Heavenly Fairy Tale - Thien Cung Grotto

Thien Cung grotto (Heavenly grotto) is recently discovered. It is one of the most beautiful grottos in Ha Long Bay. Thien Cung is situated on the south-west side of the bay, 4km from the wharf outside of Ha Long City. The way to Thien Cung is a perilous one, covered on both sides by thick forest. After entering a narrow gate, the magnificent grotto's 130-meter-long girth opens up. Getting in, people are more astonished in front of the very animated and splendid beauty which is made from stalactite.

According to legends, after Dragon’s family helped local inhabitants defeat aggressors, attracted by the peaceful scenery of the earth, the dragon’s family decided to stay here and chose Thien Cung grotto as their home.

There were serious droughts at the time in the area. To end severe droughts lasting for years, a couple decided to find their way to the grotto, begging the King of Dragon for creating rain and rescuing people. The couple had one daughter, a beautiful little girl named May (Cloud), who later fell in love with the Prince of Dragon. They were betrothed, and their wedding lasted seven days and seven nights in the very centre of the grotto.

In honor of the wedding, small dragons flew around 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.

On the east wall of the grotto, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with characters of tales. In the centre, there are four large pillars supporting the “roof of heaven”. From the base to the top, many strange images seem to exist in the stone, including birds, fish, flowers and even scenes of human life. On the northern wall of the grotto, a group of fairies appear to be singing and dancing in honour of the wedding. Under the immeasurably high roof, stalactites form a natural stone curtain. And the wind blowing through the stone produces the sound of a beating drum.

At the last part of the grotto, a natural gushing stream of water babbles throughout the year. Here are three small ponds of clear water. Legend has it, that this was where Mây bathed her 100 children, bringing them up wisely and happily into adolescence. One path meanders out of the grotto; it was the way Mây, together with 50 of her children, took to harvest new lands. The 50 remaining children, together with their father, were left to build the native land. Left behind by the mother was the natural stream described above.


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