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Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave: Explore The Biggest Cave in Halong Bay

A place so amazing that the French deemed it “Grotte des Surprises” or (Surprise Grotto), Sung Sot Cave is one of the biggest, most beautiful caves in Halong Bay and a highlight on most Halong Bay itineraries.

Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave: Explore The Biggest Cave in Halong Bay
IN A NUTSHELL
  • Sung Sot Cave was discovered by a French in 1901.
  • Elevation: 25 meters above sea level.
  • This is the largest and perhaps the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay with an area covering up to 10,000 sqm.
  • “Surprise” is the immediate feeling you may have when visiting this incredible natural artwork.
  • Sung Sot Cave is among the most prevalent tourist attractions for travelers and it is included in almost all itineraries of cruises exploring Halong Bay.
  • The cave is accessible by a rented canoe, a day cruise, or an overnight cruise.
  • Best time to visit: Year round; however, the best months to visit are from October to December when the humidity level is low (60-70%).

Location

The cave can be found on the island of Bo Hon, along with another popular Halong cave, Trinh Nu. From the dock below, visitors must climb 50 stairs to the grotto’s mouth, which is just 25 meters above the sea. Sung Sot Cave is divided into two chambers; the first chamber, known as the “Waiting Room” is vast, adorned by stalagmites and stalactites and lit by multicolored lights positioned to complement the chamber’s structural beauty.

Sung sot cave from outside!

In order to reach the second chamber, visitors must walk down a narrow passageway. The second chamber is known as the “Serene Castle”. This chamber is large and grand with an extremely high ceiling and has many interesting rock formations which locals identify by likening them to animals due to their shapes.

Legend of Sung Sot cave

One eye-catching rock formation is shaped like a horse with a long-sword and is linked to the legend of Thanh Giong (God Gióng). It is said that Thanh Giong protected locals by defeating aggressors, demons and evil spirits, and once his work was done he ascended to the heavens, leaving behind a stone horse and sword to continue to drive away any future aggressors.

At the exit of the grotto, there is an open area called the “Royal Garden” where there is a peaceful pond and beautiful banyan trees. Some lucky visitors get to see monkeys in search of fruit which makes for some great photo opportunities!

How to visit Sung Sot Cave

There are two popular ways to visit Sung Sot Cave:

Option 1:

For tourists who are in shortage of traveling time and want to include Sung Sot Cave only in their itinerary, the best way is to rent a canoe. Most high-speed canoes are docked in Tuan Chau and Hon Gai Pier. It often costs from US$50/hour for a 4-to-8-seat canoe.

Option 2:

Alternatively, a more convenient and budget-saving option to visit Sung Sot Cave is to take a 6-hour day boat.

Sung Sot Cave belongs to route 2 that the day boat departs from Tuan Chau International Port - Soi Sim Island - Titop Island - Sung Sot Cave - Bo Nau Cave - Luon Cave - Fairy Lake Cave - Trinh Nu Cave - Me Cung Cave. Visitors have opportunities to enjoy activities such as exploring caves, swimming, boat sailing, and kayaking.

Ticket price: the ticket is sold at Tuan Chau International Port. It costs VND 290.000/pax. Additionally, tourists have to pay VND 200.000 boat rental fee and VND 150.000 to VND 250.000 for lunch (optional). The total price is VND 640.000 - VND 740.000/pax.

Note:

  • Children under 1.2m or 7 years old are free.
  • Children from 7 to 16 years old get a 20% ticket price reduction.
  • People aged above 60 years old get a 50% ticket price reduction.

Best time to visit

While the best for locals to visit Halong Bay is from April to October, winter from October to December attracts the biggest number of foreigners to the wonder. During this season, the humidity level is low and the weather is dry.

What to pack

Tourists should prepare light clothes, some sweaters, sports shoes. Insect repellent and sunscreen are also necessary as you will spend a large amount of time outdoors and in the caves.

See our list of the best cruises visiting Sung Sot cave

More Photos

Inside Sung Sot Cave
Huge cave hall (10,000 m²) 

The cave is busy during peak season (June-August and October to December) 
It takes about 50 steps to reach the cave! 

You have to see to believe how big Sung sot cave is! 
Karst limestone!

Sung Sot Cave 2023

Scenic limestone caverns

Questions and Answers (6)

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Jean Truman 1 month, 1 week ago

How difficult is the hike through the cave? How many steps?

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Helen 1 month ago

@Jean Truman, Thank you so much for your question. From Bo Hon island wharf, visitors on the Ha Long tour will get off the boat and climb about 100 steps to reach the entrance of Sung Sot cave. The cave has an area of up to 10,000 square meters, is about 30 meters high and has a walkway up to half a kilometer long. If you have any further questions, please let us know any time. Best regards, Helen.
 

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Barbara Baynes 1 month, 1 week ago

Is it cold inside the caves? Barbara

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Visithalongbay Team 1 month, 1 week ago

@Barbara Baynes, There is not too much temperature difference between the outside and inside the cave. However, you can bring a thin jacket just in case. Regards,

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Robyn 3 months ago

What type of footware do you suggest?

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Visithalongbay Team 3 months ago

@Robyn, Most steps in Surprise Cave are flat and you can wear hiking shoes or usual comfortable shoes/sandals. The steps might be a bit wet on rainy days so you just need to watch out for slippery areas. Regards,

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