Renowned for its distinctive geological, aesthetic, and archaeological significance, Halong Bay boasts a myriad of remarkable caves. Over the years, the allure of these caves has drawn global tourists, both for leisure and academic pursuits. In this article, San Travel recommend a list of must-visit caves in Halong Bay for your reference and satisfaction.

What are the interesting caves in Ha Long Bay?

 5 must-visit caves in Halong Bay
5 must-visit caves in Halong Bay

Great vacation place

Each cave in Halong Bay boasts a unique and unparalleled beauty that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Exploring the grotto system within this UNESCO World Heritage site offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the tranquility of its vast spaces and the extraordinary shapes of its karst cliffs. It’s a chance to discover a sense of peace that often eludes us in the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Furthermore, these caves provide spectacular backdrops, perfect for capturing memorable check-in photos for your travel collection. For those seeking a more relaxing escape from their daily routines and a chance to simply appreciate the breathtaking scenery, a visit to one of Halong’s caves is an ideal choice.

>> What to expect: Magnificent beauty, uniquely shaped karst cliffs, and a serene atmosphere.

Ancient archeology

With a history spanning thousands of years, the grotto system in this region holds enduring archaeological significance that is both fascinating and informative to explore. This has attracted numerous archaeologists who visit annually to conduct research and delve into its historical treasures.

For those not well-versed in archaeology, discovering these historical values can be an exhilarating experience, offering a fresh perspective on the World Heritage site beyond its breathtaking natural beauty.

>> What to expect: Precious archaeological value

Fascinating experience

In addition to their breathtaking beauty and rich archaeological significance, the caves of Halong Bay offer tourists a unique and unforgettable journey to reach them. Since accessing the caves via conventional vehicles is quite challenging, visitors must opt for kayaking or take small bamboo boats to fully appreciate the captivating scenery within.

What to anticipate: Kayaking; Bamboo boat rides.

These factors make a compelling case for including cave exploration in your itinerary when visiting the bay. If this idea piques your interest, why not pack your bags and join an expedition to explore the finest attractions in Halong Bay?

>>> You may also like: 10 Best Things to Do in Halong Bay

Top 5 must-visit caves in Halong Bay

As mentioned earlier, with over 59 caverns to explore, it would take a lifetime to visit them all. However, there’s no need to worry because we’ll introduce you to the top 5 must visit caves in Halong Bay, highly recommended for your ultimate bay experience.

Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave)

  • Entrance Fee: $2.16 per person
  • Getting There: To reach Sung Sot Cave, take a boat tour to Bo Hon Island, where the cave is located.
  • What to Anticipate: Prepare to witness a breathtaking panoramic view of the bay from the cave’s summit.
Sung Sot Cave
Sung Sot Cave

As the most renowned cave in Halong Bay, Surprise Cave can get quite crowded. If crowds don’t bother you, you’ll undoubtedly be enchanted by this cave. To reach its entrance, you’ll embark on a short trek, but once inside, you’ll be captivated by the cave’s natural formations, including a stunning array of stalactites and stalagmites.

Surprise Cave comprises two major chambers. The first chamber resembles a grand theater hall adorned with numerous stalactites hanging gracefully from the ceiling. It leads through a narrow passageway to the immense second chamber, illuminated by natural light streaming in, creating a spacious area large enough to accommodate thousands of visitors.

Sung Sot Cave, with its expansive 10,000 square meters of space, is a mesmerizing labyrinth of thousands of stalactites and stalagmites. A well-paved 500-meter passageway meanders through this captivating underground wonderland.

Thien Cung  Cave

  • Entrance Fee: $2.16 per person
  • Getting There: Reserve a day cruise that incorporates Thien Cung Cave in its itinerary.
  • What to Anticipate: Discover the mystical legends surrounding the cave, find inner peace, and uncover ideal spots for memorable check-in photos
Thien Cung Cave
Thien Cung Cave

Securing the second spot among the top 5 is the magnificent Thien Cung, located on Dau Go Island. Similar to the previously mentioned, Thien Cung boasts an intricate karst formation with impressive height and distinctive stalactite cliffs that have stood the test of time. This cave is intertwined with a well-known legend.

It’s believed that the revered Dragon King, a symbol of peace and prosperity, resided in this cave millennia ago. He was not only celebrated by the human inhabitants but also by the creatures. This might explain the presence of both humanoid and animal-shaped cliffs within Thien Cung.

Now, enhanced with a vibrant lighting system, Thien Cung Cave appears even more breathtaking than before.

>>> Read more: Halong Bay Climbing: A Journey to the Top with Breathtaking Views

Dau Go Cave

  • Entrance Cost: $2.16 per individual
  • Directions: Reserve a 4-hour or 6-hour day boat in Halong Bay
  • Highlights: Marvel at the impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
Dau Go Cave
Dau Go Cave

Dau Go ranks among the top 5 most captivating caves in Ha Long Bay. Visitors are drawn to its interior’s breathtaking beauty, featuring a spacious, well-lit area filled with diverse stalagmite formations. A notable aspect of Dau Go Cave is its pristine landscape, evoking a sense of traveling back in time to an era dominated by untouched nature.

Located close to Thien Cung, Dau Go shares a legendary connection. It is believed to be linked to the story of King Tran Hung Dao, who defeated the Nguyen invaders using numerous wooden stakes, giving the cave its name.

Thien Canh Son Cave

  • Admission Price: $2.16 per individual
  • Directions: Opt for an overnight cruise to Bai Tu Long
  • Highlights: Climb 400 stone steps to enjoy breathtaking vistas from the summit.
Thien Canh Son Cave
Thien Canh Son Cave

Thien Canh Son Grotto ranks as the fifth must-visit spot in 2023. Located in Bai Tu Long Bay, a sibling to the famous Halong Bay, it offers a unique experience. While Halong Bay is a renowned global tourist hub, Bai Tu Long Bay remains less explored, presenting an equally mesmerizing yet quieter alternative.

As a result, Thien Canh Son retains a more untouched and serene ambiance, allowing visitors to revel in tranquility, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. The grotto is also notable for its array of stalagmites that evoke various natural forms, such as a young elephant and a lotus blossom, sparking visitors’ imaginations.

Tien Cave (Tien Ong Cave) – Ancient Vietnamese cultural relic

Tien Ong Cave is situated in the heart of Cai Tai island, part of the Hang Trai island chain to the south of Ha Long Bay. It lies roughly 20 km south of Ha Long and about 5-7 km east of Cat Ba island in Hai Phong. Positioned 5 meters above sea level, the cave boasts an expansive entrance stretching 50 meters wide. The cave’s span is approximately 156 meters, making it shorter than some other prominent caves in the bay. It is divided into two sections by a rocky barrier, with impressive stalactites gracing the cave’s center. Within, there are three stalagmite formations resembling the figures of three celestial beings, characterized by gentle faces, long hair, and beards, leading the local community to name the cave Tien Ong.

Historically significant, Tien Ong Cave was home to ancient Vietnamese inhabitants thousands of years ago. Artifacts such as stone, bone, and pottery have been discovered inside. The stone artifacts, primarily composed of limestone, include axes and spears. Additionally, pebbles and stalactites were utilized for crafting tools. While these remnants are few, they provide insights into the resourcefulness and adaptability of the cave’s prehistoric residents. The cave is a pivotal foundation for subsequent maritime cultures, like the Cai Beo and Ha Long cultures. Tien Ong Cave is not only a testament to nature’s grandeur but also stands as a living relic of ancient Vietnamese civilization in Ha Long. Today, it remains a magnet for both local and international tourists, piquing their intrigue.

Tips for visiting Ha Long caves

  • It’s advisable to avoid visiting the caves during summer weekends as they tend to be overcrowded with Vietnamese and Chinese visitors.
  • Popular caves such as Sung Sot, Thien Cung, and Dau Go see a surge of visitors in the afternoon due to both day and overnight cruises docking there. Hence, opting for a morning tour is a good idea. Certain caves like Sung Sot (with a 100-step climb), Trung Trang, Hospital, and Thien Cung are more suitable for younger and physically fit travelers due to the steep ascents involved.

Exploring the must-visit caves in Halong Bay is a top activity you shouldn’t overlook when journeying to this location. I trust our articles offer valuable insights to help you select the ideal Halong Bay tour for your upcoming adventure.


>>> Discover more famous attractions in Halong Bay. Follow us on Instagram today!