Vai Gioi Cave: A natural marvel in Ninh Binh
Update: Nov 14, 2023
Vai Gioi Cave in the expansive Thung Nham Ecotourism Zone is a captivating destination for tourists owing to its enchanting natural beauty.

Vai Gioi Cave’s majestic and poetic beauty draws visitors from both near and far - Photos: Thung Nham Ecotourism Zone

Covering an extensive area of 5,000 square meters, Vai Gioi Cave is situated in the heart of Ninh Hai Commune, Hoa Lu District, Ninh Binh Province. To access this natural wonder, visitors embark on a journey that entails ascending 439 stone steps that wind their way up the mountainside. The cave’s allure lies in its unique stalactite formations, which take on diverse shapes, resembling animal teeth marks and fish bones, among others, scattered throughout the cave.

The cave system is ingeniously integrated into the rocky mountain, consisting of three distinct levels: Earth, Hell, and Paradise. The Earth Floor features flat strips of stalactites and stalagmites, symbolizing the simple and rustic aspects of human life. Descending further, visitors arrive at the Hell Floor, cloaked in an eerie and mysterious darkness, effectively recreating an underground world. To reach the Paradise Floor, adventurers must ascend a narrow iron staircase. This level holds even greater mysteries as visitors navigate through enchanting stalactite formations. Here, nature’s artistry astounds with shapes resembling floating clouds, a starry sky, or even a stone elephant statue. Of special note, a celestial gateway on the Paradise Floor leads to a spot where tourists can savor the fresh air and take in panoramic vistas of the breathtaking Thung Nham Ecotourism Zone, featuring rolling mountains interspersed with stilt houses amidst expansive rice fields, creating a mesmerizing natural panorama.

The cave’s unique stalactite formations are a major attraction for tourists

Vai Gioi Cave lays claim to being the oldest natural cave within the Thung Nham Ecotourism Zone, with its origins tracing back to the 10th century. In the Vietnamese language, “Vai” is a verb signifying an act of bowing in respect, while “Gioi” is an ancient term synonymous with “heaven.” Legend has it that the people of Hoa Lu once established an altar within the cave to offer prayers for favorable weather, bumper harvests, and peace for the nation. Vai Gioi Cave serves as a symbolic meeting place of heaven and earth, where yin and yang find harmony. Visitors to this remarkable site can also explore nearby attractions such as But and Tien Ca caves, the Trang An Landscape Complex, Tam Coc – Bich Dong tourist sites, Mua Cave, and more.

By Dang Huy

Saigon Times - - November 12, 2023