Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace)

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Overview Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace),Thien Cung Grotto

Thien Cung Grotto, also known as the “Heavenly Palace Grotto,” is located in the southwest of Halong Bay, on Dau Go Island, near Dau Go Cave, about 4 km south from the tourist port. It is one of the most beautiful caves in Quang Ninh province, covering an area of nearly 10,000m2. The grotto’s structure includes multiple levels and chambers, filled with countless stalactites and stalagmites in unique and extraordinary shapes, formed from limestone and stalactite minerals.

1.The origins and legend of Thien Cung Grotto

The origin of the name “Thien Cung Grotto” 

The name”Thien Cung Grotto” comes from its unique landscape. It is named “Thien Cung” (Heavenly Palace) because inside the cave, there is a layer of stalactites emitting a magical light, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a heavenly palace in legends. Additionally, the cave has an opening that connects to the sky, and when sunlight shines through, the interior scenery appears incredibly splendid and enchanting. This spectacular sight has made Thiên Cung Grotto a special and captivating destination for visitors.

The legend of Thien Cung Grotto

There is a chance to visit Thien Cung Grotto in HaLong Bay, where visitors will hear the legend of this “heavenly paradise within the earth.”

In ancient times, after helping the people defeat invaders, the Dragon King returned to his cave. During that year, there was a severe drought, and the people suffered from continuous crop failures. They sought the help of the Dragon King, hoping he would bring rain. Many volunteered to go to the Dragon King’s cave, but none returned. However, a young couple, undeterred by the hardships and dangers, decided to find the Dragon King. Later, this couple had a daughter named Cloud (Nang May).

As she grew up, Cloud’s beauty captured the heart of the Dragon Prince, who wanted to marry her. The wedding of Cloud and the Dragon Prince was celebrated for seven days and seven nights in Thien Cung Grotto. During the joyous celebration, the sight of flying dragons amidst stalactite forests, young elephants and lions dancing together, and majestic eagles soaring with their wings spread wide, along with the presence of the Southern God and the Northern Star, was recorded in full on the cave’s walls.

This enchanting scene remains preserved on the walls of Thiên Cung Grotto, creating an everlasting memory of the wedding between Cloud and the Dragon Prince.

Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace) - Vietnam Halong bay
Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace)

2.How to move to Thien Cung Grotto

To visit Thien Cung Grotto in HaLong Bay, you can follow these steps:

  • Arrive at the main port of Tuan Chau, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
  • Look for the ticket counter where you can purchase tickets for tour routes.
  • Buy a ticket for Route 1, which includes Thien Cung Grotto in its itinerary.
  • Board the designated tour boat that will take you to Thien Cung Grotto.
  • Enjoy the scenic journey on the boat as you cruise through HaLong Bay’s beautiful landscapes.
  • Arrive at the entrance of Thien Cung Grotto and disembark from the boat.
  • Begin your guided tour inside the cave to explore its stunning limestone formations and learn about its legends and history.
  • After the tour, return to the boat and continue your journey to other attractions included in Route 1.
  • At the end of the tour, return to Tuần Châu port and disembark from the boat.

3.Discover the beauty of Thien Cung Grotto

Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace) - Vietnam Halong bay
Thien Cung Cave

The pathway leading to Thien Cung Grotto winds its way up a steep rocky cliff, adorned with two rows of lush trees providing ample shade. Passing through a narrow entrance, visitors are met with a resplendent cavern that dazzles the senses, leaving them in awe of the magnificent stalactites and stalagmites within.

The first chamber: A jubilant fairy tale painting

In the initial compartment of the cave, facing the East, visitors will marvel at an expansive painting depicting enchanting mythical characters, drawn with gentle and intricate lines. On the northern cave wall, graceful nymphs dance with elegance, celebrating the wedding of the Dragon King. Above, the ceiling is adorned with a unique array of stalactites resembling a cluster of exquisite crystal chandeliers.

 The second chamber: The most splendid area of the grotto

Upon reaching the second compartment of Thiên Cung Grotto, visitors will be treated to the sight of colossal stalagmites adorned with intricate engravings, shrouded in mystical forms from their bases to their peaks. Here, one can witness depictions of human activities, blooming flowers, and graceful waterbirds. Beneath the cave’s vaulted ceiling, stalactites cascade like resplendent curtains.

On the cave wall of this central chamber, the scene of dancing nymphs celebrating the wedding of the Dragon King still graces the surroundings. Moreover, tourists are treated to the ethereal sounds of wind gently whistling through the crevices of the rocks, resembling the fervent beat of ceremonial drums. This area also boasts numerous divine photo opportunities for visitors to capture and immortalize these extraordinary moments, scenes that cannot be found anywhere else.

The third chamber: A vibrant celestial landscape

Stepping into the final compartment of Thien Cung Grotto, visitors will feel as if they have entered a realm of celestial beauty. The cave space unfolds with soft, ethereal rays of light, casting enchanting reflections on the glistening stalactites. Not only that, but this place also boasts clear, pristine ponds and perennially flowing water streams. According to legend, this is where the Cloud Fairy bathes her 100 children.

The ambiance of this chamber is truly awe-inspiring, evoking a sense of wonder and tranquility as if being transported to a fairyland. It captivates the imagination and leaves an indelible impression on those fortunate enough to witness its mesmerizing charm.

4.Notes when visiting Thien Cung Cave

Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace) - Vietnam Halong bay
Smile Travel Guest visit Thien Cung Cave – Vietnam Halong bay

Due to Thien Cung Grotto‘s location on Hạ Long Bay, which is quite a distance from the mainland, the best way to visit the cave is to either rent a boat to explore the bay or purchase a tour package. When choosing a boat ticket or tour, opt for route number 1, as some other routes may not include a visit to Thien Cung Grotto.

Once you set foot on Đầu Gỗ Island, you’ll need to traverse a somewhat steep path to reach Thien Cung Grotto. Therefore, it’s advisable to wear comfortable clothing, sturdy sports shoes, and carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated during the journey.

Though the sides of the cave entrance are shaded by lush greenery, it’s still recommended to wear a light jacket to protect against insect bites.

Inside the cave, lighting may be a bit dim, so if you wish to take captivating photos for check-ins, seek out well-lit spots, especially in the central area of the cave. These spots are adorned with colorful lights, providing ample illumination to capture memorable and timeless photographs. Additionally, towards the end of the cave, there is a small skylight where sunlight shines through, offering another impressive photo opportunity.

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