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Private day tour - which caves and which formations to visit

Singapore, Singapore
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139 posts
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Private day tour - which caves and which formations to visit

Hi all,

We are a big group and are offered USD45 per pax private tour.

The thing is we only have a day and wanna cover the `must see'.

Which cave is the best? Sung cot cave? Thien Cung ?Dau Go cave?

Which formations should we ask to see?

And lastly, is BaiTuLong Bay really more beautiful?

Where can we see those very nice scenery of formations overlaying formations - something like backdrop of mountains overlapping each other?


Semporna, Malaysia
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1. Re: Private day tour - which caves and which formations to visit


Dau Go Cave is not interesting after you've seen Thien Cung Cave. These 2 will go together in one route.

If you don't want this route, take Sung Sot Cave. I haven't seen this one. Hope other posters will advice further.

My information is from April 2006.

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2. Re: Private day tour - which caves and which formations to visit

Hi 99,

There are many caves in Halong Bay; Dau Go cave, Kim Quy cave, Me Cung cave, Sung Sot cave, Tam Cung cave, Trinh Nu Cave, Thien Cung cave….etc… although we only saw the Sung Sot cave; the Thien Cung and Dau Go caves are worth visiting.

Below are my saved notes from Halong Bay grottos:

Sung Sot Cave

(known as Grotte des surprises or Surprise cave)

Situated in the centre of the UNESCO-declared World Heritage area, the Sung Sôt or Surprise Grotto is on Bo Hòn Island, and is one of the finest and widest grottoes of Ha Long Bay.

Ascending to the grotto, the way is covered by trees and foliage, and consists of great paved stone blocks.

It is situated in the central tourism centre of the bay, as well as Ti Tup Beach, Bô Nâu Grotto, Mê Cung Grotto and Luun Grotto. French named it "grotte des surprises" (grotto of surprise)

From the wharf, you climb 50 steep stone stairs to the mouth of the grotto, which lies 25 m above the sea level. Going down some 10 stone stairs, you reach the mouth of a grotto. The grotto covers some 10,000 m2. Inside the grotto there have thousands of stalactites and stalagmites along the 500-meter paved passage.

At the side of the entrance, the rock seems to form the shape of a horse with a long sword. Legend has it, that after having defeated the Ân aggressors, Thánh Gióng (the Saint Gióng) helped the population to chase away evil spirits and demons. After this feat, Saint Gióng flew to heaven, leaving a stone horse and sword to continue to keep the demons away.

Ðau Go Cave

(known as Grotte des merveilles or Wooden stakes Cave)

The grotto is on Driftwood Island. 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 25 m. Hundreds of stalactites falling down from the roof of the grotto look like a waterfall.

The name Driftwood Grotto came from a popular story of the resistance war against the Yuan - Mongolian aggressors. In a decisive battle, Trân Hung Ðao was given the order to prepare many ironwood stakes here, to be planted on the riverbed of Bach Ðang River. The remaining wooden pieces found in the grotto have given it its present name.

And the name Giâu Gô is associated with the legend that General Trân Hung Ðao (1226-1300) hid ironwood stakes in preparation for the Bach Ðang battle against the Yuan-Mongolian invaders.

If the Thiên 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 des merveilles" (a site of many marvels)

In 1917, Emperor Khai Ðinh 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 Ha Long Bay and the grotto. Today, it remains to the right-hand side of the entrance.

Thiên Cung cave

It is situated on the south-west side the bay, 4 km from the wharf outside of Ha Long City. The way to Thiên 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.

This grotto is recently discovered, one of the most beautiful grottoes in Ha Long Bay.

Legend has it, that beautiful young lady named Mây (cloud), caught the eye of the Dragon Prince and he fell in love with her. They were betrothed, and their wedding lasted seven days and seven nights in the very centre of the grotto.



3. Re: Private day tour - which caves and which formations to visit

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