Halong Bay caves and grottoes - Halong Bay Vietnam
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Halong Bay caves and grottoes

 

 

Thien Cung Grotto
It is situated on the south west side of Halong Bay, 4kms from the wharf outside of Halong City. This grotto is recently discovered, one of the most beautiful grottoes in Halong Bay. The way to Thien Cung is a perilous one, covered on both sides by thick forest. After entering a narrow gate, the grotto's 130-meter long girth opens up.

Getting in we are more astonished in front of the very animated and splendid beauty which is made from stalactite. On the east wall of the grotto, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with characters of tales. Going in the Thien Cung Grotto, we have a sensation of just watching a unique, meticulous, interesting fine-art museum which is made by nature, get out of the imagine ability and intellect of man.
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Bo Nau Grotto
Bo Nau Grotto or Pelican Grotto lies far from 2-3kms southeast of Trong Mai Islet. This vaulted grotto covers 200m2. The floor of the grotto is wide and flat but not deep and its wall features lots of stalactites and stalagmites.

Bo Nau Grotto is one of the beauty grottoes in Halong Bay. At the entrance are three stones, looking like three fairies with their heads close to one another. Two men appear to be playing chess, with the third serving as a referee.

The name Bo Nau or Bo Nong is associated with the fact that pelicans often take shelter here. If Dau Go Grotto lies completely inside the island, Bo Nau opens its mouth at the side of the island. Stalactites fall down from the roof of the grotto in different clusters. Meanwhile stalagmites grow up in different shapes and layers. Is this that the life out there is so noisy that the three fairies have to choose this tranquil place to play chess? Turning southward, Bo Nau Grotto enjoys cool wind. Standing there, one can hear the murmur of the sea all year round.
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Dau Go Grotto
Situated on Driftwood Island (Dao Dau Go), next to Thien Cung Grotto, belong to Halong Bay. Seen from afar, the entrance to the grotto appears to be blue and has a shape similar to that of a jellyfish. After 90 steps up the island, the entrance is reached.

The ceiling of the grotto is about 25m. Hundreds of stalactites falling down from the roof of the grotto look like a waterfall. The grotto is divided into three main parts. The exterior is a room with a vault full of natural light. Many forms may be seen in the rock formations of the chamber, depending on the imagination of the visitor of course.

The name Driftwood Grotto came from a popular story of the resistance war against the Yuan - Mongolian aggressors. In a decisive battle, Tran Hung Dao was given the order to prepare many ironwood stakes here, to be planted on the riverbed of Bach Dang River. The remaining wooden pieces found in the grotto have given it its present name. And the name Dau Go is associated with the legend that General Tran Hung Dao (1226-1300) hid ironwood stakes in preparation for the Bach Dang battle against the Yuan-Mongolian invaders.

If the Thien Cung Grotto is monumental and modern (in its natural form) then Driftwood Grotto is solemn, but also grandiose. In "Marvels of the World," published in France in 1938, the author called the grotto "Grotte desmerveilles" (a site of many marvels). In 1917, Emperor Khai Dinh came to visit the grotto and amazed by the beauty of the place, ordered the erection of an engraved stone stele singing the praises of Halong Bay and the grotto.
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Hang Hanh
Hang Hanh is one of the longest grottoes in Ha Long Bay, lying 9 km west of Cam Pha Town and 20 km from Bi Chy Beach. It is 1,300 m long, and stretches throughout the stone mountain of Quang Hanh. That is why it was named " Le tunnel" or Tunnel grotto.
Hang Hanh Grotto is extremely beautiful. The small boat will take you through the stone passageway by lamp-light, casting magical colors on the hanging stalactites. 
One should visit the grotto at low tide and has to go by small boat to pass through, as this is the time the mouth of the grotto appears, then you should ask the boatmen what time the tide is up in order to get out of the grotto.
To get there, tourists can hire canoes in oan wharf (Hn Gai, Ha Long City) or take a coach to Cam Pha. At the Cam Pha wharf, one can also hire boats or canoes to go to the grotto. It takes about one hour to visit the grotto. Hanh Grotto seems suitable for adventures. 
In front of the present-day mouth stands Ba C (Three Girls) shrine in a towering piece of stone. Legend has it that: "Once upon a time there were three girls who often went to the sea together. One day, they caught a pouring rain and took shelter in a grotto. They found the scenery so captivating that they forgot the time of rising tide. Locked up in the grotto, they passed away and became Water God."
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Luon Grotto
Luon Grotto is situated on Bo Hon Island, 14km south of Bai Chay Beach. In front of the grotto is Con Rua (Tortoise) Islet and the Sky Gate is on the right. Here the cliffs stretch vertically out of the pure blue and smooth water.

At the water level, an arched entrance leads to the grotto, just at the base of the island. Passing through the pretty entrance, you come across a tranquil round lake, surrounded by luxuriant trees and high dangerous stone walls. Inside the grotto, the 1-km2 brackish lake is surrounded by mountains.

The beauty of the site is the mingling of a number of factors: the mountain's size and form, the colour of the water and the clouds
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Sung Sot Grotto
Situated in the centre of the UNESCO declared World Heritage area, Sung Sot or Surprise Grotto is on Bo Hon Island. It is one of the finest and widest grottoes of Halong Bay.

From the wharf, you climb 50 steep stone stairs to the mouth of the grotto, which lies 25m above the sea level. Going down some 10 stone stairs, you reach the mouth of a grotto. The grotto covers some 10,000m2. Inside the grotto there have thousands of stalactites and stalagmites along the 500-meter paved passage. Many stalactites hang from the high ceiling, with numerous possible forms and shapes.
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Me Cung Grotto
Me Cung Grotto or Bewitching Grotto is located far from 2 kilometers southwest of Ti Top Beach. Me Cung Grotto has been recognized by archaeologists as one of the vestiges of the pre-Halong new Stone Age culture that existed between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Pushing into the grotto, tourists feel like walking in a palace of a Persian king. Hearing the murmur from out of nowhere, you think that Scheherazade is telling the stories of the Thousand and One Nights for her king.

On the island, there are many ancient trees casting long reflections on the water of Halong bay. They are home to many species of birds and animals.
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Trinh Nu & Trong Grottoes
Trinh Nu Grotto or Virgin Grotto is situated on the island range of Bo Hon in the system comprising Sung Sot Grotto, Dong Tien Lake and Luon Grotto. It is 15km south of Bai Chay Beach. For fishermen, Virgin Grotto is their house, but for young lovers, it is considered as the symbol of truly love, and is the romantic place for taking oath of love.

Entering Trinh Nu Grotto, one finds in the middle of the grotto a stone statue of a lying-girl with her long hair hanging down who is looking to the sea in a vain hope. Situated opposite to Trinh Nu Grotto, Trong (or Male) Grotto has a stone statue of a boy who turns his face to Trinh Nu Grotto. One still hears his vain scream in tune with the wind blowing into the cliff somewhere.
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Ba Ham Lake
Situated on the south-west side of Ha Long Bay, Ba Ham Lake is found on au B Island (Calf Head Island) in Lan Ha Bay. This island is part of the range of islands at the farthest end of HaLong Bay, bordering the immense zone Long Chu Sea. Ba Ham Lake is situated in the middle of a narrow, rectangular area, with the all four sides enclosed by vertical cliffs.
The lake is a system comprising three wide and round pits, linked together by a narrow and meandering tunnel. Stalactites hang from the ceiling in a myriad of strange, colored forms. The silence is disturbed only by the sounds of the boat's oars. On the island are many species of plants such as orchids, Benjamin figs, banyans and cycads, which blossom throughout the year. It is also the home of yellow-haired monkeys, birds, flying squirrels and bats. Under the deep blue surface of the water are the animated lives of shrimp and fish.
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Xin Chao Travel Halong Bay
We are happy to send you our impressions on our excellent trip to Halong Bay with your company. The organization and monitoring of our trip was impeccable, thanks to our friendly and excellent guide Minh not forgetting the super driver Dzung.

Mardy Scott (Australia)
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