Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vietnam, Dong Thien Cung – Heaven Cave


As a part of our day trip to Halong Bay we make a stop at Dong Thien Cung also known as Heaven Cave. Gathered around we are given a bit of the history of the area before we begin another climb up a set of stairs to the entrance of the cave.


051My first impression is an astonishing one as the formations in the cave are nicely highlighted with bright and colorful lights.







050Stalactites and stalagmites have never looked any better



048Further into the cave a hole in the side of the cave sends a beam of sunlight inside like a Jedi light saber.





This hole plays an important role in the cave because it also allows water into the cave which helps to shape the formations here that are made up of 80% calcium carbonate.

As if the caves themselves are not fascinating enough, we are then told about some of the activities that have occurred here.Things that I thought were only fiction in Hollywood movies like Indiana Jones.

Monkeys captured and their brains eaten by the local men while they are still alive. And for the sake of equality the bones are then made into a black tar like soup for the women to enjoy after a cooking process that takes a few days.

This ritual of sorts is done as a medical process as it was believed to make your health better.



049If dining on a monkey does not suite your taste then a few dongs at the next stop might just make your wishes come true.

Others have already left theirs behind and so far I don't see anyone eating soup.



Like most of these types of caves, the formations can sometimes present some interesting images.


059We use our imagination to see a lion with a huge mane.

Then it is Romeo with his nose and big belly trying to serenade Juliet.




Romeo also has a horse nearby and since he rides it instead of walking his belly is becoming bigger and bigger. Keep that up and soon he is going to become a “Happy Buddha”.



057I am for sure that one of the last formations I see is a part of Dolly Parton.

It is no stretch of the imagination that the formation comes from working it 9 to 5.






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