Top 5 most wonderful caves in Halong Bay
Being well-known for its unique geology, aesthetics, and archaeology values, Halong Bay is home to many spectacular caves not to be found anywhere else in the world, and among the features that make it so are the numerous caves and grottoes scattered throughout the bay. Through years, the beauty of these caves is one of the main reasons attracting tourists from all over the world to witness and study. To give you even more of an idea, below is the list of 5 Halong Bay caves worth visiting in Ha Long Bay.
1. Dau Go (Wooden-Steak) cave
A thousand year ago, Dau Go cave was discovered and used for preparation of a special Vietnamese fight against the invasion of the Mongolian-China army. In 1288, the contemporary general of Vietnam, Tran Dung Dao, stored a numerous number of woods in this cave. He ordered his soldiers to cover a wooden head with sharp metals in one night only and place them in the mouth of Bach Dang river which is around 10 kilometers away. The high tide hid the battle field and it was time the Vietnamese used small boats to provoke the giant ships of the enemy. The tide dropped after they had entered the field and the large ships trapped inside the pit. The Vietnamese used fire to burn the wooden boats without movement and they won the fight. Wooden Steak cave and the burning boats of the enemy came to the side of Ha Long city and burned the whole forest for days. As a consequence, the land appeared after the fire is called “Bai Chay”, which is the biggest harbor in Ha Long now.
2. Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave
Sung Sot Cave is located in the heart of the World Heritage Site – Ha Long Bay, on the island of Bo Hon. This is the most beautiful and widest cave on the bay, which is one of the tourist attractions not to be missed. Described as an opera house in the middle of the sea, Sung Sot cave has a total area of over 10,000 square meters, divided into two chambers with the beauty of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites in many different shapes. The French discovered this cave in 1901, and in the book about Ha Long Tourism published in 1938, they called this cave Grotte des surprises (cave of surprise).
The road to Sung Sot Cave is under the forest foliage, and you have to climb over stone steps to get to the cave. The first compartment in the cave looks like a large hall displaying works of stalactites and stalagmites in numerous shapes. There is a narrow path leading to the second compartment, where visitors enjoy the cave in the soft golden lights of the lighting system. These lampposts also create a magical space for sparkling stalactites where tourists can immerse themselves in their imagination.
3. Thien Cung (Heaven) Grotto
Thien Cung grotto is among one of the most beautiful grottoes in Ha Long, which has thousands of stalactites, stalagmites shaping a marvelously natural palace. It takes some effort to get to Thien Cung Cave as you have to walk through a cliff that is surrounded by forests. However, once you are in the cave, you will understand why it is called “heaven”. The place is truly heaven on Earth with its animated, fascinating beauty thanks to numerous color stalactites dropping from the ceiling. Especially, on the east wall of the grotto, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with characters of heroic tales. Once visiting Thien Cung Cave, you will have a sensation of just having seen a unique, sophisticated, interesting fine-art museum which is created by nature; the pictures are beyond imagination, ability and intellect of the human beings.
4. Luon Cave
Luon Cave has the shape of an arc with 60 meters in length and 2.5 – 4 in height depending on the tide. Because of the limited height, the only way to visit Luon Cave is by a small boat or a kayak. Especially, when the tide rises, visitors have to stoop down to pass through the cave. Ha Long Bay is well-known for its impressive cave system, however, the Bay doesn’t have many caves like Luon Cave. The cave is a perfect combination of natural features including rocky cliffs, the mountain’s size and form, the color of clouds and sea waters, and the high biodiversity.
Many tourism and cruise companies select Luon cave as an integral destination in their programs. In those cases, travelers often explore the cave by kayaking or rafting. You can happily admire the stalactites & stalagmite as well as the diversified flora system in this region. When taking a kayak or a raft to slowly sail into Luon grotto, you would be able to hear the babble sound of paddling. While enjoying Luon cave by a leisure way, you also feel the dripping melody of dropping water from the ceiling to the sea-surface.
5. Dark and Bright cave
A perfect destination for the adventurous visitors who would love to row or kayak on calm water surface while enjoying the cave’s impressive stonewalls. At the water-level, an arched entrance leads to the grotto, just at the base of the island. Passing through the pretty entrance, you will come across a tranquil round lake, surrounded by luxuriant trees and high dangerous stone walls. There are weeping fig trees shading inside and many orchids hang their sweet-scented flowers. The Dark Cave is the long and dark one, which will require a torch to be handed for visitors beforehand. In contrast, the Bright Cave is short, and you can see the other bright side from this side. Especially, On the cliff inside the cave you still can find traces of fossils of fresh-water snails, which proves that men used to live there and there must have been a deep valley then.
Written by: Hieu La