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Heaven Palace Grotto (Thien Cung)

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Thiên Cung (Heaven Palace) Grotto. This grotto is one of the most beau­tiful grottoes in Ha Long Bay, Halong Cruises. Thien Cung is sit­uated on the south-west side of the bay, 4km from the wharf outside of Ha Long City. The way to Thiên Cung is a perilous one, covered on both sides by thick forest. After entering a narrow gate, the magnificent grotto’s 130m-long girth opens up. Getting in we are more astonished in front of the very animated and splendid beauty which is made from stalactite.

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The grotto related to the legend of King Dragon. According to legend, a beautiful young lady named May (Cloud) caught the eye of Dragon Prince and he fell in love with her. They were betrothed and got married in the very centre of the grotto. All the scenes of their wedding, which lasted for seven days and seven nights, have been seemingly fos­silized in the grotto.

On the east wall of the grotto, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with charac-ters 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.

In the last chamber of the grotto babbles a natural gushing stream of water and there are three small ponds of clear water. One path meanders out of the grotto. Going out of Thiên 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.

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