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Friday, May 15, 2015

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Part 3


Part 3

I'm coming the last part of the Halong Bay, the grotto. Entering the cave reminded me of my visit to Bora Caves in Vishakapatnam, India way back in March 2012 where I lost all of the photos when the hard disk crash. But of course, Thien Chung Grotto is much more commercialize than Bora Caves in Araku Valley. The colorful lighting fixed inside the cave by the Authority looks almost similar. 

Thien Cung Grotto is located at the height of 25 meters above the sea level. Once inside the grotto, any tourists would feel like visiting an art museum with variety of sophisticated statues and reliefs. In the center of the grotto, there are 4 big pillars propping against the roof. The original inhabitants of Halong Bay have told an ancient story about Thien Cung Grotto over many generations. 

The myth is passed down from earlier generation to present generation that the Dragon Prince was fallen in love with “Nang May” (means Miss Cloud) who were there to pray for the rain. Vietnam was once on a very  bad drought which villagers went to pray for help from the descending dragon. The wedding was held lavishly inside the grotto in 7 days and 7 nights. All kinds of animals and all genies took part to share the happiness with the couple. The celebration was that fun and bustling like on the heaven. Nowadays, entering Thien Cung Grotto, visitors can gaze at the myth party sceneries in the setting of stalactites and stalagmites inside. 

So. our guide has repeatedly asked us to spot all the animals resemblance from the stalactites and stalagmites. He had also shown the area where the couples children were bought up including the nipple to feed the children when the mother decided to abandon the dragon prince, their grotto and their children after she discovered that the husband was having an eyes for many other women. It's a myth story okay, nothing seem serious about it.

The grotto has been discovered recently by the explorers. I fully agreed that Thien Cung Grotto is considered as one of the most beautiful caves of Halong Bay. The grotto means a "Heavenly Palace Cave" in english. It is located in the southwest of Halong Bay about 4 km away from Dau Go Island. It is considered as the most beautiful primitive cave of the Bay drawn many tourist to the spot. The cave is 10,000 square meters with complicated interior structure, many floors, and high ceiling. It becomes famous due to a unique system of stalactites and stalagmites with different forms and shapes.

Exploring Thien Cung Cave’s craggy cliffs is no an easy task. Going through a narrow door, you would be surprised by a large space inside the cave that the further you walk, the more beautiful formation of stalactites come to your eyes. On the wall of the eastern side of the cave, an impressive picture of stalactites and stalagmites give tourists the most fantastic feeling ever. The travel guide would never forget to tell you legends or folk tales interpreted from the picture by the local Halong people.

Our guide kept on pushing us to use our imagination to create a pictures of fish, flocks of birds, and the daily life of people from a giant natural rock pillar all naturally sculptured by stalactites inside our mind ever since we reached the center of the cave. It was beautiful to see above our head, on the ceiling of Thien Cung Cave, amazing rows of stalagmites drooping through million years that create a colorful pictures and melodies with the fixed man-made light. Besides, the wind flowing inside the cave has given a cool circulation.

Leaving the cave, tourist would feel a lingering sensation like just finish a tour to a massive art museum created by the Mother Nature. That was how we felt. 

The family of dragons that was sent by god to defend the country from invaders has spitting out the jewels and jade, as shared in Part 1 of this entry. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, linking together to form a great wall to protect Vietnam from the invaders. Under magics, numerous rock mountains abruptly appeared on the sea, ahead of invaders' ships; the forward ships struck the rocks and each other. After winning the battle, the dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth, and then decided to live in this bay. 

The place where the mother dragon descended was named Hạ Long, the place where the dragon's children attended upon their mother was called Bau Tu Long island (means dragon's children). The place where the dragon's children wriggled their tails violently was called Bạch Long Vy island Hence, Thien Chu cave belong to one of the descending dragon son.

Remarks: Full historical background came before the photos to test a different style of writing.






























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