Top 9 must-visit caves in Halong Bay
The UNESCO once recognized Halong Bay as a world natural heritage site due to the beauty of the pristine, majestic nature here. It includes the caves hidden in the rocky mountains floating on the water.
Although there are many caves, each place has its own beauty and attraction. Some are expressed in their name.
In order to have the most objective view and choose for yourself an ideal and most suitable discovery point, you should not skip this tutorial.
Top 9 beautiful Halong Bay caves
- Sung Sot Cave (Surprising Cave)
- Thien Cung Cave (Paradise Cave)
- Dau Go Cave (Wooden Head Cave)
- Trinh Nu Cave (Virgin Cave)
- Me Cung Cave (Maze Cave)
- Luon Cave
- Hanh Cave
- Tam Cung Cave
- Bo Nau Cave
Let's explore now!
The most beautiful Halong Bay caves
Location: Bo Hon island, 14 km south of Bai Chay port
Sung Sot cave
Sung Sot Cave is located in the heart of the World Heritage Halong Bay. As the name implies, from the moment you set foot inside the cave, the scenery and the virtual space inside the cave will make all visitors astounded. Discovered by the French in 1901, the cave was named "cave of wonders".
And rightly so, the Sung Sot Cave was selected by the Czech Association of Travel Brokers and Offices as one of the 10 most beautiful caves in the world. The cave is divided into two main chambers with thousands of stalactites: a large theater-like compartment that can accommodate thousands of people with wide-open ceilings combined with neon lights, this theater is like the surface of the moon.
The second one opens a completely new space: the rich system of stalactites in the ceiling of the cave create objects that are both familiar and unfamiliar to visitors with ancient trees, iconic horse-riding Saint Giong or the image of the bamboo village. All bring the interest of visitors when watching. When it reaches the top of the cave, this place is like a place to swim when the lake is green with many plants and birds live.
Location: Dau Go Island, 4 km from Bai Chay port
Thien Cung cave
Thien Cung Cave is like a paradise on the ground with breathtaking beauty. Discovered in 1993, Thien Cung Grotto is located on Dau Go Island, about 4 km from the tourist port. This is one of the destinations on Halong Bay tourists cannot ignore.
The way to get to Thien Cung Cave is quite difficult with cliffs, and the two sides are covered with trees. However, this stimulates the visitors’ conquest. The beautiful Thien Cung cave covers an area of about 10.000 square meters. It is a complex structure with many rooms and high ceilings and walls. Besides, it is a stalactite system with many unique shapes.
This beautiful paradise-like cave is one of the places associated with the ancient dragon king. Today, when visiting the cave, visitors still seem to be able to admire this bustling wedding scene by the stalactite shapes in the cave.
Location: Dau Go Island, 4 km from Bai Chay port
Dau Go cave
Located on the Dau Go Island, Dau Go Cave is one of the most well-known destinations that tourists cannot miss in Halong Bay cruise tours. In the ancient resistance in the war against Mongolia, King Tran Hung Dao has made a lot of wood stakes to plug into the Bach Dang River and now there are still lots of wooden stakes left there.
Covering an area of about 5000 square meters, the cave is 17m wide and 12m high, located at the altitude of 27m above sea level. It is divided into 3 main chambers with many beautiful stalactites on the walls.
Dau Go cave is rated as one of the most beautiful caves in Vietnam. Therefore, it's undoubtedly that the beauty of Dau Go Cave really brings to tourists impressive experience on the Halong tour.
About the name of Dau Go, there are currently three different explanations.
Location: east of Bo Hon island, 14 km south of Bai Chay port
Trinh Nu cave
The Trinh Nu Cave is located on the island of Bo Hon Island with the Sung Sot cave system, Dong Tien Lake, and Luon Cave. When mentioning Trinh Nu Cave, the locals think of the cave, which is just about 750m away. These two caves carry a legend of sad love. Many visitors are curious about this legend, including the local and the foreign ones.
When entering the cave, tourists will be impressed with the image of a girl lying down with the long hair. Her eyes look to the sea, evoking a sadness as if waiting for something. The eyes are said to be heading towards the cave where the girl’s lover is resting.
Therefore, the tourists come to the cave of the Virgin and the Trong Cave cannot only admire the stalactites and beautiful sight but also hear people here tell the tragic love story of this young couple.
Location: Lom Bo Island, 2 km southwest of Titop Island
Me Cung cave
The Me Cung Cave is also one of the most beautiful caves in Halong Bay, located on Lum Bo Island, about 2 km south-west of Titop Island. The entrance to the cave is small but opens up a magnificent space with a multi-compartment structure that makes visitors feel like they are stuck in a maze with lots of sophisticated stalactites. This is also referred to as the palace of the Persian emperors.
Other famous caves include Kim Quy Cave, Luon Cave, and Thien Canh Son Cave, etc.
There are still many other famous caves in Halong Bay, but above are some of the most amazing ones in Halong Bay right now. Hopefully, you will have a wonderful time visiting these caves in the near future.
Location: Bo Hon island, south of Halong Bay, 14 km south of Bai Chay
Luon cave is an open cave. Visitors can only move by boat to get here. The cave is essentially a group of islands that together build up a brackish lake, about 1 km away.
Here, the cliffs stand and the water is clear blue all the four seasons like a mirror. Close to the water's edge, a bow-shaped port opened at the foot of the island, which is Luon cave.
To enter the cave, visitors have to go through an arch that is 100 meters long, 3 meters wide, and 2.5-4 meters high depending on tidal currents. The arch was formed by erosion over millions of years.
For those who do not have the courage to kayak, sit on a bamboo boat is an appropriate choice to experience the beautiful scenery and relaxation here. Each can carry about 10 to 15 people. Both the processes of coming in and leaving will take about 20 minutes.
Luon cave is an interwoven, harmonious combination of the mountains, water, sky, clouds, and each vegetation, etc. It seems impossible to find here any defect of creation.
Location: Quang Hanh mountains, 20 km to Bai Chay port
Located 20 km to Bai Chay, Hanh cave is a beautiful cave, and it is also the longest one among the existing caves on Halong Bay. It is 1,300 m long, running through the rocky mountains of Quang Hanh to the sea.
The deeper you go into the cave, the more beautiful and wilder the scenery becomes. When we shine lights on, stone flower beams and pillars are more brilliant. The huge raspberries, peony bunches, and orchids, etc., all are in the posture of reaching out and vibrating.
Hanh cave is also famous for its legend of Ba Co temple (Three Ladies temple). Today, fishers often go to this sacred temple to burn incense and ask the souls of the three girls to bless them.
Location: May Den island, northeast of Sung Sot cave
Tam Cung cave
Tam Cung is a cave located on May Den island with high cliffs and lush forest. Not only does it have the beautiful terrain, but Tam Cung cave is also endowed by nature for an extensive area. The cave is divided into three compartments.
Inside each compartment, visitors will be comfortable watching stalactites with many different shapes and colors. They create vivid natural shapes such as gods with a silver beard, white night cactus, lions, seals, or marine creature statues, etc.
From the cave ceiling, a stalactite identical to the white sweet olive flower blooming in the middle of the stalactite forest.
In the cave, there is also a stream of the freshwater flowing all year round. On the two sides of the cave are stone curtains hanging down from the ceiling. Everything seems to be shaking.
Location: 13 km from Bai Chay port
Bo Nau cave
About 2-3 km southeast of Trong Mai islets is Bo Nau cave. Bo Nau is a cave in the heart of Bo Nau island in Halong Bay, surrounded by cave populations. The name of Bo Nau cave is also very interesting, related to the species of pelican bird.
Bo Nau belongs to the form of an ancient underground limestone cave.
There are cracks in the ceiling so that the light can pass through it. The bottom of the cave tightened. In front of the cave is an island, so the light in the cave is not too harsh.
The cave has three stone slabs shaped like three fairies. Two of them are like playing chess, and the remaining is the referee.
At the same time, it also brings many cultural and historical values created by generations of Vietnamese people. This is truly a wonderful picture of nature and fascinating culture of Halong Bay.
Best time to visit Halong Bay caves
You can visit Halong Bay caves at all time of the year because the temperature inside these places is quite low. Space here is very cool and comfortable.
But, the peak seasons in Halong Bay are still summer (from April to June) and winter (from September to November). If you travel to Halong Bay at these periods, you should take notice of the rise in room and cruise prices and should book tickets in advance at least one month.
What you should bring to explore Halong Bay caves
Visitors should update the weather forecast frequently before going on the trip. Some good suggestions for travelers include:
May to September: temperature is 25 - 35 degrees Celsius
Shorts, skirts, and T-shirts are very useful and comfortable for walking and climbing.
October to April: the temperature is 10 - 15 degrees Celsius
Visitors should have lightweight coats and scarves, etc.
During your rowing activity, you should prepare swimwear, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc.
During your visit to Halong Bay caves and fishing villages, you should prepare sports shoes and comfortable clothes.
FAQs about Halong Bay caves
Is an exploration to Halong Bay caves included in the Halong Bay cruise tour?
No matter how many days you choose to take a cruise tour, the itinerary will include a visit to Halong Bay caves. Normally, you will be transferred to these caves by boat. Common caves on a cruise tour are Sung Sot, Thien Cung, Me Cung, and Luon cave.
Of which, with Luon cave, you will have a chance to take part in kayaking that is very interesting and memorable.
How many caves are there in Halong Bay?
Since Halong Bay has almost two thousands of islands and islets, the number of caves inside them can be up to hundreds. However, they are still in the process of discovering.
How do I get to Halong Bay cave?
Traveling by boat
If you choose to stay in Halong Bay on an overnight cruise, the guide will take you to the cave in the itinerary by boat. Then, you will walk and climb to the rocky mountains to the caves.
Some special caves like Luon cave will only be reached by bamboo boat or kayak. All will be prepared by the tour operators.
If you don’t want to stay on a cruise, you can choose to take a cruise day tour. So, you still can get to Halong Bay caves easily.
How were Halong Bay caves formed?
About 200 million years ago, the Gondwana continent began to split, facilitating the formation of limestone deposits. Limestone floated out of the water. Rainwater fell on the surface of the limestone floors. Limestone inherently had numerous cracks, so rainwater along those cracks penetrated and eroded the rock mass.
The natural products of karst weathering are caves with stalactites, stalagmites, underground rivers, and streams.
That is, the water gradually widened the fissures, growing to become caves. The caves interconnected to create a system of underground space in limestone.
Beautiful caves in the rocky mountains are a highlight of the Halong Bay trip that you should not miss. If you need further information, don’t hesitate to let us know. Please like and share the article with others if you find it useful. Thank you.