Hang Sửng Sôt

Hang Sung Sot - Sung Sot Cave - Surprise Cave - Cave of Awe - Stunning Cave

Useful Information

Location: Bo Hon Island, Ha Long Bay. Steep path to the cave lined with trees.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1901 discovered by the French.


Hang Sửng Sôt (Cave of Surprises) has three huge chambers, which are visited. The first chamber is called Waiting Room because of its size and form. It is square and has almost perfectly smooth walls, as if it was built by man. The ceiling is approximately 30 m high. The second chamber contains a stalagmite which is regarded as a fertility symbol. The passage to the inner chamber is approximately 3 m wide.

The third chamber is known as the Serene Castle. It has a side entrance which is approximately 6 m high. The light reflected from the moving water outside causes the formations inside the chamber to come alive. According to the locals, the awe-stricken reaction of the visitors was the reason, the cave was named Sung Sot (Surprise).

For many western tourists the surprise is located in the second chamber of the tour. A huge stalagmite, lit by pink light, is interpreted as a phallic symbol. One reason is the form, another the ankle of about 45° from the floor. It seems the floor moved and tilted after the formation of the stalagmite. Many Asian countries and religions interpret penis-shaped rocks as fertility symbols.