a little bit by Tigit Jon. I hope it reads organically and naturally. I tried not to over-edit the language!
She said “On Tuesday morning, after driving my children to school, the rest of the members and I rushed to Ho Chi Minh airport to check-in before boarding the plane to Dong Hoi. We were scheduled to start an expedition to explore Tu Lan cave over 3 days 2 nights. We were full of excitement.”
The members of the group include:
- Myself – The nightingale who sings in the afternoon rain.
- One member who is energetic compared to the rest.
- Ms. Lan – who likes to name new trees in the forest.
- Ms. Thuong who is an excellent swimmer.
- And the most prominent character of the group, Ms. Hang, the living saint.
Discover Chay River and Son River
We arrived at Dong Hoi airport around 2 pm. We then set off to Phong Nha to reach our homestay. This was an ordeal that had us transfer between three different cars. We finally reached the homestay at 4pm. We had a little snack, then set out to explore the village.
We rode around with bicycles. The feeling of cycling the village roads in the cool weather is so wonderful! The green fields, the mountains, and the gentle river with emerald green all form a charming painting that makes the crowd ecstatic.
I rode my bicycle in a daze. My heart woke up with many nostalgic emotions when I was a child in my hometown, many times I cycled in the fresh spring afternoon.
Standing on the suspension bridge and looking down at the beautiful blue water, it can be said that the Chay River is the most beautiful river I have ever seen, really surprisingly beautiful. Our group did not hesitate to take plenty of photos on the bridge over the Chay River. After checking out the suspension bridge, we decided to go on a Kayak tour on the river. After more than 30 minutes of rowing and relaxing on a Kayak, we rented a canoe again to go upstream until late at night to return to the farm stay. With only 2 hours of action, we were satisfied with the wonderful scenery, and our hearts opened with great emotions.
Explore Tu Lan Cave with Oxalis adventure tours
On Wednesday morning, we started our Tu Lan tour. We moved from Chay Lap Farmstay to Oxalis office in Phong Nha. Here, we meet four new members of the team to explore Tu Lan this time. Super cute young couples Dung and Duyen and a passionate romantic couple Mr. Bao and Mrs. Hoang. The guide is a guy who looks quite masculine named Lam. The assistant is Thanh Nien, a name that describes the right person. (???)
Lam is a guide with extensive knowledge about the cave system in Quang Binh and the social and geographic knowledge of the area. Nien is very enthusiastic in supporting the members in the group trekking through the caves difficult obstacles, taking pictures, etc. Also, our team is supported by very cheerful and nice porters, chefs, and kitchen assistants.
We started touring from the Tan Hoa office. We have just set foot in this land. Looking to the right we can see the lush green grassland appearing with a few cows and buffaloes calmly grazing. Looking to the left is a green field of corn full from the foot of the mountain. How beautiful and peaceful!
The whole group trekked through the immense meadow. We reached a place called Chuot cave, where we had lunch. After that, the group passed through Chuot cave and started their real trek up the mountain.
After about 3 hours, we arrived at Tu Lan campsite. We Soaked in the cold stream. It felt wonderful after a day of trekking. At about 7:00 pm, everyone gathered around the dinner tray. The special dish that night was the sour soup cooked from Oxalis leaves. The broth is very delicious and has a sweet and sour taste from the good soil. In the laughs, everyone gradually became closer.
Day 2 was better than day 1 when we got to explore Ken cave. The Itinerary included rafting in the morning, swimming in a cave in the afternoon. The scenery on the road is stunning, and I felt like I was in a fairytale place with white foam waterfalls, green moss-covered rocks, large sloping trunks, and drooping branches on the water. Streams and landscapes that make cannot be ignored. In the afternoon, the group will experience swimming in Kim cave together. Swimming in the cool water in the cave is a wonderful experience.
Camping At Bai To Mo
The second night we camped on a different campsite with a slightly unforgettable name – Bai To Mo. The surroundings with waterfalls, mountains, and white clouds are very majestic and very poetic. We again swam in the numbly cool stream and shared a very special sister-style swim. The second dinner was even happier than the first because everyone was more open to each other, ate delicious food, had a warm drink, played a counting game. We created an unforgettable memory.
Everyone lives for themselves, enjoying every moment between the beautiful nature, majestic mountains, beautiful cave stalactites, and beautiful and funny pictures that will be looked at for life.
On the morning of the last day, we climbed a towering mountain, explored the cave, then scrambled down to the campsite, swimming in the pure and beautiful water. I wish we could stay here longer, but after lunch, we had to go back. We took a boat, then climbed the 10m high stairway over Hung Ton cave. The last forest crossing was a gentle walk through Hung Ton Valley filled with flowers on the banks of Rao Nan.
Everyone felt sad as that’s time to say goodbye. Three days and two nights are not too long but long enough for souls to be attached with nature and ever-lasting memories to be had. The people and the land here indeed have a very special attraction that makes people stick around forever. My group of busy urban mothers must return to the bustling city.