Sung Sot Cave

Halong, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
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Overview

Sung Sot cave is the largest and possibly the most frequented by visitors of all the caverns in Halong. It is also home to various rocky islets with unique shapes. The path to Sung Sot cave is through the forest canopy, allowing visitors to experience the pleasure and exhilaration of climbing the cave.

Location

Sung Sot Cave, located in the heart of Halong Bay and the Tonkin Gulf, was named one of the top ten most beautiful caves in the world by the Czech Association of Travel Agents and Brokers.

History

In 1901, a French scientist visited this cave and named it "Grotte de la surprise" - the cave of surprise and wonder. This name, however, was not recognized until 40 years later. Sung Sot Cave welcomed its first visitors in 1993, just one year before UNESCO declared Halong Bay's core region as a World Natural Heritage site.

Weather & when to go

There are two best times to visit Sung Sot cave which are December - February and April - June. If April - June has pleasant weather with a bright sky, and is not too hot and not too cold, December - February is the dry season with slightly chilly weather but low rainfall, suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities.

  • April - May - June: Temperatures range from 20 to 22°C, with clear blue skies and occasional light rain.
  • July - August - September: Temperatures range from 26 to 28°C, and skies are clear. Storms and heavy showers are possible.
  • October - November - December: Temperatures range from 26 to 28°C, with sunny and mild weather. This period welcomes the largest number of international tourists in the year.
  • January - February - March: Temperatures range from 18 to 20°C and it can turn chilly with fog and rain.

Components of the cave

Sung Sot Cave is a cave in a limestone massif. The path to the cave is through the forest greenery; you must climb 50 stone steps and then descend 10 stone steps to reach the entrance, through which you enter the cave through a small rock breach. The splendor of Sung Sot cave progressively grows whimsical and beautiful along the 800 meter-long stone walkway.

The cave is divided into three chambers. The first chamber is the smallest chamber where you can see a small freshwater lake, the ceiling covered with a layer of "velvet carpet" with gleaming stalactite chandeliers, including stone sculptures, elephants, flowers, seals, etc. This is likely a waiting room.

Connected to the first chamber by a narrow rock path, the second chamber opens an enormous space with huge stalactites and stalagmites in unique shapes. Freely use your imagination and you can see interesting rocks shaped like a buddha, a bird, a monkey climbing on the rock column, etc.

Going further inside, the last chamber is the biggest one that can accommodate thousands of people. There will be scenes related to Giong's legend. Near the entrance, there is a stone block fashioned like a horse and a long sword of Giong, and inside the cave, there are little ponds and lakes resembling Giong's footprints. The cave's highest point is a "royal garden" with a lake, many plant species, and several bird species.

How to get there

Sung Sot Cave is one of the destinations in the tour route 2. If you want to visit this mysterious cave, you need to buy a ticket for route 2 which includes attractions such as Cave Park Conservation Center - Soi Sim Island, Ti Top Island, Sung Sot Cave, Bo Nau Cave, Ho Dong Tien Cave, Luon Cave, Trong Cave, and Trinh Nu Cave.

There are 6 routes that bring visitors around Halong Bay, but route 2 is the only one with swimming and full of all kinds of experiences, from visiting caves, boating (or kayaking), swimming, sightseeing and relaxing. This is a half-day tour that lasts from noon to evening.

Tickets for these routes can be purchased at two major ports in Halong:

  • Tuan Chau Wharf: This is a major port on Tuan Chau Island, about 12 kilometers from Halong city center. Tickets can be purchased at the booth on the right of the entrance. 
  • Halong International Cruise Port: This wharf came into operation in 2019 and is closer to the city center and hence easy to travel, however, the number of ships entering the wharf is lower than that of Tuan Chau Wharf.

Ticket prices:

To visit Sung Sot cave, travelers must first purchase entrance tickets to the harbor and then boat tickets. Specifically:

Entrance tickets for route 2:

  • Day trip ticket: VND 290,000 (USD 12.1) per person
  • Ticket for 2 days and 1 night: VND 590,000 (USD 24.6) per person
  • Ticket for 3 days and 2 nights: VND 790,000 (USD 33) per person

Boat tickets:

  • The boat fare for individual passengers for route 2 (including Sung Sot cave) is regulated by Halong Bay Management Board as VND 200,000 (USD 8.4) or VND 250 000 (USD 10.5)/pax + entrance ticket (not included) including food, drink and 50 000 VND (2.1 USD)/pax ticket for bamboo boat/kayaking and tour guides).
  • The tour lasts from 5 to 6 hours.

The departure times of the boats are 6:30 am - 8:00 am and 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm.

Where to stay

Wyndham Legend Halong 

  • The 5-star hotel is located on Ho Xuan Huong Street, about 1.5 kilometers from the city, and has 217 luxury rooms with views of Halong Bay and the Bai Chay Bridge.
  • Private balconies or wide windows are available in certain rooms. The Wyndham Halong interior design is contemporary with European neoclassical elements.
  • Diverse utility services include a kid's club, a gym, and a swimming pool.
  • Room service includes a 24-hour reception desk, free Wi-Fi, daily housekeeping, limousine shuttle service and laundry, and meeting space.

Vinpearl Halong Resort & Spa

  • The resort sits on Reu Island and is about 2 km from Halong city center. It offers free speedboat pick up and drop off from the mainland to the island on 24/24.
  • It consists of 384 rooms and suites divided from standard to deluxe room classes.
  • It features a variety of services and facilities, including an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor 4-season swimming pool, a Kid's club, a water park, etc.

Overnight Cruises

There are also some fine cruises where you can stay overnight on Halong Bay:

  • 3-star cruises: The 3-star cruise fare covers the following basic services: welcome drinks, overnight cabin on a spacious, self-contained boat (2 guests/room), entrance tickets, overnight on the bay, kayak or bamboo boat, cruise tour guide, and meals.
  • 4-star cruises: This type of cruise typically has 14 to 20 rooms. The service quality is quite acceptable, with the typical room size ranging from 16 to 22 square meters. A night on a 4-star cruise would cost between VND 1,900,000 and VND 2,200,000 per person (USD 79.2 - USD 91.7).
  • 5-star cruises: These cruises usually have 10 to 48 cabins with room sizes ranging from 25 to 75m2. The current 5-star cruise operates on all three bay routes: Tuan Chau - Halong, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay, however, the Tuan Chau Bay route is still regarded as the most beautiful tourist route, with more appealing sightseeing programmes and routes.

Conclusion and tips

To easily travel around the cave, you are encouraged to wear light clothing, pack little luggage, and wear sports/climbing shoes. If you have a history of motion sickness and are going by train, please take your medicine 30 minutes before departure and eat a snack. Before visiting Bo Hon Island to explore the cave, you should use mosquito or insect repellents. It is recommended to combine the visit to Sung Sot Cave with other popular Halong Bay tourist attractions such as Soi Sim Island, Luon Cave, Ti Top Island, etc.

Read more

Cruise trips that visit Sung Sot Cave

Ambassador Cruise 1184

Ambassador Cruise

9.7 Excellent | 209 reviews
Destinations: Halong Bay Sung Sot Cave Ti Top Island Tung Gau Area
FROM $160
Grand Pioneers Cruise (formally Essence Grand) 167

Grand Pioneers Cruise (formally Essence Grand)

9.8 Excellent | 12 reviews
Destinations: Halong Bay Sung Sot Cave Luon Cave
FROM $215
Indochine Premium Cruise 233

Indochine Premium Cruise

9.8 Excellent | 43 reviews
Destinations: Halong Bay Ti Top Island Surprise Cave Luon Cave
FROM $185
Sea Stars Cruise 138

Sea Stars Cruise

9.2 Excellent | 2 reviews
Destinations: Halong Bay Tung Sau Pearl Farm Sung Sot Cave Ti Top Island
FROM $185
Paradise Elegance Cruise 850

Paradise Elegance Cruise

9.7 Excellent | 269 reviews
Destinations: Halong Bay Ti Top Island Surprise Cave Luon Cave
FROM $195
Amanda Cruise 1353

Amanda Cruise

9.7 Excellent | 16 reviews
Destinations: Halong Bay Surprise Cave Ti Top Island Luon Cave
FROM $110

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