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Hidden in a limestone islet 8Km south of Bai Chay is the biggest and the most significant caves in all of Vietnam – the Dau Go Caves. Legend says that the name Dau Go originates from the victory of General Tran Hung Dao against Mongol invasion in the 13th Century. The cave served as a hiding place of giant steel-tipped wooden stakes. The stakes then were embedded in Bach Dang River to form a barrier against the attacking Mongols. In the end, the Mongolians’ ships fall into the trap and conceded defeat. Later on, fishermen found many wooden pieces flowing into the cave, and so the name Dau Go also known as Wooden Head was born.
From the distance, the cave seems like just an ordinary cave surrounded by lush greenery that floats in Ha Ha Long Bay’s emerald water. You have to climb 90 rocky steps to reach the cave’s entrance, passing through mosses, ferns, trees and a patio that provides a good view of the bay. Once inside you will be amazed by a massive system of stunning stalagmites and stalactites resembling waterfalls – creating many eccentric shapes depending on each one’s imagination. It’s so magical that standing inside this extraordinary sanctuary feels like being in the middle of an ancient castle filled with monumental and majestic architecture.
The cave consists of three chambers, the first one is the largest and filled with rows of stalagmites and stalactites changing their color upon the intensity and angle of the light. The ceiling looks a lot like a giant oil painting unfolding primitive landscapes. There are images of wild nature, colorful forests, and rocky statues. Actually, the details that you will see here are limited only by your imagination. So don’t be shy, be creative, bring out the inner child in you and the images will be unveiled one after the other.
The middle chamber is accessible through a narrow passage with a round crystal like structure on the side path. When struck by light, this structure emits a kaleidoscope of light that is both breathtaking and unique. This chamber is famous for an intriguing ambiance of the fuzzy picture formed by the harmonious combination of light and stalactites that will sure to evoke your curiosity. But let me tell you, this is also the eeriest part of the cave!
Passing through another small path, you will reach the inner chamber which is much smaller than the first two. But this part is the most enchanted. Here you will find the sacred and mysterious well filled with crystal clear water. The well is said to be used by beautiful fairies descending from the heavenly kingdom. So make a wish and you might get lucky 🙂 … if you believe in fairies, that is! Other than that, the formation of stalactites and stalagmites here is considered the most sophisticated, it resembles a fierce battle between brave warriors on the back of their elephants and horses. Then again everything depends on your imagination, so set it on fire!
The end of the cave opened out into the island’s outer spaces, steps and paths winding through the foliage, allowing you to take in the vista of viewing platforms. The steps will lead you back to the wharf where the ships are.
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Happy travels everyone!
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