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Grrottos in Halong Bay

Dau-Go-Grotto
Halong Bay's limestone islands are dotted with caves of all sizes and shapes. Most of these are accessible only by chaerter boat, but some can easily be visited on tour. You can find detail ...
Bo Nau Grotto
Bo-Nau-Cave2-3 km southeast of Trong Mái Islet lies Bo Nâu Cave or Pelican Cave. This vaulted grotto covers 200 m2. The floor of the grotto is wide and flat, but not deep, and its wall features lots ofstalactites and stalagmites. 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. Bo Nâu Cave is one of the beauty caves in Ha Long Bay.   The name Bo Nâu or Bo Nông is associated with the fact that pelicans often take shelter here. If Ðau Go Cave lies completely inside the island, Bo Nâu opens its mouth at the side of the island. Stalactites fall down from the roof of the grotto in different clusters. Meanwhile stalagmites grow up in different shapes and layers. Is this that the life out there is so noisy that the three fairies have to choose this tranquil place to play chess? Turning southward, Bo Nâu Cave enjoys cool wind. Standing there, one can hear the murmur of the sea all year round.
Dau Go Grotto
Dau-Go-GrottoBeing situated on Dau Go island, about 300m from Thien Cung grotto, the attractive and significant beauty of the cave is its ancient and mossy appearance.
It was named by French as “Cave of wonders”.
In 1918, King Khai Dinh under Nguyen dynasty paid a visit to this cave and wrote a poem that was then carved on the stone stele to praise this cave’s beauty and Ha Long Bay. There is a ferry well and a number of beautiful stalactite and stalagmite.
The grotto is on Driftwood Island. Seen from afar, the entrance to the grotto appears to be blue, and has a shape similarrr to that of a jellyfish. After 90 steps up the island, the entrance is reached. The ceiling of the grotto is about 25 m high. Hundreds of stalactites falling down from the roof of the grotto look like a waterfall.   Dau Go Cave Halong   The grotto is divided into three main parts.   The exterior is a room with a vault full of natural light. Many forms may be seen in the rock formations of the chamber, depending on the imagination of the visitor of course.   Crossing the first chamber, one enters the second chamber through a narrow passage. The light here is mysterious, and new images appear in the stone. It leaves us wondering what these might be imagined as.   The third chamber of the grotto is widely opened. At the end of the grotto is a well of clear water. Looking up in the dim light we recognize that surrounding us is the image of an ancient citadel and a scuffle of elephants, horses & men with bristly swords and spears. All are making a rush and seem to have been petrified suddenly.   The name Driftwood Grotto came from a popular story of the resistance war against the Yuan – Mongolian aggressors. In a decisive battle, Tran Hung Ðao was given the order to prepare many ironwood stakes here, to be planted on the riverbed of Bach Dang River. The remaining wooden pieces found in the grotto have given it its present name.   The name Giau Go is associated with the legend that General Tran Hung Ðao (1226-1300) hid ironwood stakes in preparation for the Bach Dang battle against the Yuan-Mongolian invaders.   If the Thien 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 the first chamber, in the very middle of the grotto, is a colossal pillar supporting the large vault. On the top of the pillar, there appears to be a monk draped in a long, dark cloak, with his right hand clasping a cane.   The second chamber is narrow. Here, the stalactites look smaller but more graceful. One feels like going to a pagoda with a monk in meditation so that one steps more gently.   The third chamber features high stone columns out of which nature has carved images of a large kingdom of heroes and soldiers holding swords and spears rushing up, of war elephants and horses or lions, etc. All of them suddenly were petrified and remained there for good.   In 1917, Emperor Khai Dinh 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 Halong Bay and the grotto. Today, it remains to the right-hand side of the entrance.
Hanh Grotto
hanhgrottoLocation: It is lying 9km west of Cam Pha To wn and 20km from Bai Chay Beach.
Characteristics : Hanh Grotto is extremely beautiful. The small boat will take you through the stone passageway by lamp-light, casting magical colors on the hanging stalactites.
Hang Hanh is one of the longest grottoes in Halong Bay. It is 1,300m long and stretches throughout the stone mountain of Quang Hanh.
The French named it “Le Tunnel” or Tunnel Grotto. The mouth of the grotto is so low one has to go by small boat to pass through. To get there, tourists can hire canoes in Doan Wharf (Hon Gai, Halong City) or take a coach to Cam Pha. At the Cam Pha wharf, one can also hire boats or canoes to go to the grotto. One should visit the grotto at low tide, as this is the time the mouth of the grotto appears. Remember to bring along torches before starting the journey. It takes one some 60 to 90 minutes to complete the trip. Hang Hanh Grotto seems suitable for adventures. Another matter of no less important is that the boatmen must be experienced or else you will get locked up in this deep “Palace”.
In front of the present-day mouth stands Ba Co (Three Girls) shrine in a towering piece of stone. Legend has it that: “Once upon a time there were three girls who often went to the sea together. One day, they caught a pouring rain and took shelter in a grotto. They found the scenery so captivating that they forgot the time of rising tide. Locked up in the grotto, they passed away and became Water God.” Today fishermen usually went to the shrine to pray for their bestowing favors on them
Kim Quy Grotto
Kim-Quy-Grotto-halong-vietnamLocation: Kim Quy Grotto or Golden Tortoise Grotto is situated on Dam Nam Islet, with a peak 187m above sea level.
Characteristics: The grotto is 100m long and 5 to 10m wide, running in a north-south direction.
Dam Bac Islet is in the front of the grotto and Soi Sim Islet in the back. A narrow way leads to the interior of the grotto where a stream flows. The stalactites here are snow-white and lightly hang from the ceiling.
It is linked to the ancient legend of the Golden Tortoise: after having helped Emperor Le Loi defeat his enemies, the Golden Tortoise took back the magic sword he had given him, and swam towards the sea. Arriving in Halong Bay, it met with so many evil spirits and demons hindering its journey that it remained to do battle. After having defeated them all, the Golden Tortoise was so exhausted that it searched for a grotto to rest in, and once inside, turned to stone.
Today in the grotto, it can be found dozing with ancient wounds covering its body.
Luon Grotto
luon-grotto-halongSituated on Bồ Hòn Island, 14 km south of Bãi Cháy Beach is the Luồn Grotto. In front of the grotto is Con Rùa Islet, and the Sky Gate is on the right. Here the cliffs stretch vertically out of the pure blue and smooth water. At the water-level, an arched entrance leads to the grotto, just at the base of the island. Passing through the pretty entrance, you come across a tranquil round lake, surrounded by luxuriant trees and high dangerous stone walls. Monkeys run to and fro in groups, benjamin fig trees shade the landscape and many orchids hang their sweet-scented flowers. In the lake, many species abound: shrimp, fish, crab and cuttle-fish.
This is an enclosed group of islands. It connects with the sea via a 4-meter-wide, 100-meter-long, and 3-meter-high mouth. Inside the grotto, the 1-km2 brackish lake is surrounded by mountains. On the cliff one still find traces of fossils of fresh-water snails, which prove that men used to live there and this must have been a deep valley then.
The beauty of the site, is the mingling of a number of factors: the mountain's size and form, the colour of the water and the clouds.

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