The morning of our second day of our cruise on Ha Long Bay, directly after breakfast, while it was still very early, we took the tender boat in to see Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave).
Sung Sot Cave is a large cave of 12.200 square meters. The cave has three compartments and high ceilings with lots of stalactites in various shapes. The ceiling’s maximal height is 30 meters
The mouth of Sung Sot Cave is about 25 meters above the sea level. Next to the entrance to the cave, there is a stone in the shape of a horse and a long sword.
This huge cave is considered one of the new 7 wonders of the world. It was discovered by a local fisherman.
Our Cruise tour guide was able to educate us on many fun and interesting facts on the cave formations and what they mean to the Vietnamese people. He joked about the reason it was called “Surprise Cave” as he pointed to a phallic shaped stalagmite formation however the surprise is the nonstop beauty of the cave.
This huge cavern has walking track and steps throughout. There are over 150 steps but don’t let this put you off as they are not steep at all and we were not rushed. The natural stones have different shapes inside the cave and the tour guide points them out as you go. Some of the most interesting ones for me were; the dragon on the ceiling, the turtle, heart shaped rock and several Buddhas
Being as we arrived early, there was no line of people waiting, nor difficulty getting around, however I have heard it can get very crowded. There is colourful lighting throughout the cave which does take away from the natural beauty giving it a “Hollywood” look however lights are necessary to see where you are going and to see the formations.
You really do need a local guide to give you the cultural and historical information to give more depth to the cave rather than it being purely a spectacle.
Once at the top after visiting and walking out of the Cave, we enjoyed the best views of Ha Long bay. Breathtaking!!