When you set your foot in Vietnam land and wonder where should you visit. Halong Bay is no doubt one of the most beautiful places on earth. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has won just about every award available to it. Thousands flock here every year to sail around the hundreds of limestone islands, take in the magnificent views and indulge in a bit of luxury on board the many tour boats that sail through the bay. There is much to see and do in Halong Bay many come for total relaxation on board their chosen cruise boat. Others, come in search of adventure and it comes in many guises. Kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, fishing, rock climbing, cycling and trekking are all hugely popular here.
One of the most popular excursions is to visit the Amazing Cave, which is to be found on Bo Hon Island. It was first discovered by the French in 1901. It is the most popular cave in the whole of northern Vietnam. The name means the Amazing Cave and it certainly lives up to its name. It is an incredible place to visit. It is reached by climbing steps up the side of a hill on the island. There are lovely trees offering shade all the way up to the entrance. The view from the entrance across the bay, is worth the climb on its own.
Thousands of years of development have seen magnificent stalagmite and stalactite formations created. The cave is illuminated to create a wonderful visual effect. The main chamber here is absolutely huge, the ceiling towering above visitors who stand in awe some 100 feet below its highest point. This chamber is called the Serene Castle. Some of the rock formations resemble troops of soldiers and another looks like a man drawing a sword. Though many are more than quick to liken this to a phallic shape.
There is a five hundred yard long paved passageway that guides tourists along between to of the chambers. These incredible formations were created between the years of 68,000-9,000 BC. Water seeped through cracks in the rock and eroded the limestone. The holes created, allowed more water in, the erosion increased and the caves grew larger. As some of the calcium rich water seeped down to the cave ceiling, it slowly dripped and deposited sediment which created stalactites, stalagmites and other formations in the caves. Then, from 9,000-1,000 BC, the sea advanced and its effects can be seen on the ceiling of the caves in interesting ‘wave’ effects.
These trips out to the cave are exceptional. They have become extremely popular over the years and it is not difficult to understand why. Fascinating and exciting in equal measure, they show the true wonders that nature can create. Anyone taking a cruise in the wonderful Halong tours, should include the Amazing Cave on their itinerary, it is excellent.