The majestic beauty of Tien and Cha Loi caves in Quang Binh Province never fails to elicit awe among visitors.
The Tien Cave is located in the central province’s Cao Quang Commune, Tuyen Hoa District, 70 km to the west of the famous Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park.
The photographs in this collection were taken this June by Ly Hoang Long, chairman of the Art Council, Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists.
This lake has clean water where visitors can cool off and camp overnight before entering the Tien Cave.
The largest dry cave of the Tu Lan cave complex, Tien Cave is nearly 3 km long and divided into two caves separated by a primeval forest. It has been open to visitors since 2017.
The cave entrance is reached after walking and climbing short cliffs. The entrance is about 50 m wide and 100 m high, with unique stripes on the cave wall.
There is a huge stalactite inside that lends material substance to the legend that this is a place where fairies come down from heaven to play and enjoy the stunningly beautiful landscape.
Locals consider the Tien Cave a sacred place and use it as a location for important rituals like prayers for rain and peace.
During the rainy and flooding season, water from local streams and rivers pours into the cave, creating underground rivers. When the water recedes, natural lakes are formed, and layers of stalactites that look like terraces come into view.
Diverse ferns, mosses and fungi add a verdant touch to the Tien Cave, setting it apart from other caves. Greenery grows quickly here and clings to old stalactites, giving them a shiny emerald tint.
Humans look puny in the vastness at the heart of the Tien Cave.
After exploring the Tien Cave, this group set out to explore the Cha Loi Cave in Ngan Thuy Commune, about 40 km to the southwest of Dong Hoi Town in Quang Binh.
Cha Loi is located at the foot of a large mountain in Cay Sung Village. To reach the cave, visitors have to walk about 800 meters on a small trail that weaves through the houses and fields of the local people.
In the photo, the visitors camp overnight on some grassland outside the cave.
Inside the cave, sharp and pointy stalactites hang down from the ceiling.
The Cha Loi Cave is about 30-100 m wide, and has an average height of 60 m with the highest point at about 90 m.
“I can feel the hot wind as the temperature in Dong Hoi is always 36-40 degrees Celsius. On the first day we went through the forest and climbed to the cave entrance at around 11 a.m, and it was sizzling hot outside. But inside the cave, it is the opposite, with the temperature not higher than 20 degrees Celsius,” Long said.
The visitors wade through an underground river to explore the cave.
Two visitors take a break along the way.
Exploring the cave is like going on a full-fledged adventure, with visitors equipped with flashlights, headlights, helmets and protective shoes.
From a distance, the cave’s stalactites seem to glint with gold in the light of the flashlights.
This tunnel in the Cha Loi Cave has stalactites of diverse shapes and sizes that invite awestruck contemplation.
“The attraction of Cha Loi Cave is the thrill of a space that is constantly changing. You keep going down and down and suddenly, with no warning, the direction changes into a long ascent at the end of which we can see light at the end of the path,” Long said.
The photographer said the team was thankful for the enthusiastic support of tour companies that facilitated their discovery of the Tien and Cha Loi caves. He added his photography in the dark caves was also aided by the lighting support team.