The Tu Lan cave system is one of Vietnam’s greatest outdoor wonders: a network of wet and dry caves that offer incredible stalactites and stalagmites, fascinating fauna, and some of the country’s best campsites. Pick up from your hotel and head straight to Tan Hoa, a small village close to the caves. The journey takes around 90 minutes.
Then trek through the countryside as you move towards the caves, enter the jungle, and get the adventure started. Some caves you can walk through, others you’ll be completely submerged in water as you paddle from rock to rock. Don’t worry – a lifejacket makes things easy and safe.
Helmets and headtorches ensure that you feel secure as you light up the chambers – some of which allow no natural light at all – and illuminate your path. Marvel at bizarre stalagmites and stalactites; some looking like oversized vegetables while others look like creatures from another planet. Make sure you ask your guide plenty of questions, as they can explain how each one was formed.
In the evening you’ll settle into a gorgeous riverside campsite enveloped by mountains and jungle. You can’t shower, but instead there is a rock pool offering fresh clean water from the mouth of a cave. And for dinner you can expect a mouthwatering barbeque with dishes such as chicken and lemongrass or pork with herbs. Accommodation is in comfortable one- or two-person tents.
Finish the trek on the afternoon of the second day, with a cold beer and a welcome shower.