Bo Hon Island: The Home to Majestic Caves in Halong Bay

Bo Hon Island: The Home to Majestic Caves in Halong Bay

What to See and Do on Bo Hon Island

Rachel Tran Rachel Tran | Published Feb 10, 2022

Bo Hon Island, along with Sung Sot Cave and Luon Cave, is no longer strange tourism sites in Halong Bay. It can be said that 8 in every 10 cruises in Halong Bay have Bo Hon Island in the itineraries. This island is considered as a miniature Halong with splendid caves, pristine nature and charming scenery. Whenever you have an opportunity to visit Halong Bay, don’t miss a journey to discover wonderful things on Bo Hon Island.

I. Highlights of Bo Hon Island

Highlights of Bo Hon Island
Source: @hoaithu.qyqn

Bo Hon Island is about 14 kilometers from Bai Chay Wharf, which is included in the tourism core area of Halong Bay, along with Ti Top Island and Me Cung Cave. This island was discovered in the beginning of the 20th century, but it was not until Halong Bay was recognized as a world heritage that Bo Hon Island became more popular among tourists. The values of Bo Hon Island consist of the geological values and the biodiversity of the ecosystem there.

With an area of nearly 3.8 square kilometers, Bo Hon Island is the home of the most magnificent caves and grottos in Halong Bay. Sung Sot Cave, Luon Cave, Trong Cave, Trinh Nu Cave and Dong Tien Lake are all the well-known spots on this island. These caves were formed by the effects of sea water, winds and rain for millions of years, and the karst topography of Bo Hon Island is a matter of concern for many scientists. Inside these caves, a system of stalagmites and stalactites in various shapes and sizes adorns the sparkling and mysterious appearance of the world behind the limestone walls of Bo Hon Island.

When it comes to biodiversity, Bo Hon Island is the habitat of plentiful fauna and flora species. On the imposing limestone cliffs of Bo Hon Island are various kinds of plants, most of which are grass, bushes, and vines. This area is also the home for some kinds of birds and golden-haired monkeys; these animals are all the rare and precious species that need protecting. Besides, the water environment around Bo Hon Island is a world of colorful fish and other sea creatures, which contributes to the diversity of the ecosystem on Bo Hon Island.

Every cave on Bo Hon Island has its own story, and each stone there has its own spirit. Bo Hon Island is like a fairy land that is isolated from the human world, where you can find your soul mixing with the majestic beauty of nature.

II. What to See and Do on Bo Hon Island?

Visit Surprise Cave - What to Do on Bo Hon Island
Source: @thepighead

1. Sung Sot Cave

Sung Sot Cave, also known as Surprise Cave, is the largest cave on Bo Hon Island in particular and in Halong Bay in general. This cave perches on a mountain cliff, which is about 25 meters above the sea level. After climbing a 100-step stone stair, tourists will reach the narrow entrance of Sung Sot Cave, which is hidden under the luxuriant trees of the mountain.

The total area of the interior of Sung Sot Cave is about 12,000 square meters, which is divided into three separate parts. The first part of Sung Sot Cave is the smallest one, which has a small lake inside formed by the flow of rain through the stone cracks. The second part of this cave is even much larger than the first one. This is the room for the stones in the shapes of a horse and a sword, which reminds people about a famous Vietnamese legend. The third part of Sung Sot Cave includes a royal garden with a lake and various types of plants, where tourists can enjoy the fresh and tranquil atmosphere as well as contemplate the picturesque nature.

Like its name, Sung Sot Cave will for sure make all tourists surprised at first sight. This cave is like a splendid opera house of the ocean. The striking stalagmites and stalactites inside this cave, along with the colorful lights combine together to make an appealing visual effect. You may feel as if you were getting lost in a maze with thousands of mysterious things waiting for your discovery.

Kakayking to Luon Cave - What to do on Bo Hon
Source: @hoanghoannn

2. Luon Cave

While Sung Sot Cave on Bo Hon Island is a world of secret stories, Luon Cave is like a heaven gate leading to a natural wonderland. Luon Cave is a tunnel-shaped cave located at the foot of a limestone mountain. The effect of waves and water flow in the area of Bo Hon Island contributed to the formation of this unique site, which is a 100-meter length arch-shaped cave. Since the width and height of Luon Cave is not enough for a cruise ship to get through, tourists have to use a kayak or dinghy to reach the other side.

Passing the tunnel of Luon Cave, tourists will get to a 1-square-kilometer lake, which is enclosed by gray limestone cliffs of the high mountains. This lake is an airtight area with gentle wind and tranquil water surface. The lake of Luon Cave is a large and clear mirror reflecting the gleams of the mountains and trees around it. So peaceful is the atmosphere there that you can even hear the sounds of the oars touching water, the songs of some hidden birds and the sounds of the winds blowing through the trees. Luon Cave is a place where you can get off your chest all the pressure and exhaustion so as to feel your soul in nature.

Trong and Trinh Nu cave - on Bo Hon island

3. Trong and Trinh Nu Caves

Every cave in Halong Bay has its own story, and Trong Cave and Trinh Nu Cave are not the exception. These two caves are associated with a love story with a sad ending of a couple from a fishing village. Due to the poverty, the boy had to put to sea in order to get enough money to marry his lover. At the same time, the girl was forced to marry a cruel landlord, but she did not agree, then she was exiled to an isolated island. Starving and exhausted, the girl turned into a stone on a stormy night. When the boy knew all those things, he came to find her hopelessly. Finally, he also turned into a stone statue.

The caves where the couple turned into the stones are Trinh Nu Cave and Trong Cave that you can see nowadays. In Trinh Nu Cave, besides the majestic stalactites, tourists will catch the sight of a stone in the shape of a long-hair girl looking toward the sea. Opposite Trinh Nu Cave is Trong Cave, where tourists can see a stone statue of the boy and listen to the splashing waves from the sea, which is like the drum beating. Trong Cave and Trinh Nu Cave are not only attractive thanks to the natural beauty of these caves but also famous for a touching love story.

Dong tien lake and cave - What to see on Bo Hon island

4. Dong Tien Lake and Cave

Dong Tien Lake and Cave is the combination of a limestone cave and a sea water lake, both of which are named Dong Tien. Sometimes, this spot is also called Dong Tien Lake. The name of this destination came from a story that due to the picturesque and peaceful scenery, this lake used to be visited by the fairies from Heaven each afternoon. Some other people suppose that this cave is as appealing as a fairy land, so it was named Dong Tien. Of all the destinations on Bo Hon Island, Dong Tien Lake and Cave is the only one that has not developed tourism.

Dong Tien Lake and Cave nowadays can retain all the unspoilt and pristine beauty of a cave without the impacts of humans. Except for the research and preservation activities of the scientists, tourism activities there are not allowed. Therefore, only some groups with specific purposes are able to reach Dong Tien Lake and Cave. Dong Tien Cave has three parts, and the third part leads to the entrance of Dong Tien Lake. Although Dong Tien Lake is not large, the system of flora and fauna around this lake has a high value in terms of science, which provides a favorable condition for the scientists to do research.

Best time to visit Bo Hon island
Source: @astrobivy

III. Best Time to Visit Bo Hon Island

The tourism activities in Halong Bay often take place during summer time from April to June and late autumn from September to November. The weather conditions in Halong Bay during these times are quite favorable for your exploring activities. If you are excited about the atmosphere of the tourism season, these periods are the best time to visit Bo Hon Island in particular and Halong Bay in general.

Besides, in case you want to travel on a budget, a trip in July and August is a selection for you. Although these times are the stormy season in Halong Bay, there are still some days with fine weather, when you can start your trip. In July and August, Halong Bay is not as crowded as the other months, so you do not need to worry about some related tourism service.

Whenever you choose to visit Bo Hon Island, watching the weather forecast is important to make the best preparation for your journey.

► Also read: A local guide on best time to travel to Halong Bay, Vietnam

IV. How to Get to Bo Hon Island?

Bo Hon Island is about 14 kilometers from the tourist wharf of Bai Chay, and it is one of the most popular next stops of the cruise in Halong Bay. Therefore, it is not difficult for you to find a cruise ship to reach Bo Hon Island.

From Bai Chay Tourist Wharf, you take the cruise No.02 in Halong Bay, whose itinerary included Bo Hon Island with Surprise Cave, Luon Cave, Trong Cave and Trinh Nu Cave. In addition, this cruise also takes you to some other well-known attractions of Halong Bay such as Me Cung Cave and Ti Top Island. The whole trip will take you at least 6 hours, and you need to pay a cost of 290,000 VND each person.

Moreover, the night tour in Halong Bay is the selection of many tourists who want to explore more interesting things in this destination. If you have time, an overnight tour on a cruise that lasts 2 days and 2 nights is the best suggestion for you.  

V. Extra Tips

  • Coming to Bo Hon Island, besides visiting some highlight spots, you can enjoy other activities such as kayaking, swimming, climbing mountains, sightseeing and taking photos.
  • Though Bo Hon Island is one of the most popular destinations in Halong Bay, some services such as accomodation and restaurant have not developed to protect the environment there.
  • If you have a chance, don’t miss a night tour in Halong Bay, when you can experience fishing activity and admire the scenery of Halong at sunrise and sunset.
  • Book your hotel and cruise in advance in case you make a plan to visit Halong Bay during tourism season.
  • Prepare all your necessary things before the journey, including a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and swimsuit. Comfortable clothes are better for moving.
  • Remember to protect the environment, preserve the cave system and biodiversity of Bo Hon Island.

With a system of majestic caves and diverse plants and animals, Bo Hon Island is one of the most outstanding landscapes in Halong Bay. This wonderful island has all the specific features of a world heritage with the vital values in terms of geology and biology. If you don’t have enough time to visit the whole Halong Bay, a trip to Bo Hon Island will show you a miniature heritage within a day.


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