|Location:||Bo Hon Island, Ha Long Bay. Steep path to the cave lined with trees.|
|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 30m high. The second chamber contains a stalagmite which is regarded as a fertility symbol. The passage to the inner chamber is approximately 3m wide.
The third chamber is known as the Serene Castle. It has a side entrance which is approximately 6m 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 teh 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.