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Halong bay: Driftwood Grotto (Dau Go)

Halong bay: Driftwood Grotto (Dau Go)

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The grotto is on Driftwood Island, formerly known as Canh Doc Island. The name Driftwood Grotto comes from the popular story of the resistance war against the Yuan-Mongol invaders. In a decisive battle, Tran Hung Dao was given an order to prepare many sharp wooden stakes to be planted on the riverbed of the Bach Dang River. They were stored in the grotto, where the remain-ing wooden pieces were found.

Seen from afar, the entrance to the grotto appears to be blue, and has a shape similar to that of a jellyfish. After 90 steps up the island, the entrance is reached. The ceiling of the grotto is about 25m. Hundreds of stalac-tites falling down from the roof of the grotto look like a waterfall.

The grotto is divided into three main parts. In the first chamber, exposed to natural light, many forms can be seen in the rock accord-ing to the imagination of the observer. In the middle of the chamber, on the top of the pillar, there appears to be a monk draped in a long, dark cloak, with his right hand clasping a cane. Moving into the second chamber, visi-tors pass through a narrow “door”, naturally formed through erosion.

The light here is mysterious and new images appear in the stone. The third chamber of the grotto is widely opened. At the end of the grotto is a well of clear water. Looking up in the dim light we recognize that surrounded is the image of an ancient citadel and a scuffle of elephants, horses, man with bristly sword and spear.

All are making a rush and be petrified suddenly. In this grotto remains an engraved stone stela singing the praises of Ha Long Bay ordered by King Khai Dinh when he came to visit the grotto in 1917. Dau Go Grotto is 40 minutes from Bai Chay Wharf.

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