Ha Long Bay’s cave of surprises is one of Vietnam’s most stunning natural tourist attractions. Over 25 meters above sea level, this meandering cave was first discovered by the French in 1901 and was referred to as the ‘’Grotte des Surprise’’ due to its elusive and deceptively large size.
Ha Long Bay has a rich geological history that spans backs to an era that precedes even the dinosaurs. When the original land-dwelling creatures were gingerly taking their first steps on Earth, Ha Long Bay was being molded by ocean currents and perpetual tectonic activity.
Today, Ha Long Bay serves as a geological time capsule of a long-lost world. The intricate caves, such as Sung Sot, offer a tantalizing insight into the country’s true underbelly.
There are over two thousand limestone monoliths gracing the waters of Ha Long Bay, each with its unique footprint and internal idiosyncrasies. The Sung Sot Cave can be found on Bo Hon Island, masked behind a dense layer of vegetation.
Ha Long Bay has long been the subject of Vietnamese culture and mythology, with its name translating to ‘’bay of the descending dragon’’. According to legend, when the ancient citizens of Vietnam were under siege by invading colonies, they summoned an emperor to send the Mother Dragon down to their rescue.
The Mother Dragon duly obliged and sent the invaders packing in a tremendous blaze of fire. The large limestone islands, including Bo Hon Island, the home of the Sung Sot Cave, are said to represent the teeth of the Mother Dragon and her offspring.
Reaching the Sung Sot Cave may take some effort, but it’s definitely worth it. After completing the 50-step climb through the dense greenery of its facade, visitors will find themselves in the cave’s waiting room.
The astonishingly high ceilings and unwrinkled walls are almost reminiscent of a great European cathedral. A short walk takes visitors to the second chamber, where the Sung Sot Cave seemingly doubles in size.
A symphony of man-made lights illuminates the contours and overhanging stalagmites of Sung Sot’s walls. As visitors edge deeper and deeper into the cavern, the area known as the Royal Garden begins to reveal itself. A pristine, tranquil pond inhabited by monkeys and singing birds lies here and is surrounded by plantlife.
Bustling cities and passing cars feel like a distant memory in Sung Sot Cave as visitors are reminded and humbled by Mother Nature’s true power. The grotto’s immersive pull is so strong that it’s easy to forget you’re in one of the country’s most popular tourist regions.
Another one of the Sung Sot Cave’s highlights is the stunning views it offers. After visitors have concluded traversing through the grotto, they are treated to sweeping, panoramic views of Ha Long Bay that make for the perfect photo opportunity.
Visiting the Sung Sot
While the Sung Sot Cave is open year-round, the peak tourist season falls between December and February. Those looking to escape the tourist crowds should plan their visit around these months. May and June are popular times for locals to visit as the weather remains fair.
By far the easiest way of seeing Sung Sot Cave is by boat. Ha Long Bay has always been a hotbed for tourist activity and there’s no shortage of cruises that stop at Bo Ho Island. As one of the areas the top-rated tourist attractions, Sung Sot Cave is highly accessible and highly recommended.
While visiting Ha Long Bay, make sure to add a stop to Sung Sot Cave on your itinerary. Full of beautiful rock formations and providing incredible views of the area, you are sure to feel transported to another world!
Address: Ha Long Bay, Halong City, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam
Phone: +84 93 422 50 77
Season: Year-Round | 8 AM – 6 PM