Thien Cung Cave (Heaven Palace Cave) is situated on the south-west side the bay, 4 kilometers from the wharf outside of Halong city, at the height of 25 meters above the sea level. The cave is 10,000 square meters with complicated interior structure, many floors, and high ceiling. Visiting the grotto, tourists will feel like visiting an art museum with variety of sophisticated statues and reliefs. The way to Thien Cung is a perilous one, covered on both sides by thick forest.
Exploring Thien Cung Cave’s craggy cliffs is no easy task. After entering a narrow gate, the grotto’s 130-meter-long girth opens up. Getting in we are more astonished in front of the very animated and splendid beauty which is made from stalactite. On the wall of the eastern side of the cave, an impressive picture of stalactites and stalagmites give tourists the most fantastic feeling ever.
In the center of the grotto, there are four big pillars supporting the “roof of heaven”. From the base to the top, many strange images seem to live in the stone: birds, fish, flowers and even scenes of human life. Under the immeasurably high roof, stalactites make a natural stone curtain. Somewhere there is the sound of a drum beating, but it is actually just the noise made by the wind blowing through stone.
Arriving at the last partition of the grotto, you will see a natural gushing stream of water babbles throughout the year. Here are three small ponds of clear water. Going out of the Thien Cung Grotto, we have a sensation of just watching a unique, meticulous, interesting fine-art museum which is made by nature, get out of the imagine, ability and intellect of man.
The original inhabitants of Halong Bay have told an ancient story about Thien Cung Grotto over many generations. The story is told that Dragon Prince was fallen in love with “Nang May” (Ms. Cloud). They held a lavish wedding party inside the grotto in 7 days and 7 nights. All kinds of animals and all genies took part in to share happiness with the couple, small dragons flew about through the stalactites and stalagmites, elephants danced together happily, snakes twined themselves around trees and two stone lions danced with their manes flowing in the wind. A large elephant, smartly dressed, waited for the bride and the groom. The genies of the south and north stars also came to attend the banquet, and the atmosphere was definitely animated and lively. All these scenes have been seemingly fossilized in the grotto.
Nowadays, entering Thien Cung Grotto, visitors can gaze party sceneries in the setting of stalactites and stalagmites inside. The grotto has been discovered recently by explorers. Thien Cung Grotto is considered as one of the most beautiful caves of Halong Bay.