|Location:||Ha Long Bay|
|Address:||Hang Dau Go, Tel: +84-, Fax: +84-,|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1929||visited by King Khai Dinh (Nguyen dynasty).|
Hang Dau Go (Wooden Poles Cave) was named after an old legend. According to the locals, general Tran Hung Dao stored some of the wooden poles he used in the famous victory at Bach Dang River in 1288 in this cave. Another name of this cave is Grotte des Merveilles (Cave of Wonders, Cave of Marvels).
General Tran Hung Dao (*1228-✝1300) is one of Vietnam's greates heroes. He defeated the Chinese invasion with Mongol warriors to Vietnam three times. One time this cave was part of the defense, actually connected with his most famous victory at Bach Dang River in 1288. He used a strategy which originated from Ngo Quyen who freed Vietnam in 939 after 1,000 years of Chinese occupation.
In 1288 general Tran Hung Dao sent a convoy to this area to cut wood. The wood was used to produce poles which were stored in the cave. Then they were transported to Bach Dang River and set vertically into the riverbed. During high tide they were covered by water and general Tran Hung Dao sent his ships to confront Kublai Khan. The boats soon had to flee the supreme army which chased them deep up Bach Dang. But when the tide receded, the boats of the enemies were stuck helpless on these wooden poles and the Vietnamese soldiers destroyed the whole army with burning arrows.
Hang Dau Go is located on a small limestone island 8 km south of Bai Chay. Despite its small size it is 187 m asl high. The visitors arrive with the boats at the harber and walk then upill 90 rocky stair to the cave entrance. The tour shows three subsequent chambers. The first has spectacular stalagmites and stalactites, some stalagmites reach a height of 20 m. This is also the biggest chamber ofthe cvae, big enough to accomodate 4,000 people. The ceiling is up to 25 m high.
The second chamber is reached through a narrow passage, only 1.40 m wide. A stalagmite in the passage is famous for reflecting the illumination. The following chamber is abundant with speleothems, especially water filled rimstone pools. The chamber is famous for the colorful stalagmites and stalactites, although it is hard to say which colours are natural and which are caused by the colourful light.
The third chamber is the one which was - according to legend - used to store the wooden stakes, which give the cave its name. While the fight and victory is a documented historic fact, the use of the cave is not. The idea mainly depends on the fact that it is the closest cave site to the mainland.