Halong Bay has always been famous for its impressive natural wonders, including breathtaking beaches, wide and blue ocean, peaceful floating villages and impressive and mysterious caves. Among the caves of Halong Bay, Trong cave is one of the most popular and well-visited ones. Attached to the magical legend of the region, throughout the years, In cave has become an important tourism site of Halong Bay.
Location: Bo Hon Island, 15 kilometers to the South of Halong Bay
I. The Legend of Trong Cave
One of the reasons that make Trong cave so famous is the touching yet tragical legend attached to it. Along with Trinh Nu Cave, they bear the ancient love story that shakes the heart of every tourist who has stopped by.
According to the legend, which was told by the local people in Halong Bay, the story began with a beautiful young lady who lived in the village by the sea. At that time, her family was extremely poor, so she had to work for a rich landlord. Despite having a hard life, only ate barely enough each day and had to do heavy work, she was happy because of her family and her lover.
Until one day, the landlord started to fall for her beauty. He forced her to become one of his wives. Being a faithful woman, she strongly declined him for her lover. Her action had angered the landlord and he banished her to a deserted island, where she starved and died. Eventually, her body turned into stone.
As for her lover, once heard about her tragic, he had immediately sailed on a small boat to look for her. Suddenly a strong storm came in and the wind carried him to another deserted island, which coincidentally, located right in front of the island where the young lady stayed. He tried to shout for her, but his words were drowned out by the rain. He then picked up a stone and smacked it against the cave on the island, with the hope that she would hear the sound he made and recognized him. Sadly, his effort was in vain, and he died because of exhaustion.
Where the young lady had passed away, there was a cave, and local people call it “Trinh Nu Cave”. Trong cave was the one where her lover died. The two caves are 700 to 800 meters apart, so visitors often explore both of them during their stay in Halong Bay. The beautiful yet tragic love story of the two caves has become something to attract thousands of travelers from all over the world.
II. Highlights of Hang Trong Cave
1. A stalactite column right in front of the cave’s entrance
In front of the entrance of the Trong cave, there is a huge stalactite column that stands straight, very outstanding and eye-catching. Local people often say that the stalactite is the man in the legend, who had tried to sail in the storm to look for his lover, then eventually got on the island and turned into stone. Legend says that he is still standing there, in the form of the giant stone, waiting for his lover to return.
Many couples, newlyweds and families have come to Trong cave to witness the stalactites column themselves. Some of them believe that by visiting the cave and the stone, they will find a happy and heart-warming love in their life. The stone also has become a symbol of the Trong cave, triggering the curiosity of thousands of travelers from all over the world.
Due to the sad love story, many young people, especially women, have chosen to visit Trong cave during their vacation in Halong Bay. If you are looking for some romance, Trong cave is the ideal destination.
2. Trong cave still has remainings of the storm
In the love story, the couple were separated and weren’t able to reunite because of the storm. Until nowadays, some still believe that there are still remains and evidence of that storm in the Trong cave.
Inside the Trong cave, small rocks and gravel are scattered everywhere. Sometimes, visitors can hear the faint sound of the wind howling through small cracks and holes of the cave, sending a chilling but rather thrilling and exciting feel to the bottom of their hearts. There are days when the waves suddenly get stronger and hit the cliff where the Trong cave stays, creating white shining foams around the Bo Hon Island. These are the reasons why the local people still believe that the old storm is still bothering the couple, preventing them from meeting each other.
This is another thing that attracts foreign people to Trong cave. Some who are interested in the ancient legend have come to the Trong cave to witness those pieces of evidence themselves.
3. Another name of Trong cave
Although being officially known as Trong cave, some local people of Halong Bay still call the place “Con Trai cave” (“con trai” means “man” in Vietnamese), while the opposite cave was named “Trinh Nu” (means “virgin” in Vietnamese). The two caves were named like that as another proof of the ancient love story that was told by Halong Bay people.
What shocks most visitors is that although they exist right in front of each other, only 700 – 800 meters apart, the two entrances of the caves are turned into opposite directions. It is like the couple had their back turned against each other, therefore they are still longing for one another without realizing that they have been near all along. This is another factor that has shaken the sensitive hearts of many travelers, both domestic and international.
III. What To Do Nearby Hang Trong Cave?
1. Visiting Trinh Nu Cave
As mentioned above, along with the Trong cave, Trinh Nu Cave is the other factor of the sad love story that attached to the legend of the two caves. Trinh Nu Cave and Trong Cave were located on Bo Hon Island, only 700 – 800 meters apart, so visitors can easily explore both caves on one day.
According to the local legend, Trinh Nu Cave is also the place where the young lady had passed away and turned into stone. In front of the cave, there is a huge stone that shaped like a woman reach her hand out, as if waiting for her lost lover. Many international visitors have been touched by the romantic yet tragic love story of the two.
2. Spending time exploring Bo Hon Island
Halong Bay has always been famous for its numerous caves and islets, stone cliffs and islands. Bo Hon Island, where Trong Cave stays, is surrounded by many other large and small islands. From there, visitors can easily reach other islands, as well as visit other impressive and famous caves of Halong Bay, such as Sung Sot Cave – one of the most popular caves in the World Natural Heritage.
There are also various stone cliffs and mountains around Bo Hon Island, all create such a breathtaking and stunning landscape. Combining with the immerse blue ocean around, the whole place looks just like a scene straight out from fantasy, an astonishing view of nature that you cannot get to see in any other places of Vietnam.
If you are a passionate photographer or just simply like to take some amazing pictures, this is the perfect destination for you. There is no better place to fully capture the beauty of Halong Bay than Trong Cave and Bo Hon Island.
3. Admiring the diverse nature life
It is safe to say that Halong Bay was blessed with an abundant life of nature. The area around Trong Cave is surrounded by diverse and beautiful plants as well as different species of animals. Around Bo Hon Island, visitors can easily spot some rare types of the plant such as si, orchid and many more. The plants turn the whole area into a lively and peaceful shade of green, bringing a peaceful and relaxing feeling to everyone who watches.
Besides the plants, Bo Hon Island is also the home of many kinds of animals. There are monkeys, deers, chamois, and many other rare animals that live on the island. If you are lucky enough, you may catch sight of these species when visiting Trong Cave.
4. Kayaking through Luon Cave
Luon cave is another famous tourism site of Halong Bay located near Trong Cave, Bo Hon Island. Luon cave is basically an oval-shaped stone gate on top of the ocean surface. In order to get through, visitors must either travel by the small boats or kayaking. Many prefer kayaking because they love the feeling of sailing and going through the dark, mysterious cave themselves. It brings them a good sense of thrilling and adventurous.
Once going through the gate, which is Luon cave, tourists will encounter a peaceful and shining circle lake with giant cliffs surrounding, birds chirping and plants blooming everywhere. It is like getting lost in another world in Halong Bay. Luon cave will bring you calm and relaxing moments that you don’t expect to have.
The amazing combination of the blue sky, the quiet water surface and the bright life of nature in Luon cave will absolutely capture your heart. That is why, visitors often pay Luon cave a visit after exploring the Trong cave on Bo Hon Island, Halong Bay.
IV. How To Get To Trong Cave?
Trong Cave was located on Bo Hon Island, so in order to get to Trong Cave, visitors must set foot on the island first.
Bo Hon Island is located 20 kilometers away from Tuan Chau International Harbor and 12.5 kilometers away from Halong city, with an area of 3.8 kilometers square. To get to the island, travelers can hire boats from either Tuan Chau or Hon Gai harbor.
There are two types of boats for you to choose, which are canoe and cruise or yacht. Nowadays traveling on cruises at Halong Bay has become a trend, so most people choose to book a tour on a Halong Bay cruise, then visit Bo Hon Island and Trong Cave base on the cruise’s travel itinerary. However, some still prefer traveling by themselves instead of joining a tour. They will hire a canoe to take them to the island, then back to the harbor.
The average price to hire a canoe in Halong Bay will be 300.000 VND per each ride. That means visitors will have to pay around 600.000 VND to travel back and forth from the harbor to Bo Hon Island. There are also small boats with cheaper price available, although it won’t be as fast as canoes. The average price for renting small boats is 250.000 per ride.
V. Tips When Traveling to Trong Cave
- Wearing comfortable shoes when exploring Trong Cave
Exploring a cave means you will have to walk, sometimes climb, a lot. With so many activities required, high heels and sandals will only cause a hassle. Not to mention, anything besides shoes can give you some nasty foot ache if you walk too much.
That is why one of the first and most important things to remember before going to Trong Cave is to make sure that you have a high-quality and comfortable pair of shoes. It will make your trip so much easier and more exciting.
- Bringing sunproof items when going to Trong Cave
Most travelers tend to visit Halong Bay during the summer because there is nowhere better to spend a hot and humid day than the beautiful ocean. However, sometimes the heat may become too much, therefore causing many health problems.
If you are planning on visiting Halong Bay and Trong Cave, make sure you have some basic sunproof types of equipment such as a hat, a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen and a thin jacket. Those items may prevent you from getting an annoying sunburn.
- Bringing a camera when exploring Trong Cave
Trong Cave, as well as the area around it, has tons of magnificent and stunning sceneries. It will be a total waste if you come to the place without at least three pictures as souvenirs. The beautiful landscapes here are enough to shake the heart of every traveler stopping by.
When bringing a camera, it is highly recommended to have a waterproof bag with it as well. The bag will help to keep your camera from being ruined by the water, therefore help you get more amazing pictures to bring home.
Due to the romantic, beautiful yet tragic local legend, as well as the impressive view and the stunning surroundings, Trong Cave has always been one of the most popular tourist sites in Halong Bay, Vietnam. Every year, thousands of tourists from all over the world have come to Trong Cave to witness the beauty of time and nature themselves. Trong Cave is definitely a must-visit in your next trip to Halong Bay, and once you’ve arrived, you will find yourself reluctant to leave. It is no doubt the ideal destination to visit at least once in life, so don’t forget to stop by Trong Cave in the near future.