Tu Lan 1-day Experience
Tu Lan Encounter 2D1N
Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer 3D2N
Tu Lan Expedition 4D3N
Tu Lan Cave System is comprised of over 10 caves in all, some of which were originally discovered and explored in 1992, and some of which were just found in the past couple years. Hang Ton, first found in 1992 and explored more in depth in 2012, appears first on the horizon on a trek to this intricate cave system. Its dry entrance provides an outstanding view of the valley below, and promises many more adventures inside. A ladder inside leads to the floor of the cave, and from there the journey truly begins, where one must swim through the cave to reach the exit on the other side.
In order to explore Tu Lan Caves System, explorers will have to trek through remote, untouched jungle; cross through buffalo fields; be surrounded by giant, looming, limestone mountains on all sides; and plunge into deep, cool, underground rivers that wind gracefully through mountains and river valleys alike.
The rewards for this exploration include watching flurries of butterflies surround camp; sleeping under the stars, in a hammock, with the breeze floating lazily around you; sitting by a campfire telling stories, singing songs, and drinking rice wine; listening to the beautiful waterfalls gush around you; learning (hopefully) the words to popular Vietnamese songs, singing national anthems, and playing games; eating barbecue pork, fresh fruit, springs rolls, and more; and venturing through areas that are almost completely unexplored, and boast some of the greatest biodiversity in the country.
Aside from the beauty though, it’s the adventure of swimming through the river caves that makes this tour unmatchable to anything else around. As you swim through each cave, you’re surrounded by gorgeous limestone formations, seen only by the light of your headtorch, and the fading daylight of the cave entrance behind you.
It’s quiet and serene, and definitely an experience to have at some point in this lifetime. As you finish each swim and exit the caves, the view that you’re presented with will blow you away: beautiful blue lakes, green trees, and a small waterfall… tourists have described it before as paradise on Earth.
The campsites are spectacular to take in, with limestone mountains breaking out of the ground on each side, and gushing waterfalls sending bubbles frothing across the surface of the water that completes the feeling of this utopian scene. Hammocks swing gently between trees, leaving you to be rocked to sleep in the light breeze, under the canopy of trees and a blanket of stars in a moonlit sky.
Because the tectonic plates in this region are always moving and bumping into each other, the mountains are still rising and moving up. The rivers continue to cut into the bottom of the mountain, carving new caves over time. Hence, the river caves that are at a lower elevation are much younger than the higher, dry caves as they were more recently created. The river caves in this system such as Ken Cave and Tu Lan Cave are very young, only about 3 million years old. The higher, dry caves (dry Tu Lan and Ton Cave) are much older, and date around 5 million years old.
The stalactites and stalagmites are enormous and breathtaking. One of the caves in the Tu Lan cave system, Ken Cave, even had it’s beautiful formations featured recently in National Geographic by world renowned photographer Carsten Peter.