This authentic and arduous journey to the 4th largest cave in the world is not one to be taken lightly. Throughout the day you will experience a lot of rock scrambling, requiring you to be able to lift your body up with 4 points of contact. A high level of fitness is required to complete the 20kms trek, with swimming and some abseiling into the cavern of Hang Pygmy.
Depending on the season, there will be many leeches, so I would recommend wearing two pairs of socks and making your trekking outfit as impenetrable as possible. Some easy things you can do to prevent leeches getting on your skin is tucking your pants into your socks, tucking your long sleeve shirt into your pants, and tucking your sleeves into your gloves. This will mean only your neck and face are exposed, and leeches are always low lying, either on the ground or on leaves close to the ground. If you do happen to get a leech on your outfit, just spray it with insect repellant and it will drop off. You can do the same for any that manage to get on your skin. You won’t feel them until they start to get full, when you will start to feel an itch in the area they have latched on. Try not to panic or worry too much about the leeches. This ‘ninja suit’ you have made for yourself will also be the ultimate defense from mosquitos.
The tour operator, Jungle Boss, will provide you with gloves, shoes (if you need them), a head torch/helmet and a life jacket for swimming component. They even have some waterproof bags for use on request. All the camping gear is provided. The guides and trekking team will make everything look easy, all whilst carrying your lunch and dinner, and all the other supplies needed for the journey. After a hard days slog you will arrive to the stunning campsite at the opening of Hang Pygmy. Here you can attempt to take a shower from a natural run of water from the cave roof. I would highly recommend that guests take a change of clothes to get dry and comfortable for your night of camping in the cave. Relax and soak in the visually stunning cavern as your trekking team prepares a delicious dinner.
Thank you to my amazing guide Lê Biên and the trekking team at Jungle Boss for giving me the adventure of a lifetime. This trek, and the Phong Nha National Park for that matter, is definitely one of the best things you can do whilst visiting Vietnam. If you are interested in the ultimate challenge Vietnam has to offer, or would like to learn more about the tours we offer, drop us an email @ email@example.com
Words: Tony, Farmstay Manager
Media courtesy of Jungle Boss