Located on Bo Hon Island, the Sung Sot Cave is one of the most notorious caves in Halong Bay. The French found it on an expedition in 1901 and were taken aback by its sheer beauty. Thus, they decided to call it the cave of surprises. The cave remained closed until 1993. The cave began to receive regular numbers of visitors after Halong Bay became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
The journey to the cave begins at the foot of the island. A boat ride will take you there and you’ll then need to walk a few steps up to the cave. Once in the cave, there are two caverns to explore. There is a bigger area, which resembles the size of an arena. A smaller area is like a mini auditorium. It is quite a size. The passage is ½ km long and the cave itself is 30m high.
This cave is huge in comparison to other caves in the area. Vast amounts of sculptures naturally formed by stalactites and stalagmites are inside the cave. Lights shine on the formations which are interpreted to mimic various objects and lifeforms. Stalactites are resembling a sword and horse. Folklore suggests the great Saint Giong left these here to protect Halong Bay from evil spirits and demons coming up from below. There are also various formations which look like animals, people and different types of flowers. This is an incredible cave to see.
You can walk through this cave quite comfortably, even if you fear small spaces. There is a pathway for visitors. Be warned that the cave does involve a lot of walking up and down rugged steps, sometimes in darkness. There are no facilities for disabled people.
Another thing to consider is the number of visitors. It can get quite crowded, especially during peak times in the day. Make sure you keep your belongings safe and keep hold of your camera. It can get wet and slippery inside the cave. Wear some shoes with good grips on the soles and take a poncho with you to explore the cave.
Sung Sot Cave is on Bo Hon Island. Opening hours are 08:00-18:00. Ticket prices are usually included in the tours. Counter ticket price is around $4.