Thien Canh Son Cave is located in the conservation area of Cong Do Island, situated in Bai Tu Long Bay, approximately 25km from Bai Chay Port and 20km from the Halong International Cruise Port. The island covers an area of 23.363 km2 and is one of the most pristine islands in Halong Bay. The local people here also refer to this cave affectionately as "Hang Co" (Grass Cave). Currently, the cave has been developed with a pathway to allow tourists easy access to explore the beauty of this natural cave.
Initially, the cave was named Grass Cave because it was covered by lush green foliage on Hon Co Island. As its beauty was unveiled, the cave was given another impressive name, Thien Canh Son Cave, which means "Heavenly Sight Cave" or "Heavenly View Cave" - a hidden paradise on the mountain. Thien Canh Son Cave harmoniously combines magnificent scenery both inside and outside. Visitors will have the opportunity to be mesmerized by the splendid view of Halong Bay from above, relax on the sandy beach, and paddle kayaks to get closer to its exquisite beauty.
Like the formation of the cave itself, its legends have existed for ages. When you visit Thien Canh Son Cave, it will come as no surprise that you will hear stories about rock formations resembling elephants, lotus flowers, or a gathering of field mice. It requires imagination and a good sense of humor, but that is part of the experience, and the local people will be delighted to share these stories with you.
Thien Canh Son Cave attracts tourists on Halong Bay tours throughout the year, not only during the summer but also in the chilly winter. This is because it enjoys an incredibly favorable location, and visitors will not encounter many difficulties when coming here for sightseeing. The best time to visit Thien Canh Son Cave is from October to April when the weather is dry and cool in Halong Bay. You can avoid the rainy season from May to September, which can cause floods and storms that may affect your trip. However, if you don’t mind some rain and humidity, you can also enjoy some discounts on cruises and hotels during this low season.
Another factor that you should consider when planning your trip to Thien Canh Son Cave is the lunar calendar. If you want to avoid crowds and noise, you should avoid visiting during Vietnamese holidays such as Tet (Lunar New Year), Reunification Day (April 30), International Labor Day (May 1), or National Day (September 2). These are peak times when many domestic tourists flock to Halong Bay for vacation.
The path to Thien Canh Son Cave lies under the forest canopy and is made of stone steps, extending for about 400 steps. Thien Canh Son Cave consists of three interconnected caves, each adorned with stalactites and various formations. To fully explore this cave, visitors will need about 35 to 45 minutes.
Thien Canh Son Cave consists of three interconnected caves, each adorned with stalactites and various formations
The entrance to the cave is quite small, but once visitors pass through the cave's door, they will be amazed by the mysterious and magnificent beauty of Thien Canh Son. Inside the cave, there are thousands of shimmering stalactites and stalagmites. The cave ceiling is adorned with numerous sparkling stalactites hanging down, reminiscent of the vaulted ceilings of medieval theaters with long-lasting stone hanging lamps. The stalactites have formed beautiful images such as lotus flowers, monkeys, leaves, seals, and hanging lamps.
Another reason to visit Thien Canh Son Cave is the stunning view of Bai Tu Long Bay from the top of the mountain. After exploring inside the cave, visitors step outside and will continue to be amazed by the panoramic view of Bai Tu Long Bay seen from above, with lush vegetation covering the rocky islands. Everything within your sight will be a collection of limestone islands, distant sails, ships, and the blue sea with white sandy beaches right beneath your feet. The view of Bai Tu Long Bay from Thien Canh Son Cave is especially breathtaking at sunset when the sun casts a golden glow over the bay and creates a romantic atmosphere.
After exploring inside the cave, visitors step outside and will continue to be amazed by the panoramic view of Bai Tu Long Bay seen from above.
Just below the foot of the cave is a smooth white sandy beach where visitors can relax after exploring the cave. You can kayak around the cave and explore the hidden lagoons and beaches nearby. You can also swim or snorkel in the clear water and see some colorful fish and coral reefs. These activities will give you a chance to experience Thien Canh Son Cave in a different way and have more fun and excitement.
Visitors can reach Thien Canh Son Cave in three ways:
Choose Tour Route 4: This is an overnight tour provided by Tuan Chau Wharf, which takes you to visit famous landmarks in Halong Bay such as Vung Vieng Fishing Village and Thay Cave.
Get on a cruise tour for an overnight stay on the bay: There are numerous cruise ships operating in Halong Bay that offer overnight accommodation. You can choose this option to experience relaxation on the cruise while enjoying the nighttime scenery of the bay and visiting various attractive tourist spots.
Take a tour from travel companies: Most travel companies will provide tickets and handle the necessary procedures for visitors. They usually have familiar ships, making it easier and quicker to assemble passengers. They also have tour guides and organize activities such as lunch and kayaking for visitors.
5. Extra Tips
Here are some important notes you should be aware of when exploring Thien Canh Son Cave in Halong Bay:
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as you will have to climb up many stairs and walk inside the cave.
Follow the instructions of the tour guides.
Bring some water and snacks with you, as there are no shops or restaurants near the cave.
You should respect the nature and culture of Thien Canh Son Cave by not littering, touching, or breaking anything inside the cave.
Thien Canh Son Cave is one of the best places to visit in Halong Bay, as it offers you a unique and unforgettable experience of nature and culture. Make sure to plan your visit accordingly, follow the provided tips, and prepare to be captivated by the enchanting allure of Thien Canh Son Cave.