Dau Go Cave
Located on an island of the same name, Dau Go Cave is estimated to be an impressive 2 million years old and boasts a history and mythology unparalleled by any other of the Ha Long Bay caves.
The folklore is made more interesting by the element of mystery that enshrouds it, as is the way with many of the amazing caves in Ha Long, take the name for starters. Theories cover a range of alternate possibilities as to the origin of the name, from fisherman sheltering from brutal storms to repair their boats, to tales of the Vietnamese battle against invading Mongols in the 13th Century. If you are looking to get to grips with some Vietnamese history, or if you are a general knowledge quiz buff who likes showing off to his friends in the pub- Dau Go Cave is one of the Ha Long Bay caves to put on your list.
Tien Ong Cave
This cave officially welcomed visitors in 2010, way later than other caves so it is not one of the most popular destinations in Ha Long Bay. It is, however, gaining attention thanks to its archaeological value and stunning interior scenery. Inside the cave, you can see stone artifacts that dated to 10,000-2,000 BC and learn interesting historical information from the tour guide.
Archaeologists have discovered fossilized animal bones, pottery shards, shells and ancient tools in Tien Ong, indicating that the cave was inhabited around 8,000-10,000 years ago.
Sung Sot Cave
As the most popular cave in Ha Long Bay, Surprise Cave can be very crowded. If you do not mind the crowd, you’ll fall in love with this cave. It takes a little trek to reach the cave’s entrance but once you are in, you will be amazed by the natural structure of this cave and various stalactites and stalagmites.
Surprise Cave consists of two major chambers. The first one, comparable to a theatre hall, features numerous stalactites hanging from the ceiling. From a narrow passageway, it leads to the massive second chamber, where a flow of natural light brightens the surfaces of a space roomy enough to hold thousands of people.
Trinh Nu Cave
The Trinh Nu Cave or Virgin Grotto is situated on the island range of Bo Hon 15 km south of Bai Cháy Beach, the center beach of Halong city. To young couples, it is considered the symbol of truly love, a romantic place for taking oath of love. Entering Trinh Nu Grotto, you will find in the middle of the grotto a stone shaping a lying-girl with her long hair hanging down, looking to the sea with the eyes full of vain hope.
Situated opposite to Trinh Nu Grotto, Trong (or Male) Grotto has a stone statue of a boy who turns his face to Trinh Nu Grotto. One still hears his vain scream in tune with the wind blowing into the cliff somewhere. The legend tells once was a beautiful fisherman’s daughter, whose family was so poor that it was in the service of the rich administrator of the fishing zone. He forced the father to give him the girl as a concubine. However, she refused as she already had a lover who was on the high seas catching fish to prepare for their wedding. The administrator, angered by her refusal, exiled her to a wild island until hunger and exhaustion. On one frightening night, amidst terrible rain and winds, she turned to stone. The image of the girl painfully waited in vain for her fiancé turns the cave into a sacred place for those who are in love.
Bo Hon Island, the home of Luon Cave, sits starkly alone in the middle of the bay. Luon Cave is another one of the Ha Long Bay caves that are only accessible by kayak, which makes it a great choice for those looking for a more hands-on adventure and the chance to explore at their own speed.
The craggy cliffs, flowering orchids and ancient trees of Bo Hon Island make the landscape quite spectacular, but what sets this island apart is its population of golden monkeys that can be seen swinging up and down the sides of the cliff. If you fancy leaving the cruise ship behind and taking your experience into your own hands, hop in a kayak and paddle through Luon Cave.
Bo Nau Cave (Pelican Cave)
The last name in the list of most popular caves on Ha Long Bay is Pelican Cave, a vaulted grotto covering 200 m2. Its wall features lots of stalactites and stalagmites in amazing shapes. At the entrance are three stones, looking like three fairies with their heads close to one another. Two men appear to be playing chess, with the third serving as a referee. Turning southward, Bo Nau Cave enjoys cool wind. Standing there, you can hear the murmur of the sea all year round.