| This natural world heritage site has attracted many local and foreign tourists thanks to its colourful caves and grottoes such as Thien Cung (Heavenly Residence Grotto), Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto), Sung Sot (Surprise Grotto), and Tam Cung (Three Palace Grotto).Thien Cung is situated on the southwest side of the bay, 4 km from the wharf outside of Halong City. It is located in a small range of islands that resemble a throne embracing two superb grottoes at its core. The way to Thien Cung seems perilous, covered on both sides by thick forest. After entering a narrow gate, the magnificent, 130-meter long grotto opens up.
In the centre, stand 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 north wall of the grotto, a group of fairies seem to be singing and dancing in honour of a wedding. Under the immeasurably high roof, stalactites form a natural stone curtain. There is also the sound of a beating drum made by the wind blowing through the stone.
In the last chamber of the grotto, a natural gushing stream of water babbles throughout the year. Here, there are three small ponds of clear water. One path meanders out of the grotto.
In the grotto’s east, there is an imposing, enormous rock pictured with legendary characters. Legend has it that a beautiful young lady named May (cloud) caught the eye of a Dragon Prince and he fell in love with her. They were betrothed and got married in the very centre of the grotto. All of the scenes of their wedding, which lasted for seven days and seven nights, have been seemingly fossilized in the grotto. Surrounding Thien Cung, are flying dragons, elephants and lions dancing, and pythons winding on a big ancient tree.
In the tale, the couple had 100 children. When they grew up, May left with 50 of the children to find another land to live. The rest stayed with the prince in the grotto.
Thien Cung Grotto, etc.