Sung Sot Cave (Surprising Cave) is one of the largest and most beautiful caves in Halong Bay. It received its Western name after it was first explored by a group of French tourists. Being surprised by the magnificent beauty of the cave, these French tourists named the cave as “Grotte des surprises” – the cave of surprises. Adorned with thousands of stalactites, your visit to this cave will also be full of beautiful surprises!
Situated in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage area, Sung Sot Cave is located on Bo Hòn Island and is one of the most spectacular and largest grottoes of Ha Long Bay. The mouth of the cave is reached by ascending around one hundred stone steps. On the way you will find yourself surrounded by forest and foliage on the journey up as the shimmering bay below offers an ever more panoramic vista to admire.
The cave is partitioned into two chambers; the first being similar to a wide theatre hall, with many stalactites descending from the high ceiling. A narrow passage leads to the second chamber, where a flow of natural light bathes the surfaces. The light filters in from above, through a large opening which creates a natural skylight and also serves as the exit from the cave. The chamber is so immense it could contain thousands of people at once.
At the deepest point of this chamber a “royal garden” appears with a clear pond and a fascinating landscape of small mountains. Many birds and plants such as benjamin figs, cycads and centenary banyan trees can be seen here. On some days groups of monkeys straying in from the dense vegetation of the island might appear, in search of fruit.
The grotto covers some 10,000 m2. There are thousands of stalactites and stalagmites along the 500-meter paved passage. Light posts line the passage and illuminate the amazing scenery.
Spotlights of various colors are placed in such a way as to be unobtrusive while adding to the enchantment of the cave.
The 30-meter high roof of the cave, the walls and innumerable cracks and crevices are evidence of millions of years of spectacular natural creation. Close to the exit a massive formation stretches from floor to ceiling, tapering at the center to form a concave pillar that appears to be keeping the ceiling in place. While walking through the cave your imagination can run wild conjuring up all kinds of fantastic creatures and fanciful creations.
The cave is the centre of many legends as well. One of these involves a rock which seems to form the shape of a horse and a long sword. As the legend goes, Thánh Gióng (Saint Gióng) helped the people of the area to chase away evil spirits and demons. After this feat, Saint Gióng flew to heaven, leaving a stone horse and sword behind to guarantee the demons did not dare to return. You, however, are always welcome to return!
To visit Sung Sot Cave, you will start from Tuan Chau Port and spend the night on our Halong Bay Best Cruise.