My trip to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: Visiting Surprise Cave and How to Get Back

in #travel4 years ago (edited)

Have you ever been to a cave? Where did you go? On the last day of our cruise, we were woken at 7 am by the staff. After breakfast, we headed to the "Cave of Surprise" (Sung Sot) one of the most famous caves in Ha Long Bay. The explorers who discovered this cave were so surprised when they found it that they named it the "Cave of Surprise".


We arrived at Bo Hon Island, where the cave is located, at 8 am. Can you see the cave entrance? How surprising could it be? I wondered.


We climbed up about one hundred stone steps to get there. Luckily I had comfy shoes on. The view on the way up was my reward for the effort. 😄


Entering a small entrance, we had no idea it was so big inside. “Surprise!” You can see the entrance has natural light, but inside the cave were artificial lights.


The cave is natural limestone, filled with spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites.


We were walking on what was once the seabed. How would that make you feel?


The ceiling was built over time by ocean waves pushing the seabed upward. The highest ceiling in the cave reaches up to 30 meters/ 98 feet high. Would you like to visit this cave?


There were some handrails and lighting had been added. Some of the areas were illuminated with different colored lights to highlight their features.


We were guided along the paved path to witness Mother Nature's work over millions of years.


Yes, the cave has been altered for tourists. We can take our family of three generations here to have an interesting experience together and everyone can make it. Kids love the colorful lights and seniors can enjoy the beautiful cave without too much of a physical challenge.


The sheer size of the cave and the natural sculptures left everyone in awe. There was one spot where an opening in the roof let natural light into the cave.


It took about 30 minutes to explore.


We exited the cave feeling good!


There was a viewing platform that gave a beautiful view of the Ha long Bay islets.


We walked down the stairs back to the boat, keeping an eye on the magnificence of nature along the way.


8:45 am. Time to go back to our cruise ship and begin checking out. After that, we'll enjoy brunch as we cruise back to the port and end our journey.


But we didn’t leave Ha Long Bay just yet. We took a taxi to a hotel close to Bai Chay bridge and stayed for another day, to relax on solid ground and enjoy the Bai Chay bridge “light show” from the hotel,



and enjoy this beautiful view.


The next morning after breakfast, we took a taxi to Cat Bi airport in Hai Phong city for the afternoon flight back to Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city). We chose to fly to and from Hai Phong city because it’s closer to Ha Long Bay than Ha Noi. We got there on time and got our seats. So far so good!

The plane supposed to come get us didn’t arrive. We waited but the flight was delayed. We kept waiting but it was delayed again and again. It turned out there was a storm coming and wasn't safe for landing and taking off at the small airport. The more flights got delayed, the more crowded the waiting area became. We were trying to get seats on the next possible flight. Everybody was unhappy, some lost their patience and shouted at the staff, some of the staff members lost their temper and responded the same way. It got dark and we hoped to fly back that night. No plane arrived and no one told us when the next flight could be. At midnight, they told us there was no flight that night and we should come back the next day.

My husband and I walked out of the airport with heavy hearts. We didn’t know the area. We found a taxi and told him to take us to any hotel nearby. He took us to a small local 3-star hotel. We paid for the room and gave the man at the front desk our passports. Riding the elevator up to our room, I was smiling because I was about to take a SHOWER. Haha.

The key didn’t work, the door didn’t open. “What is going on? What will happen to us? What if…” My heart was pounding as I was thinking about the unusual look of the man behind the front desk. He seemed drunk or on drugs or something. We went back downstairs returned the key and got our money back.

There we were holding our luggage, looking for a taxi at about 1 am in an unfamiliar city. Luckily we found one, told the driver to take us to a nice big corporate hotel where we could feel safe and sleep soundly. He kindly took us to the "Pearl River Hotel" and everything went smoothly there. We went to bed finally around 2 am. Yay!

Having breakfast at 9 am, we were the only couple there. Isn't that strange?



My best smile at the time. Can you tell what was on my mind? “Can we fly back today?” Of course.


10 am, it was still raining heavily. We called the taxi service to take us back to the airport, but no taxi came. I was standing in front of the hotel to look for one because we were running out of time. “What if we miss the flight today?” asked myself. You know that’s not fun, right?


We arrived at the Cat Bi airport a little late. Oops! Then learned that we had to take a 4-hour bus ride to Noi Bai airport in Ha Noi which we were trying to avoid. It’s a bigger airport and we boarded a big plane, like the ones for international flights, which flew us back to Sai Gon. Phew!

So flying to Hai Phong was not a good idea! Who am I to think I knew better than the locals? Haha

Our trip didn't end on a positive note but worth it. Less comfort, more life! 😉

Thanks so much for reading, my friends.
Have a great weekend!



I also visited cave near Leeds, UK. I t also contain a lot of chemical substances, lampen flora and some precious stones which are very sharp to touch.

Your all posts are amazing .all photos are a great collection. I want you to post regularly. Nice to see u.

Wow!! You really take s long holiday!

Spring is here, my dear!
Let have a walk and take some photos just for fun!

Hope you are very well and healthy!

Missing you!

Hi there!
Thanks for missing me! We've moved to a new home so I've been very busy. Hope I can get back to posting again soon. Love you! Take care, my friend!

Wow! Moving to a new home in a new city or area?!
That’s a lot of work!! All those packing and sifting through things! Would take days and nights to finally get everything into boxes!
Then the unpacking at the other place! Phew! You’ll be losing weight alright!

Do you have a nice garden in your new home?
Hope you got some photos of the process as your diary.

Thanks so much for keeping in touch!
Waiting for your new posts whenever you are ready!

Take care and be happy!!
Missing you.

We moved to a bigger home in the same neighborhood. The good thing about moving is that we went through every single thing and figured out what we don't need to get rid of them. 😊 Everything is in place now, just need some final decorations.
We don't have a garden but always have indoor plants. The rooftop garden is very nice 😉.
Thanks for stopping by!
Love you.

So glad to hear that you did most of the work in moving to a new place!!
This should have made you much stringer and fitter!?
Now, we ca look forwards to more photos of your new roof top garden!!
This reminds me of getting on with my old junks as well. Last year, I had already donated about ten boxes to charity!! Most of which were quite unused!!
I should stop collecting things!!

Hope you are going to have more time to idle around and take some photographs.

Always missing your post and smiling face!

Yes, we should stop collecting things because space is nice too. I'm happy with the new place and eat a lot...😄. Good night my friend!



Thank you so so much @dewdrop. Wishing you success, happiness and peace in your life <3

Wake up! Spring is here!
Get up and get packed with your cameras!
New posts of spring flowers awaiting your good work!


Hahaha! You know I'm lazy, huh. It's still cold here. I'll do it in a few days. 😉
Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

@dewdrop another beautiful post from the travel blog queen! Very nice photos and beautiful cave. I've been to Carlsbad caverns in New Mexico. It was spectacular also. I hate it when something goes bad on vacations like the flight or wrong room or something. And it always seems to happen. But it's the memories of the good times you take home!

hey folow me please read my story and give me votes am new one on steemit ////

Hey there! Thanks, my friend! Wow, Carlsbad Cavern looks amazing! What we don't like always happen so maybe we need to dislike everything we want. Haha. You're right, even negative experiences become funny ones when we look back.

The biggest cave I have been so far was Tham Phu Kham cave in Vang Vieng, Laos. However, this one looks even bigger. ;o Amazing @dewdrop

Wow! Cool! Look like you had a great time there. 😃

I thank you @dewdrop, Those who have supported me, I am happy to be acquainted with @dewdrop. Hopefully @dewdrop will always be healthy and always succeed in this steemit.

Wow impressive trip!

Thanks! 😊

Excellent Vietnam Travel. Good Experience and nice place.

100% like and resteem

Thanks so much, Stmit! 😊

Hmm, she made a post...! Nice review of the caves, scenery looks pretty amazing, like in an adventure movie. The last day sounds pretty stressful to me...

It took me just a month to make a post. Lol! Thanks, Glenn! Yeah, that was an unexpected stressful part of travel. There's always something. That gave me a story to tell you now. 😃
Have a nice weekend!

Looks like your famous now! =)

No, I'm not. 😄

hey folow me please read my story and give me votes am new one on steemit ////

Wow wonderful trip. it is very nice location and great article.
Your nice look.
Upvote Resteem

Thanks, my friend! 😊

Wow so beautiful. it is great post @dewdrop

Thanks so much! Nice to meet you, Avagado! 😊

Ah - it brings back memories

Oh wow! You've been there too. Very nice to meet you, Gary! 😊

Wow wonderful trip . that is very beautiful location and really look.
Thanks @dewdrop
Have a great day

Thanks so much, Goldcoin! 😊

Wow..really stunning pic and awesome trip. Welcome back my friend, long time no see😀

Thanks so much, my friend! 😊

Although I am Vietnamese, but honestly I've never been there. I wish someday I could arrange my time for travel with my family. Also, you are good at photograph. The view from your camera is so amazing. Before, I dont care too much about how to take a good photo, but now I change my mind, I want to capture every moment in the life. And I can learn it from you. Thanks

Chào Lan! Cám ơn Lan đã đọc bài và khen nhé. 😊

ok, my friend :)

Feeling very sleepy today! Would like to be in a fishing boat and just sit inside the cool and dry cave!!
Have a beautiful Sunday.

Me too. My son woke me up. I wanna sleep more 😄. Have a good night, my friend!

Thank you! Dear friend!

WoW! Quite an adventure with all the different aspects of traveling! Well! You can never tell what the weather will be like during this changing season.

But the cave was fantastic! I would have stayed there for two hours! The view of the bay is like in the film, Avartar. Looking forward to more photos from your holiday!


Thanks, my friend! Love you!

this type of visit is still dream for me !
i have never visited any cave
hope my first visit to a cave will be a surprise cave
incredible place!

Aww... I think it would a surprise to you because it's the first time. It was my first time too. Thanks, Altafwani!

Wow, what an experience! Love the Ha Long, next visit for sure.. That dodgy hotel that made you move to another hotel though haha made me laugh sorry.... Made for a great read.

Glad to see you blog, missed that smile and your travels. Thanks for sharing.

Hey! Thanks for missing me! That made my day 😄. Yeah, it's not funny then but funny now. Haha. It's good to make you laugh. I'll catch up with you on your blog.

beautiful scenery, hopefully the journey is fun.

Thanks, Kyrana! 😊

ok, thank you also for you have given support to me, thank you very much @dewdrop

Hi @dewdrop it's nice meeting you

Please @dewdrop reach me on WhatsApp with +2348063912897

That place is stunning! The landscapes and the wild spirit that surrounds you gets right into your heart! ❤️ Definitely a trip to be considered by everyone 😊

Thanks, Gabriela! You're right! 😉

Nice photography

Thanks! 😊

Very exciting adventure )

Thanks, Orlova! 😊

Every human deserves a trip like this

That's true! 😊

I want to return to Vietnam to visit this place.

Beautiful, I too just came back from a trip to Southeast Asia. I posted a video as part of my introduction to steemit! Take care.

Thanks, Silver saver!

Wow, it must be a fantastic experience!
the most @dewdrop.

Thanks, Maribel! Nice to meet you! 😊

Nice pic steem frnd i m going to follow u

I have visited to Halong several times! very amazing Halong Bay!

Yes, it is! 😉

Everyone likes to travel. And if that place is any old then the subject becomes more romantic. Have shared a great blog. This is but very curious for everyone.

Are you kiddibg me? All of the pictures are incredible. I never see it on reality before. You are so lucky can go There and enjoyed what are given by the nature. And the yellow term that you entering is like the gold. If I were you, I could not express how I can enjoy the natural paradise .

That's a very nice comment! Thank you so much, Ayijons! 😊

@dewdrop Loved the clicks of each landscape .. I heard about Vietnam a lot from many travellers.. after viewing the landscape it made me more energatic to visit soon..

Thanks for sharing ..

Aww.... That's great! Thanks! 😊

Beautiful pics. Amazing cave! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for enjoying the pics, Nate! 😊

Great post. Have already wanted to pop over there myself. Think i’ll have to make it this year 😁

Thanks,Radickal! That sounds great! 😁

a pleasant trip with beautiful scenery.

Nice to see Vietnam through your eyes

Thanks! Nice to meet you, beautiful! 😉

Nice to meet you too! Have a great trip in Vietnam

What incredible places, and the beautiful photos

Thanks, Josegrojasl! 😊

Wow fantastic photography and wonderful place

Thanks, Minoservice! 😊

really amazing, I really like your post @dewdrop

Thanks, Cekyah! 😊

Wow. I have seen a cave but not this big,as you said it took you 30 mins to explore. This a the work of nature, it's huge and the lighting is perfect. And your reward is awesome,such great view. I can spend my life in there.

Hi! Thanks for enjoying it, Waqar! Your pictures are amazing! We would become our ancestor if we live in there. 😁

Hahahaha lol. Sure you would

Duuuuude how awesome is caving! Have you explored other caves before too??

Thanks, dude! Haha. No, I haven't! That's my first time. How about you?

If you're ever in the US next time check Oregon Caves, the cave is entirely formed out of marble! That was the last one I went to!

I looked at the pictures and Oregon caves look awesome. 😊

wonderful trip! I will definite visit there one day!!

Thanks, Kengtong! That sounds great! 😊

amazing my friend

What a imaginary scene that looks like it is from another planet

This post is very useful and very inspiring..

Thanks, Starchannel! 😉

Amazing place, I'm in love with your shots so much

Aww... That's so sweet! Thanks, Paulavg!

That looks interesting but still relaxing and I agree - get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is where growth lies

Yes, indeed! Thanks for your comment and very nice to meet you, Xenia! 😊

beautiful pics! What's your fav place in Viet?

Thanks, Kuklamasha! It's Phu Quoc Island. What's yours? 😊

Great pictures and storytelling! I live in Hanoi and have visited Ha Long several times. It's a one of a kind place. Keep up the amazing work!

Thank you so much, Andy! It's interesting that you moved from the US to VN, I did the other way. 😊

Wow amazing photography and wonderful location
For your post propagation.

Thanks so much, Voteman! 😉

I really wasn't know that Vietnam is beautiful like that much, hopefully in reality is good also not only in the pictures.

It depends on where you look and your expectations too. 😊

Looks like a great trip. I want to go to Cat Ba Island again and spend some more time. :)

Wow! It's awesome you've been to Cat Ba Island. Ha Long is beautiful. 😊

I spent 1 year living in Hanoi. I'll be back in 8 weeks. I need to check out many more places this time. HCMC, Da Nang, more country side, more mountains. So much to see!!!

Yes! I lived in Sai Gon before moving to the US. Miss it! 😊

Extraordinary photos. Thanks for sharing your adventures of exploration.

Thanks, Katina! Very happy you enjoyed the post. 😊

I never thought that such a place exists you can see through your beautiful photos the splendor creation of nature.

Yeah, nature is amazing! Thanks, Inoxkech!😊

hey girl! I always support you, we same country

Great post with beautiful pics also

Amazing post i like it

Thank you so much, Flaxy! 😊

Hola @dewdrop, este lugar es fantàstico, me gustaria ir algùn dìa, saludos

Wow amazing photography

Thanks! 😊

I like your stories.

The place looks so stunning

Yes, it does! 😊

I want to go there now. Great blog. ;)

Thanks, Viralfood! 😃

Very attractive place

Amazing cave specially lightning

A great story from a nature lover. I have been in afromontane caves of the Bamenda Highlands and some of them are really difficult to access. Exploring nature's wonders is awesome and we @thegreens will continue to connect with nature and inspire young people to explore the wonders of nature.20180312_085407.jpg

Thanks, Thegreens! That's an awesome mission.

Wow! Such a lovely place to visit.
Can someone just take me on a trip to this beauty!

Very impressed from cave and it's lightning

You must be psychic!
I was just thinking about you three days ago! No new posts from you and you must be busy with the new apartment!

Most of the people I care about seem to be going through a challenging time. Life is full of tests and lessons to be learned. When comparing my situation with others, I have to count my blessings!

Many seem to be going through some kind of turning point or the start of a new chapter! I am also in the process of leaving my work place. Things are still fluid at the moment. I know it’s time to go to the next thing as I have been in the comfort zone for too long.

I believe in destiny or fate as many things in my life just happened without my planning or control, both good and bad things!! Haha! But there is always that silver lining behind the clouds.

I will share one thing that happened to me without planning. I happened to be given some kind of healing power many years ago while living abroad. I didn’t even know about it until I unintentionally used it. This is used only in emergency as I don’t want to make a profession out of this divine gift. So, most of the time I forget about it until some old friends asked for help from hospitals. Then I could hardly refuse to rush to the hospital.

I am very glad to see your support! I do miss your beautiful posts full of wonderful photos!!
I wish you would not be ‘lazy’ any longer!
Keep well and healthy!

Missing you very much!

If you want to travel here in the Philippines.
On here , i listed my top 10 must places to visit.
There are lots of surprises here and also it is affordable
You can visit my blog

Hola @dewdrop, extraordinario lugar, todo se ve impresionante, saludos

Waoo que hermosos lugar ,me encantaron las imagenes , quisiera poder viajar algun dia hasta alla , pero que no me pasen tanto inconvenientes , lamento lo de la lluvia , amigo y que casi te deja el vuelo , pero disfrutastes, bastante.

Nice landscapes!

beautiful landscapes !!!

collecting some SDB for my next trip ;)

What an amazing place... Nice post @dewdrop

nice post thanks for shereing

I will go there one day...

That's great! 😊

Wow, the place is very jaw dropping

WHAT have you been doing?!

Bad timing to get in to Steem right now!
Look at the prices!! Downwards!

Wondering how you have been?!
Many things had happened in life, both good and bad. But I do believe in silver linings behind all clouds!

Global economy is not too good for next year!

Get some gold and silver bars!!
Bitcoins and Litecoins are good in two years time!

Take care!

Hi! Hope you are well!
Hope you got some Bitcoin!!