Tu Lan 4-day expedition tour (4 Days - RT051)

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. 

QUICK FACTS: 

  • Operating: from Feb to Aug (closed from Sep to Jan)
  • Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights on tour & 1 night in luxurious contryside resort
  • Adventure Level: Moderate-to-hard for physically active guests (swimming necessary)
  • Availability: Weekly, every Thursday & Sunday
  • Small Group Tours: 2 - 8 pax (minimum of 2 pax)
  • Minimum Age: 16 years old
  • Tour Starts: 7:30 - 8:00 from any local hotel in Phong Nha
  • Tour Ends: 18:00 at Chay Lap Farmstay

ITINERARY

Day 1 Phong Nha - Tan Hoa - Secret Cave - Hung Ton Cave - Tu Lan Campsite - Hang Ken

The expedition takes off with a pickup from any local hotel at Phong Nha at 7:30 – 8:00 am and a transfer to Tan Hoa village. You’ll attend the safety briefing, check on gears, equipment & sign the Release Form at Tu Lan office prior to trekking. At 10:00 am, the trek gets underway with a hike across peanut and buffalo fields (2.5 km) to the Rao Nan River.

After crossing the river, the group will go through the first cave of this expedition called Secret Cave at 11 am. The journey within Secret Cave then proceeds forward with a trek to Hung Ton Cave entrance. The journey within Secret Cave and the following trek to Hung Ton will take from about 11:30 am – 12:00 pm. At the entrance of Hung Ton you will take a break and enjoy lunch until about 1:00 pm.

From Hung Ton, trek through the jungle to Tu Lan Campsite. At camp, you’ll get settled and have time to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee before swimming into Ken Cave to the photo viewpoint where a famous picture of this cave was taken. There will be more time for swimming afterwards at the small waterfall by camp, while our porter team prepares a delicious dinner.

Day 2 Tu Lan - Hang Kim - To Mo - Hung Ton - La Ken - Hung Dung Campsite

Breakfast starts this adventurous day around 8:00 am. Then, the expedition group will see the namesake of the tour, Tu Lan Cave. Visit Tu Lan Dry Cave and abseil down (10 m) into the river passage of Tu Lan Wet Cave with the support of our guide team. You will either swim or boat out of the cave (exit mode depends on season/weather).

Hang Kim is next, and you’ll enter via the dry entrance, follow the dry passage to the underground river and swim through the cave to exit into picturesque To Mo Valley. We will have lunch here from about 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Then, we will swim into Ton Cave, explore the dry passage and climb up the ladder to exit the cave.

It takes a further 2.5 hours to trek to La Ken Valley and then you’ll reach the Hung Dung Campsite (around 5:30 pm) where everyone can enjoy swimming in the natural pools. In cooler weather, you can spend this extra time taking photos of the waterfall and drinking more cups of coffee or tea. Enjoy a fulfilling dinner at around 6:00 pm.

Day 3 Hang Doi - Hung Nhai - Tien Valley - Tien Campsite

At 8:00 am, the day starts with breakfast ready when you wake up. Around 9:00 am, trek over the hill and through Hang Doi, known as Short Cave or sometimes Bat Cave. This will include a very short swim. When you exit the cave, you’ll see a beautiful waterfall and have time to stop and take some photos.

At 11:00 am, cross Hung Nhai Valley to the bottom of the hill. Lunch will take place from 12:00 – 1:00 pm near the river. The next few hours will be spent trekking up and over the hill into Tien Valley. After the hill, it’s about 30 more minutes to campsite which will be reached around 5:30 pm. Enjoy swimming in the gorgeous natural lagoon and soak up the surrounding beauty. Capture some excellent photos before getting distracted with a delicious dinner under the stars.

Day 4 Hang Tien 1 - Hang Tien 2 - Tan Hoa - Chay Lap Farmstay

Have a big breakfast to gear up for this big, final day of the trek. Hike to the largest cave in Tu Lan Cave System, Hang Tien. Known as Fairy Cave, Hang Tien has two sections and you will explore both from about 9:30 am – 1:00 pm.

Hang Tien 1 lies beyond a field of boulders and the entrance is magnificent. Rimstone pools are stacked high and add to the magical feeling of this cave. Journey through Hang Tien 1 to its exit and then through Hang Tien 2 before making your way back.

Lunch will take place on the return through Hang Tien, at the exit of Hang Tien 1. Then the group will proceed back through Hang Tien 1. Trek over the hill to the road where you’ll be picked up and returned to the office around 4:00 – 4:30 pm.

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 Chay Lap Farmstay. Check in at the hotel around 6:00 pm, and then enjoy a gala dinner with your expedition team around 7:30 pm. The night will be spent at Chay Lap.