Surprise Cave is also known as Sung Sot Cave or Amazing Cave. It is located on Bo Hon island. It is the most famous cave in Halong Bay, the UNESCO World Heritage area.
The Surprise Cave was found by the French in 1901 and covered on area of 12,200 squared meters. The grotto has three chambers linked through narrow ravines.
The first one is similar to a theater hall with many stalactites hanging from the high ceiling. A narrow passage leads to the second chamber, where a flow of natural light bathes the surfaces. The light is filtering in from above, through a large opening creating a natural skylight, this opening also serves as the exit from the cave. The deepest point of this chamber a “royal garden” appears with a clear pond and a fascinating landscape of small mountains. Many birds and plants here.
The mouth of Sung Sot Cave lies 25 meters above the sea level, so from the wharf, you need to climb 50 steep stone stairs to reach it. When entering the cave, you will observe that the cave is quite big and the distance between the ceiling and ground can be very variable (30 to 2 meters). You can observe the high ceiling with lots of stalactites and the ground with many stalagmites along the 500-meter paved passage. You will be stunned by the strange shapes formed through thousands years by the weather and the tectonics process. With the help of your tour guide, you can easily imagine lots of interesting characters hiding in the stone. The walls and innumerable cracks and crevices are an evidence of millions of years of spectacular natural creation. Close to the exit a mammoth formation stretches from floor to ceiling, tapering at the center to form a concave pillar that appears to be keeping the ceiling in place. Walking through the cave, your imagination can run wild conjuring up all kinds of fantastic creatures and fanciful creations.
Especially, at the side of that entrance, there is a stone in the shape of a horse and a long sword. According to the ancient legend, that horse and sword belong to Thanh Giong who defeat the An aggressors, and helped the population chasing away evil spirits and demons before flying to heaven and leaving his sword and horse as guardians. Many marks of that violent battle still remain in the natural images inside the cave until now. The trail of the horse became many little lakes and smashed rocks.
Sung Sot Cave is beautiful and has an extreme value in the field of geology, which is suitable for both visiting and researching.