One of the activities I enjoy doing is caving. So, I was enthusiastic when I learned that exploring several caves in Ha Long Bay was included in our cruise itinerary.
Hang Sung Sot Cave is situated at the centre of Ha Long Bay which is one of the World 7 Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the most beautiful and largest caves in Ha Long Bay, covering an area of about 10,000 square meters at an altitude of about 30 meters.
Hang Sung Sot Cave is also known as the Surprising Cave. It is the most famous cave to visit in Ha Long Bay and it is dubbed as an “opera house” because of the beauty of its thousands of stalactites and stalagmites. I have learned that it has been voted as one of the 10 most beautiful caves in the world by the Association of Tourism Offices and Brokers of the Czech Republic.
As soon as we arrived at the base of the cave, we slowly ascended about 150 steep stone steps to reach the entrance of the cave. It was so crowded! When we went in, it looked small but as we moved in, we didn’t feel so crowded anymore as it was huge, well lit and paved.
This naturally carved cave is enormous! In fact, I was pretty impressed at the size. I have visited caves in the Philippines and a few other countries, but nothing compares to the sheer size of this one. We were told by our guide that hundreds of troops use to seek refuge in them during the war.
This colossal cave has two chambers. It looks like a theater hall as it features different unusual rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites. While we were walking, our guide told us stories about the cave and he also pointed to certain shapes in the cave and how it resembled certain animal, human parts, etc. The coloured lights that they played in it helped us give to get a sense of depth that white light only wouldn’t, plus it gave us good moment to capture good pictures on our camera.
Besides amazing size and marvelous rock formations, the view from the cave is fabulous, overlooking Ha Long Bay and the boats.
I certainly enjoyed the trek inside the cave. I enjoyed the magnificent views and the various rock formations of stalagmites and stalactites.
Little Lilly travel tip:
- The climb is quite steep and can be precarious for the older people especially if they are not steady or have difficulty walking.
- Wear good walking shoes.
- Move at your own pace and don’t rush to keep up with the others.