Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave is situated in the central area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay, within Bo Hon Island. It is one of the most spacious and beautiful caves in Halong Bay, and it is also where numerous uniquely shaped rocky islets converge. The path to Sung Sot Cave winds through lush forest foliage and steep, zigzagging stone steps, offering travelers the thrill of mountain climbing and the excitement as if ascending into the sky.
Introduction to Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave
Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave is located on Bo Hon Island, along with Luon Cave, Trong Cave, and Trinh Nu Cave, situated in the central region of Halong Bay. In 1901, a French scientist visited the cave and named it “Grotte de la surprise,” meaning the cave of astonishment, due to its natural beauty, a gift from nature to this place.
It wasn’t until 40 years after its discovery that Sung Sot Cave became widely known. In 1993, the cave welcomed its first tourists, marking the beginning of exploration and visits. It is one of the most beautiful and spacious caves in Halong Bay.
Legend has it that after defeating the An aggressors, Saint Giong flew back to the sky, leaving a sword and a precious horse for the villagers’ peace and protection, driving away evil spirits and demons. Sung Sot Cave, on the other hand, is believed to preserve traces of the ancient battle, with small ponds symbolizing the footprints of the horses from the past.
How to Travel to Sung Sot Cave in Quang Ninh
From the center of Ha Long City, travelers can move along Hai Quan Road for about 4km to reach Bai Chay Pier. From there, you can take a canoe or boat and head south for approximately 14km to reach Bo Hon Island, where Sung Sot Cave is located.
If you are coming from Hanoi, you can easily book a private car service from Hanoi to Ha Long through DanangPrivateCar.com. Their professional drivers with years of experience will provide door-to-door service, making your journey more convenient.
Ticket Prices for Visiting Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave in Halong Bay
To explore Sung Sot Cave, visitors need to purchase tickets for the bay tour and ferry tickets for transportation. Here are the details:
Ticket Prices and How to Purchase
Sung Sot Cave is one of the stops included in Route 2 of Halong Bay tours. Therefore, to visit this mystical cave, tourists need to buy Route 2 tickets for Halong Bay.
Route 2 includes: Central cave park conservation area, including attractions such as Soi Sim Island, Ti Top Island, Sung Sot Cave, Bo Nau Cave, Ho Dong Tien Cave, Luon Cave, Trong Cave, Trinh Nu Cave, and Me Cung Cave.
Route 2 is a 6-hour day trip with activities such as cave exploration, swimming, rowing boats, kayaking, high-speed boat rides, and sightseeing around the bay.
The ticket prices for Route 2 are as follows:
- Day tour reference price: 250,000 VND/person
- 2-day 1-night tour reference price: 590,000 VND/person
- 3-day 2-night tour reference price: 790,000 VND/person
Note: The ticket prices mentioned above do not include boat rental fees. Typically, the cost for individual shared boat rentals is 150,000 VND, while renting an entire boat can range from 2,500,000 VND per boat.
Tourists can purchase tickets at the two major piers in Halong:
- Tuan Chau International Passenger Port: Visitors can find the ticket counter to the right after entering the main gate. The port is located on Tuan Chau Island, approximately 12km from the city center of Ha Long.
- Halong International Passenger Port: This port, operational since 2019, is located in the city center of Ha Long.
Cases Eligible for Ticket Discounts/Exemptions
- Children under 1.2 meters or under 7 years old: 100% ticket exemption.
- Children from 7 to under 16 years old: 20% ticket discount.
- People aged 60 and above: 50% ticket discount.
For discounted tickets, buyers need to present identification documents such as ID cards, student cards, or birth certificates for children.
Renting Boats for Bay Tours
After purchasing tickets, visitors need to rent boats for touring the bay. These two costs are separate:
- Ticket purchased from the bay management: The cost is 200,000 VND/person for individual tourists on Route 2 (including Sung Sot Cave).
To rent a boat, tourists have three options:
- Contact the boat organizers from the bay management to arrange.
- Book boat rentals through tour organizing companies.
- Contact private tour boat owners directly to book tickets.
Total Tour Expenses
To provide an overview, the expenses for visiting Sung Sot Cave in 2023 are as follows:
- Reference price for Route 2 tour tickets: 145,000 VND/person (day tour), 295,000 VND/person (2-day 1-night tour), 395,000 VND/person (3-day 2-night tour). These prices are subject to a 50% discount as part of the tourism stimulus program.
- Reference price for boat rental: 200,000 VND/person.
What makes Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave in Halong Bay beautiful?
Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave in Halong Bay is a marvel to behold. From the Bo Hon Island boat dock, visitors disembark and ascend approximately 100 steps to reach the entrance of Sung Sot Cave. The cave spans an area of up to 10,000 square meters, towering about 30 meters high, with a pathway stretching nearly half a kilometer.
The first ‘room’ is relatively small, covering an area of about 300 square meters, with the cave floor dropping to around 5 meters below the entrance. One’s immediate impression upon entering this ‘reception room’ is the presence of a small lake, formed by water trickling down from the cave ceiling through limestone crevices.
Continuing deeper through a narrow pathway suitable for a single adult, visitors arrive at the second ‘room.’ This chamber is twice the size of the first, spanning approximately 600 square meters. The stalactites in this section have undergone more erosion due to the presence of ‘windows’ about 40 meters above the cave floor. However, this ventilation allows for a more breathable atmosphere inside the cave.
But you might still wonder, is this truly astonishing? Hold your judgment for now and join us for the rest of the exploration. Because the third ‘room’ is where Sung Sot Cave truly takes your breath away. Upon reaching this section, tourists on Halong Bay tours are guaranteed to be astounded by the vastness and shimmering beauty to an extent that, even if you’ve seen pictures beforehand, witnessing it in person will still make you exclaim in awe.
This chamber is full of intricate corners and hidden alcoves, secrets waiting to be discovered, much more fascinating when explored firsthand rather than being described. It becomes even more enjoyable if you’re with friends or family, collectively imagining and guessing the shapes these rock formations take.
Tips for Traveling to Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave
Here are some useful tips that DanangPrivateCar.com would like to provide for your trip:
- Ideal Travel Time: The best time to visit is around April to June each year. During this period, the weather is pleasant, warm, and Halong Bay is not overly crowded with tourists.
- Clothing and Footwear: Wear lightweight clothing, pack lightly, and wear sports/hiking shoes to easily navigate the terrain here.
- Mosquito Repellent: Apply mosquito repellent or insect repellent before stepping onto Bo Hon Island to explore the caves.
- Flashlight: Bring a flashlight to be prepared for any necessary situations.
- Combine with Other Attractions: Visitors should combine exploring Sung Sot Cave with other famous tourist spots in Halong Bay such as Soi Sim Island, Luon Cave, Ti Top Island, etc.
Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave in Halong Bay is indeed the most beautiful and highly visited cave at present. This destination is a great privilege bestowed upon humanity by nature. When traveling to Halong Bay, make sure not to miss this fascinating attraction