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Discovered by the French in 1901 and originally named "Grotte des Surprises", this limestone karst grotto is a rewarding experience after a steep climb on Bo Hon Island, northwest Halong Bay, about 15 km south-east of Tuan Chau Marina.

At approximately 25 m above sea level, this cave occupies around 10,000 m2 and comprises two caverns, each as beautiful and fascinating as the other. After a steep climb of around 50 steps to get to the mouth of the cave - which is sheltered by natural vegetation - visitors will be able to step into another world: a world that combines the cool mystery of Sung Sot Cave with soft, diffused light from the outside world.

The first chamber of Sung Sot Cave is known as the waiting room and is around 30 metres high. It is accessed by walking down a flight of 10 steps from the mouth of the cave. With walls eroded by Mother Nature and squarish in shape, the waiting room provides a grand entrance to a larger, second chamber, which is reached by a narrow path joining the two caves. It is the moment when tourists coming to Sung Sot enter the second chamber and understand why it is called the Surprise Cave. An “Opera House” appears in front you with a various number of flowstones, stalactites, stalagmites and columns forming thoughout millions of years.

The second, or inner chamber, is so enormous that it could hold a thousand people at one any time. Above and below are magnificent stalactites and stalagmites extend from the floor and ceiling that sometimes can meet in unison. Besides, there is a meandering path around the chamber that gives tourists a view of the cave from different angles, and the light from outside, when coupled with the cave’s coloured and enhanced lighting, which eventually creates a magical world, perfect for photographs.

Right time to visit

Sung Sot Cave is a year-round attraction. The first peak season runs from June to July, most of travellers are Vietnamese and Asian. The second peak season runs from December to February, most of travellers come from Europe, America and other countries in frigid and temperate zone. The first off-peak season runs from April to May and the second runs from August to October. If you are considering visiting Sung Sot during the second peak season, you should note that prices are generally higher and availability may be an issue, so book your cruise early to secure a slot  in accordance to your preference with the best price.

The busiest times are Tết (Vietnamese New Year in Jan/Feb, dates vary), 30th April (Reunification Day), 1st May (International Workers' Day) and Christmas Day. Independence Day September 2nd is a national public holiday, you may experience a red bay with many Vietnam flags on the way to the cave. Halong Carnaval is an annual event organised for travellers, this street festival taking place at the end of April or/and start of May in Ha Long City.

Travel time Popularity Hight/Low (Celsius) Sunshine hours Humidity
January ⛴⛴⛴ 20° / 15° 8 60%
February ⛴⛴⛴ 21° / 15° 9 70%
March ⛴⛴ 25° / 18° 9 70%
April 30° / 22° 10 70%
May 32° / 24° 10 70%
June ⛴⛴⛴ 34° / 26° 12 80%
July ⛴⛴⛴ 34° / 26° 12 60%
August 32° / 24° 10 70%
September 30° / 22° 10 80%
October 27° / 20° 9 70%
November ⛴⛴ 25° / 18° 8 60%
December ⛴⛴⛴ 21° / 15° 8 60%

Photo gallery

* Click on a photo to view/close full size image

Sung Sot Cave
An "Opera house" in HaLong Bay
Sung Sot Cave
Stalacties in Sung Sot
Sung Sot Cave
Columns in Sung Sot Cave
Sung Sot Cave
Flowstones in Sung Sot
Sung Sot Cave
The mouth of the cave
Halong Bay
Halong Bay view from Sung Sot

Traveller reviews

A little bit of Paradise.

Nearly put off by the stairs but they were no problem as plenty of chances to stop take photo's and rest legs. This is so worth the time and you won't be disappointed. It has pathways which are easy to use and again you can take photos inside the cave of the amazing sights nature has given us.

Linda G - United Kingdom

Amazing - Must see and experience

You think you have seen it all in many experiences at home and throughout the world. Then you get an experience like this and you are blown away. A must see

JohnandFi1953 - Australia


This cave is worth the effort of climbing a good number of steps. The height and the gigantic size of the place will surprise you. The path and lighting are well designed.

Milouw - New York, USA

Sung Sot Cave