Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave) Halong Bay

Sung Sot Cave (Surprising Cave): Explore the largest and most beautiful cave in Halong Bay

Climbing 100 Steps up to Sung Sot Cave Halong Bay

Let’s find out why this tourist attraction can awaken all senses of visitors and make them utter when visiting here!

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A glimpse of Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave)

  • This cave was found by a Frenchman in 1901
  • The name “Surprise” (meaning “Sửng Sốt” in Vietnamese) is the feeling when visiting this incredible masterpiece
  • Among top 10 most beautiful caves in the world voted by the Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents of the Czech Republic in 2012
  • This is the largest cave in Halong Bay, with an area of up to 10,000 meter square.
  • Although the cave is huge, your voice won’t be echoed inside
  • This cave is also associated with Saint Giong – the well-known legendary hero of Vietnam
  • You have to climb more than 100 stone steps to enter the cave.

Location of Surprise Cave

Cruise Map to Sung Sot Cave
  • The cave is situated on Bo Hon island, together with Trinh Nu (Virgin Cave), another well-known cave in Halong Bay. Visitors must ascend 50 steps from the dock to the cave’s mouth, which is only 25 meters above sea level. Sung Sot Cave is separated into two chambers. The first chamber, known as the “Waiting Room,” is sizable, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and lit by a variety of colored lights placed in an aesthetic arrangement to highlight the room’s structural grandeur.
  • Visitors must move via a narrow passageway to get to the second chamber, which is called the “Serene Castle”. This chamber is enormous and grand with incredibly high ceilings and numerous intriguing rock formations that locals identify by likening them to animals because of their shapes.

How to get to Surprise Cave – Sung Sot Cave in Halong Bay?

How to visit Sung Sot Cave

In order to visit Sung Sot cave, visitors have to get to Halong first, then rent a boat or take a cruise tour from Halong port to Sung Sot cave.

It takes from 2,5 hours to 3 hours to get to Halong by car or motorbike. There are different modes of transportation that you can choose from:

  • Travel by bus
  • Travel by seaplane to save time and be able to take in Halong Bay’s beauty from above

3 Popular options to visit Sung Sot Cave

Option 1:

  • Renting a canoe is the greatest option for travelers who don’t have much time to travel and merely want to add Sung Sot cave in their itinerary. Most high-speed canoes dock at Tuan Chau and Hon Gai piers. A canoe with 4 to 8 seats typically costs $50 per hour.

Option 2:

  • Alternatively, a 6-hour day boat is an easier and more economical way to see Sung Sot Cave.
    Sung Sot Cave is on route 2, where the day boats travel the following route: Tuan Chau International Harbor – Soi Sim Island – Titop Island – Sung Sot Cave – Bo Nau Cave – Luon Cave – Ho Tien Cave – Trinh Nu Cave – Me Cung Cave. Aside from that, visitors may engage in swimming, boat sailing, kayaking, and cave-exploring.

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Option 3:

  • For enhanced experiences, you can also take a Halong Bay cruise. There are numerous overnight cruises in Halong Bay with Sung Sot Cave on their itinerary. With this option, tourists can engage in a variety of exciting activities such as kayaking, swimming, squid fishing, in addition to exploring this amazing cave.

There are several overnight cruises in Halong Bay that visit Sung Sot cave; please refer to HOT DEAL to pick one that gives you an authentic experience:

Ticket prices and How to buy tickets

Sung Sot Cave is on Halong Bay sightseeing route 2.

  • Route 2: Cave Park Conservation Center, which includes these tourist attractions: Soi Sim Island, Ti Top Island, Sung Sot Cave, Bo Nau Cave, Ho Dong Tien Cave, Luon Cave, Trong Cave, Trinh Nu Cave and Me Cung Cave.
  • The 6-hour day trips offered by boats on Route 2 include a variety of activities like cave exploration, swimming, boat sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and bay sightseeing.

Sightseeing tickets on Route 2:

  • Entrance Fee Ticket price for the day: 290,000 VND/ person
  • Ticket price for 2 days and 1 night: 590,000 VND/ person
  • Ticket price for 3 days and 2 nights: 790,000 VND/ person

There are 2 main ports in Halong where you must purchase your tickets:

  • At Tuan Chau international harbor: The ticket desk is on the right when you enter Tuan Chau International Port through the main door. The harbor is located on Tuan Chau island, about 12 kilometers from Ha Long city center.
  • At Halong International Port: A new port that was located in the center of Halong city and put into operation in 2019

Let’s visit our website for different types of cruises available for every budget, from backpackers to luxury. Check out for the best deals on Halong Bay’s full-day cruise.


Why is Sung Sot Cave a must-see attraction in Halong Bay?

Surprise cave in halong bay

Let’s explore the enchanted and distinctive features of this well-known cave:

The leading path to Sung Sot cave is concealed under the forest canopy

  • Visitors to Bo Hon island must first climb up 50 stone stairs before descending another 10 steps to reach the cave entrance and visit Sung Sot cave. The path to the cave is lined with natural greenery and is connected by rough stone steps.
  • The 30-meter-high, nearly 12,200-meter-square cave can only be entered through a narrow rock passageway. As visitors go along the 800-meter-long stone road, the beauty of Sung Sot cave gradually appears fantastical and entrancing in their eyes.
Surprise cave view from bay

>>> Discover The Highlights of Sung Sot Cave and More Others In Halong Bay Cruise!


The masterpiece inside the cave can “surprise” and amaze visitors

  • Low light posts with gentle lighting line the two sides of the stone pathway in the cave, highlighting the beauty of this tourist site.
  • Sung Sot Cave consists of 2 main chambers. The cave’s first chamber has a ceiling made up of dazzling stalactites. Visitors will be attracted by the stone columns with vivid representations of elephants, flowers, seals, and other creatures.
  • The second chamber offers a completely different scene of a huge cave that can hold thousands of people. Visitors can explore the interior and marvel at the rocky formations associated with the Saint Giong legend. A horse-shaped stone block and Saint Giong’s longsword are situated close to the exit. Small lakes that resemble Giong’s horse’s hoof prints also can be found inside the cave.
  • As one ascends to the cave’s highest point, a “royal garden” with a crystal-clear lake, a wide variety of vegetation, and numerous bird species opens up in front of the visitors. Many times, groups of monkeys come down here in search of fruit, causing a commotion throughout the area.
Inside The Magnificent Sung Sot Cave

The Legend of Saint Giong is something that visitors can learn about while there.

  • There are numerous stalactites and stalagmites with a variety of legends. The “horse and sword” stalactite block next to the exit is the stalactite that is most representative of its kind. According to legend, after defeating the enemy,
  • Saint Giong, one of the four Saint immortals revered in Vietnamese folk beliefs, assisted the locals in chasing away ghosts. To reassure everyone that they could fight the devil, Saint Giong left behind his long sword and priceless horse as he ascended to heaven.
  • There are also many natural landscapes that people associate with the vestiges of Saint Giong after defeating the enemy, such as the horse’s hoofprints causing numerous enormous rocks to break and generating many small lakes.

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Best time to visit Sung Sot Cave Halong Bay

Sung Sot Cave is open all year round, however let’s consider the information provided below to avoid the crowds.
Sung Sot Cave typically has two peak travel seasons:

  • In the summer: From May to July: This is the peak season for domestic travel to Sung Sot Cave and Halong Bay.
    In the winter: From December to February: The season when Sung Sot Cave is most frequently visited by foreign visitors.
  • The best time of the day to visit Sung Sot Cave is between the hours of 8 and 9 in the morning and 4 to 5 in the afternoon.
  • Additionally, weekends are not a good time due to the large number of visitors. To avoid long lines and crowded areas, consider traveling on the weekdays.

Sung Sot Cave features a one-way pathway, so you should visit when it’s quiet to see the stunning beauty at each cave’s spot.

The ideal weather for your journey to Halong Bay is a clear day with little sun and a light breeze. Going on a too hot or damp day is not recommended. You might not be able to enjoy your trip if the weather is bad.

If you don’t wanna think too much, Hanoi Explore Travel also offers a trip going through the Sung Sot Cave.

Tips for your Sung Sot Cave tour

  • It is convenient to visit Bo Nau cave, Me Cung cave, Dau Nguoi island, Ti Top island, Luon cave, and other well-known tourist destinations on the same day because Sung Sot Cave is so close to them.
  • Bring everything you need for outdoor activities, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
  • Comfortable clothing is preferable for moving because you must climb several steps to reach Sung Sot Cave.
  • Make hotel and tour reservations well in advance if you plan to visit Halong Bay during the peak season.

We really hope that the information we provide will be helpful to you on your travels. Please feel free to contact us with any queries on your Halong Bay trip.


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