Thien Cung grotto (Heaven Grotto) is about 8 kilometers away from Halong Bay and 4 kilometers from the wharf called Van Canh. Thien Cung grotto is among one of the most beautiful grottoes in Halong, which has thousands of stalactites, stalagmites shaping a marvelously natural palace.This splendid grotto has its own legend. Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young lady named May (Cloud) who caught the eye of the Dragon Prince and he totally fell in love with her. Then, they were betrothed, and their wedding lasted seven days and seven nights in the very centre of Thien Cung grotto.
The legend told that in honour of the wedding, 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 to bless them. The genies of the south and north stars also came to wish the young couple happiness. The atmosphere of the wedding was definitely animated and lively. All these scenes have been seemingly shown in the grotto.
In the centre are four large pillars supporting the “roof of heaven.” Many strange images were carved on the stone from the base to the top, including birds, fish, flowers and even scenes of human life. On the north wall of the grotto, there is a scene of fairies dancing and singing to celebrate the wedding. When standing inside this place, tourists can hear the sound like a drum beating which actually is the noise of the wind blowing through stone.
At the last part of the grotto, a natural ravine murmurs throughout the year. There are three small ponds containing crystal water inside. It is believed that those ponds were the place where May bathed her 100 children, raising them up wisely and happily into adolescence. The path which meanders out of Thien Cung grotto was the way May, 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.
After visiting Thien Cung grotto (heaven cave), we have a sensation of just watching a unique, meticulous, interesting fine-art museum created by nature that beyond any ability and intellect of man.