Bo Nau Cave: Unique Beauty in Halong Bay

Bo Nau Cave: Unique Beauty in Halong Bay

Rachel Tran Rachel Tran | Published Dec 23, 2021

As a world heritage, Halong Bay is one of the most attractive destinations in North Vietnam. This wonder is famous for its thousands of unique islands and caves that cannot be found in any other places in the world. Coming to Halong Bay, besides some well-known sites such as Sung Sot Cave, Me Cung Cave or Ti Top Island in the tour No.02, tourists should not miss a visit to Bo Nau Cave, the small cave but no less appealing than any other ones.

Highlights of Bo Nau cave
Source: Origin Vietnam

I. Highlights of Bo Nau Cave

Bo Nau Cave is about 13 kilometers from Bai Chay Tourist Wharf, and it will take tourists about 1.5 hours to get there on a cruise ship. This cave nestles on the foot of Bo Nau Island in Halong Bay, which is about 3 kilometers from Trong Mai Islets. The surrounding area of Bo Nau Cave is a system of majestic caves in Halong Bay, namely Sung Sot Cave, Luon Cave, Trinh Nu Cave and Trong Cave. Each cave in this area has its own beauty, and this area is one of the most popular choices of tourists when they come to Halong Bay.

Bo Nau cave was explored in the 20th century by the French, and a famous photo of this cave that has  become a symbol of Halong Bay was taken in 1958. Nobody knows when the name “Bo Nau ” was used to call this cave. According to the locals, this cave used to be the shelter for thousands of pelicans in Halong Bay. Due to the innumerable flock of birds, the residents in the nearby fishing villages called the cave “Bo Nau ”, which is the spoonerism of “Bo Nong”, meaning pelican.

Like many other caves in Halong Bay, Bo Nau Cave is an ancient cave that has been formed by the flow of sea water under the foot of limestone mountain. This cave is in the shape of a palate, a kind of popular topography in Halong Bay. This cave is relatively small in comparison to other caves in Halong Bay with an area of 200 square meters. Hundred thousands of years ago, this cave was under the sea water. Nowadays, when the water goes out, Bo Nau Cave is a dry cave.

Bo Nau Cave is an open cave with the entrance facing the sea. The floor of this cave is quite flat, and on the walls and ceiling of this cave are the stalactites in many shapes and sides. Also on the ceiling of Bo Nau Cave, there are small fractures so that the natural light can get into the cave. At the entrance of Bo Nau Cave, there are three large rocks, which are like the shapes of three fairies: two are playing Chinese chess and a referee is observing.

The natural appearance of Bo Nau Cave has not been changed by the impacts of humans, so it can preserve all the unspoiled traits of a cave in the middle of the world heritage. Coming to Halong Bay, you should include this pristine site in your itinerary.

kayaking around Bo Nau cave
Source: @lucky2plus3

II. What to See and Do in Bo Nau Cave?

1. Exploring the cave and taking photos

Bo Nau Cave is like an upturned shell, which contains a lot of secrets waiting for you to explore. Entering this cave, you will be immediately astonished by the brilliant appearance of a large pillar in the center of Bo Nau Cave. This pillar has been there for thousands of years, which supports the whole cave as a united construction. Around the pillar and on the ceiling of Bo Nau Cave are magnificent stalactites like the chandeliers in a large opera house. There you can take some photos with the stalactites or the sea around Bo Nau Cave.

2. Kayaking

The water area around Bo Nau Cave is relatively shallow, so the cruise ship cannot reach the foot of the mountain where the cave is located. Therefore, you need to use a kayak or dinghy to access Bo Nau Cave. Also by kayaking, you can sail around and enjoy the beauty of the nature around Bo Nau Island. The scenery there was covered by the lush green color of islands and the emerald color of the sea water, which is like the scene in an ancient painting.

3. Visiting nearby area

All the tours in Halong Bay include more than three destinations for tourists to explore. If you have a chance to visit Bo Nau Cave, it is such a pity if you ignore a journey to Bo Hon Island, the home of the most sparkling caves in Halong Bay with Sung Sot Cave, Luon Cave, Me Cung Cave and Dong Tien Lake. Besides, you can visit some other famous islands such as Ti Top or Soi Sim islands, the familiar landscapes of the night tours in Halong Bay.

III. How to Get to Bo Nau Cave?

Bo Nau Cave is a destination in the tour No.02 in Halong Bay. To get to this cave, you will need to buy a cruise ticket and depart from Bai Chay Wharf or Tuan Chau Wharf. Bo Nau Cave is about 13 kilometers from the mainland, so it will take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to this cave. Due to the favorable position of Bo Nau Cave, it is quite easy for you to visit this tourism spot.

The route No.02 in Halong Bay also includes some other famous destinations, which are Sung Sot Cave, Me Cung Cave, Bo Hon Island, Ti Top Island and Soi Sim Island. You have two selections for this tour: a day tour and an overnight tour. The day tour will last for 6 hours and it will take you back to the mainland before sunset, while the overnight tour in Halong Bay will allow you to explore more mysterious things in this bay.

Moreover, you can arrange your own tour in Halong Bay by hiring a private boat if your group has at least 20 people. This way will allow you to take the initiative in terms of time and destinations.

IV. Best Time to Visit Bo Nau Cave

Most of the time of the year, the weather in Halong Bay is quite favorable for outdoor activities as well as sightseeing. If you want to have gorgeous photos with the magnificent views of Halong Bay, you should visit this landscape in the time from April to June and from September to November.

Winter is extremely breezy, while early autumn in Halong Bay is the season of storms, which is not the ideal condition for you to start your journey. However, during the tourism season, Halong Bay is quite crowded, and you need to book some services in advance to make sure that you can have a cruise in Halong Bay. Due to that reason, many tourists choose to visit this destination on some fine days of July and August, when not many people choose to visit Halong Bay. Travelling at that time, you may have a discount when using some services.

V. Extra Tips

  • Whenever you choose to visit Halong Bay, don’t forget to watch the weather forecast to make the best arrangement for your trip.
  • You should not take the risk to visit Halong Bay on gloomy or stormy days. The bad weather will keep you in your room all day, and you cannot enjoy the interesting games in Halong.
  • The nearby area of Bo Nau Cave is various stunning caves such as Sung Sot Cave, Luon Cave and Trinh Nu Cave, which are all worth visiting.
  • You should wear comfortable clothes with a pair of sneakers to move around easily. Remember to prepare some necessary items such as sunglasses, sunscreen, hats and umbrellas if you have a visit to Halong Bay in summer.
  • Remember to protect the environment all your ways in Halong Bay and Bo Nau Cave as well. This destination is not only a world heritage but also a biosphere reserve.

Above are all the things you need to know before starting a trip to Bo Nau Cave in particular and Halong Bay in general. A visit to Bo Nau Cave is a great opportunity for you to get back to nature and discover the pristine features in one of the new seven wonders of the world. Hope you are safe and sound, and don’t forget to share with us your wonderful moments in Halong Bay.


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