Nguom Ngao Cave, an astonishing cave with stalactites of various shapes, is the most famous limestone grotto in the northern mountain province of Cao Bang thanks to its uniqueness and size. Visiting the cave, you will be captivated by its wild beauty.
1. What to See in Nguom Ngao Cave?
Nguom Ngao is a really amazing cave, huge and attractive with various shaped stalactites. Some stalactites can create echo also. In comparing this cave with Thien Cung Cave in Halong Bay, it is certain that you truly think Nguom Ngao is more beautiful.
The name of the cave comes from the language of the local Tay ethnic minority, which means tiger’s cave. It is said that a long time ago, many fierce tigers sheltered in the cave and would enter the nearby village to hunt for livestock and even humans.
The main entrance to this cave is 2 km from Ban Gioc Waterfalls, just off the road to Cao Bang. Wonderful beauty of Nguom Ngao spreads the cavern. A British study in 1995 found the grotto to be 2,144 meters long, reaching heights of up to 60 m, with three main entrances namely Nguom Ngao, Nguom Lom and Ban Thuon.
At its main entrance, you can feel the fresh, cool air from the natural mist inside. Nature has endowed the cave with stone formations that look like human beings, trees, plants and mythical animals.
Stepping in the cavern, you seem to see a miraculous world. From high stone cliffs, hanging wonderful sparkling seven-colored stalactites. Along the way are stalactites of all shapes that look like boats, cactus, forests, terraced rice fields – a symbol of mountainous region of Vietnam and poles and valleys that are said to create a link between the earth and the heaven and a loving tie between men and women.
Nature is busy with its work over a long time to create attractive stone statues of which some look like human bodies, some look like forest trees, animals of fairy tales, a fairy combing her hair, or a good divine and a huge lotus bulb. Stalactites seem to grow from the soil, or hang down, vertical or horizontal with small and big figures piled and fixed in a hustle indulging visitors.
It takes about one hour to stroll around inside Nguom Ngao. Local people discovered Nguom Ngao in 1921, but the cave was not officially opened to tourists until 2006 when paths were built to lead visitors to many corners of the cave.
2. How to Get to Nguom Ngao Cave?
Nguom Ngao is near Ban Gioc waterfall. So if you want to get to Nguom Ngao from Hanoi, you should reach Ban Gioc first. There are two routes for you to choose from:
- Route 1: Hanoi – Lang Son – Dong Khe – That Khe – Chong Khanh- Ban Gioc
- Route 2: Hanoi – Thai Nguyen – Bac Kan – Cao Bang – Chongqing – Ban Gioc
After arriving in Ban Gioc, you will have to walk or hire a motorcycle in order to go to Nguom Ngao.
3. What to Eat Near Nguom Ngao Cave?
There are limited food stalls next to the Nguom Ngao cave’s entrance. So if you want to eat something, you need to buy fruits and drinks at Ban Gioc waterfalls, which is located in the west of the village.
4. Where to Stay?
There are not so many hotels and homestays in Cao Bang Province. However, you can still find your accommodation here. The most recommended one is Kieu Thanh Nguyet Guesthouse near Ban Gioc falls. The rooms are spacious, the view from little windows is beautiful and the service is great.
5. Tips on Visiting Nguom Ngao Cave
- Main electricity is due to be installed, but it’s probably sensible to take a torch when discovering Nguom Ngao
- Prepare essential belongings such as medical equipment, warm clothes, sleeping bags, phone, camera, rain clothes, personal handbook and so on
- The cave is very large and long so in case you book a tour and you want to go further, do not hesitate to tell the guide because the price you have to pay is just the same
Nguom Ngao has been recognized as a national relic. Without doubt, Nguom Ngao Cave and Ban Gioc Waterfalls are two must-see natural wonders in the northern province of Cao Bang, Vietnam.