Luon Cave, A Heaven Gate in Halong Bay

What to See and Do in Luon Cave

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: October 20, 2021

Halong Bay is not a strange destination for tourists who love discovering the magnificent appearance of this world heritage. Whenever mentioning Halong Bay, many people will think about a bay with thousands of limestone islets in various sizes and shapes. Inside the mountains are a world of sparkling caves that are decorated by stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Unlike the common caves in Halong Bay, Luon Cave is a unique one, which is no less attractive than the others. If you have a chance to visit Halong Bay, don’t miss a visit to this wonderful site.

I. Location of Luon Cave

Luon Cave is a part of Bo Hon Island, which is about 14 kilometers from the mainland of Bai Chay City. Known as the island of amazing things, Bo Hon Island is an outstanding location in Halong Bay that most tourists choose as a nextstop on their way discovering Halong Bay.

The surrounding area of Luon Cave comprises a lot of well-known places of interest in Halong Bay. In front of Luon Cave is Con Rua Island (Turtle Island), and on the right of this cave is the Heaven Gate. Not only that, in the area of Bo Hon Island is Sung Sot Cave, which is the most magnificent cave in Halong Bay. Tien Cave and Trinh Nu Cave are also famous caves in Halong Bay in the area near Luon Cave.

History of Luon cave
Source: @laxmiii_sbdr

II. History of Luon Cave

Although Luon Cave is not as large as other caves in Halong Bay, it has been formed for millions of years thanks to the impact of sea wind and water. The effects of the tide, along with the water flow, gradually erode the foot of the limestone mountain and leave a big natural tunnel there. This is the Luon Cave that we can see nowadays.

Up to now, we still can see the remains of the ocean on the mountain cliffs of Luon Cave. The fossil shells of oysters, snails and crabs are the evidence for the life that existed there millions of years ago. The sea level used to be higher than it is now, and before appearing above the sea surface, Luon Cave was an underwater cave.

Highlights of Luon cave
Source: @hoanghoannn

III. Highlights of Luon Cave

Many tourists suppose that Luon Cave is like a gate opening a wonderland with water and limestone mountains in Halong Bay. Crossing Luon Cave, all the tiredness and exhaustion of tourists are left outside so that they can find their souls connecting with nature.

Luon Cave is like a tunnel that is 100 meters in length, 4 meters in width and 3 meters in height. Compared to other caves in Halong Bay, Luon Cave is not a large one, but it is an exclusive cave that contains mysterious things. This cave is located at the foot of an imposing mountain, and to reach the other side of the island, tourists have to go on a boat passing under the mountain. Therefore, the cave is called “Luon Cave’.

Luon Cave is the arch-shaped entrance leading to a tranquil lake, which is about 1 square kilometer. Enclosed by high mountains, this lake is protected from the waves and winds of the ocean, and the water surface is relatively gentle. This lake is like a jade that has been reserved carefully by the mountains of Bo Hon Island.

Four sides of the lake are limestone mountain cliffs, on which are green bushes, colorful orchids and even old trees. The calm surface of Luon Cave is the mirror reflecting the surrounding mountains. Looking down the water, visitors can see the blue sky with white clouds, the shade of craggy cliffs and green markings of plants. All the things are in a perfect order of nature, which draws a lively and attractive picture of Luon Cave in the mind of tourists.

What to see and do in Luon cave
Source: @heritage_line

IV. What to See and Do at Luon Cave?

1. Sightseeing and taking photos

Thanks to its unique appearance, Luon Cave is considered as a heaven gate or a magic tunnel leading to a wonderland. An absolutely different world is waiting for tourists on the other side of Luon Cave: the world of water, mountains and life. The wind will ease your soul, the water will wash away your exhaustion, and the beauty of the lake inside Luon Cave will tell you many fairy tales. While doing these activities, you can also feel the cool atmosphere with the fresh air of the lake, and see by yourself the remains of fossil shells on the limestone cliffs, which is evidence for the forming process of Bo Hon Island.

The area of Bo Hon Island in general and Luon Cave in particular is the home of mountain monkeys, a familiar species in the islands of Halong Bay. On nice days, if you are lucky enough, you can see the mischievous monkeys clambering and playing on the mountain cliffs inside Luon Cave. Their sounds dispel the quiet atmosphere of the lake for a while, then everything immediately comes back to its normal.

2. Kayaking

Since the ceiling of Luon Cave is relatively low, the cruise ship cannot enter the lake on the other side, and the only means of transportation that tourists can use is a kayak or a dinghy. The cruise ship will take you to the wharf in Bo Hon Island, then you can hire a kayak and start your trip exploring Luon Cave. Not only that, in the lake of Luon Cave, you can immerse in the crystal water of Halong Bay.

In the tourism season, Luon Cave is always crowded with tourists who come to experience this activity. Many tourists suppose that Luon Cave is the most ideal location in Halong Bay to enjoy sailing, kayaking and sightseeing. Under your boat is a lively and vibrant world of marine life, with various kinds of sea creatures. Sometimes, a playful fish wags its tail near your boat then right away disappears in the water, leaving concentric circles on the water surface.

Sailing to Luon cave
Source: @iamcristinasecuiu

3. Visiting nearby attractions

Besides Luon Cave, the area of Bo Hon Island includes plenty of mysterious things that are waiting for you to discover. Bo Hon Island is considered a significant destination in Halong Bay that  all tourists are eager to visit. This island is the paradise of caves, with plenty of large and small grottoes. If you do not have enough time to visit the whole Halong Bay, Bo Hon Island is a great suggestion for you, since this island is known as a miniature Halong that contains all the unique features of this heritage.

As one of the 7 most stunning caves in Vietnam, Surprise Cave (Sung Sot Cave) is a must-visit site on Bo Hon Island. The cave is a striking area of limestone, lights and colors, which is more impressive than any fairy movies. As its name suggests, Sung Sot Cave will bring amazing things to all tourists entering this cave. In addition, you can take a visit to Trong Cave, Trinh Nu Cave and Dong Tien Cave, which are all attractive and beautiful caves on Bo Hon Island.

V. How to Get to Luon Cave?

Luon Cave is located on the most popular island in Halong Bay, so it is not difficult to find a cruise ship to this cave. From Bai Chay Wharf or Cai Lan Wharf, you can go on a cruise ship whose itinerary includes Luon Cave, or hire a ship to go on your own tour. The cruise ship to Luon Cave is always available all the time, so you don’t have to worry about the transportation to Luon Cave.

Due to the limited height of this cave, only the small boats can enter the lake of Luon Cave. The cruise ship will stop outside Luon Cave, then you can hire a kayak to paddle yourself or hire a boat rowed by the locals to visit this cave. The price for hiring a kayak is from 50,000 VND per person.

The most suitable time to visit Luon Cave is from February to June and September to October. At this time, the weather in Halong Bay is quite nice, which will make your trip more convenient. If you want to swim, your journey should be started on a sunny day with the temperature above 30 Celsius degrees.

VI. Extra Tips

  • Before starting your trip in Halong Bay, you should watch the weather forecast to choose a nice day. The gloomy weather with rain might prevent you from enjoying outside activities in Halong Bay.
  • In case it is hot and sunny, you need to bring all the necessary things to protect your skin, including sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and some bottles of water.
  • Don’t forget to prepare your swimsuit so as to swim and enjoy the cool water of Halong Bay. You should wear comfortable clothes and should not bring too much luggage during the journey.
  • If you decide to go to Halong Bay in the tourism season, you had better book the tour in advance in case it is overcrowded.
  • You should bring a small bag to keep your trash. Remember to protect the environment in Halong Bay and in Luon Cave.

Luon Cave is a present from the Creator to Halong Bay. This cave contains a lot of interesting things, with a system of glorious caves, a diverse ecosystem and impressive scenery. Coming to Luon Cave, you will have a feeling as if you were in a fairy land, where you can forget all the hustle and bustle of life outside. What are you waiting for? Take your luggage and start your trip to this wonderful destination in Halong Bay!

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