Discovering the System of Caves in Xuan Son – Phu Tho

Xuan Son is a majestic area with mountains in the clouds, the craggy cliffs and mysterious caves, streams flowing between the forest and the extremely rich ecosystem with many precious and rare animals and plants which are valuable in scientific research as well as gene conservation. Especially, coming to Xuan Son, visitors will surely be surprised when discovering and admiring the mysterious beauty of the cave system here – a pristine beauty and hidden charm.

Xuan Son National Park in Phu Tho - Vietnam

Xuan Son National Park in Phu Tho – Vietnam

Blessed with an unique terrain by the nature, Xuan Son can be called as a treasure in the middle of the heaven associated with legends, history, rare species of fauna and flora and special cultural life of the community of local minorities. Over the time, the process of geological weathering, liquefaction have created more than 30 caves with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and in various shapes and sizes in Xuan Son National Park. Most of the caves here usually take the name of the neighboring villages, or are named after their own characteristics, which has formed a distinct and unique feature of the Xuan Son caves. All of them are charming and attractive promising to be an attractive destination for visitors to explore by the system of nooks and caves are extremely dangerous and in strange shapes but extremely fascinating.

#1.Tho Than Cave

Located in Lap hamlet, Tho Than (God of the Soil) Cave is one of the largest and longest caves in Xuan Son. Tho Than cave runs deep into the heart of Ten mountain, the entrance to the cave looks directly at the field of Muong Lang. In the cave, there are stalactites which are quite soft and spongy as earth. Perhaps because of this feature, ancient people also called this cave “Earth/ Soil cave”.

Tho Than cave is still a big mystery by the Dao, Muong indigenous people have not explored all the length and depths of the cave. From the foot of the mountain, we have to go up about 300 stone steps to reach  the cave’s entrance. When you step inside, visitors will be surprised by the shimmering, fanciful and full of mystery beauty of the shapes formed by stalactites. Depending on the imagination of each person, the stalactites are attached with various fairy tales which are both magical and real… The further you go into the cave, the narrower the cave is, there are many sections where visitors have to climb the high cliffs to be able to continue the journey of discovery.

Passing the dangerous paths, visitors will find it even more interesting to see firsthand the masterpieces that nature has dedicated to the cave here. What is special and also the highlight of the Tho Than Cave is the “Fairy Curtain” made by the stalactites system, the people here call it the bed for the princess to sleep in.

Stepping closer, visitors will see that the details of the “curtain” are clearer when the light comes on, which looks like giant lotuses connected to a block, falling down softly and smoothly. Looking up to the side, you can see another block of stalactites like the statue of Guan Yin clapping her hands. Everything around is sparkling, fanciful …, which makes us feel like we are lost in a fairy kingdom of ancient times.

#2.Na (custard- apples) Cave

Leaving Tho Than cave, visitors continue the journey to conquer Na cave. Passing the rich and damp vegetation, the murmuring streams in the middle of the forest, climbing up to more than 100 steps, visitors will reach the entrance to the cave on the cliff. Spinning through a narrow entrance door, you will see the dark, ink-like cave, the only natural light coming in from the cave entrance.

Going inside the cave, visitors will find it very interesting to admire the stones, both large and small, which looks like the custard- apples. The “custard- apples” blocks have been lying scattered in the cave for a very long time, sometimes the children around the village bring them home to make toys …

Perhaps because of that, the cave is named Na (custard- apples). Especially, here, the process of geological tectonics has created a miniature “terraced field” in the mountainous terrain that may be found only in Na cave. This is a very unique feature of the cave that visitors can only see all the beauty of it when you firsthand admire and feel.

#3.Lang Cave

Lang Cave is located in Xuan Son National Park, Tan Son district, Phu Tho province. Legend has it that, a long time ago, a serpent turned into a handsome guy to be the servant in Tho Lang house in Lang hamlet. During the maid, he often helped Miss Bach, the daughter of Tho Lang, plant rice. He pulled up young plants of rice, transplanted, harvested much faster than boys in the village, so he gained the love of Miss Bach.

Lang Cave in Xuan Son National Park

Lang Cave in Xuan Son National Park

One day, after going to bed, the boy unwittingly uncovered a white snake out of the blanket. Mister Tho Lang banished the white snake from the house and warned Miss Bach against being tricked, tempted by the snake.

One day, while weaving the fabric, the yolk fell to the deep pond, Miss Bach went to the pond to retrieve the fiber, then she was sick and passed away. Tho Lang knew that his daughter’ soul had been caught by the snake. The villagers had to bring the corpse of Miss Bach to bury on the top of Ten mountain so that the snake did not get the body. However, the Snake caused the heavy rain over Ten Mountain and made it become a River to carry Miss Bach’s body to Lang cave to live with him.

Since then, local people have to worship the serpent god and Miss Bach to pray for timely rains and favourable weather to have water to do the farming. Lang Cave is considered the Aquarium (the Palace under the water) of the God protecting Lang hamlet. Later, people built Lang communal house, the White Snake and Miss Bach became the tutelary gods of Xuan Son people.

Hang Lang is the largest, longest cave in the stalactite caves in Xuan Son National Park.  The arch of Lang cave is 15-20 meters high and its width is similar in size. The cave runs along the limestone range of about 10 km. At the bottom of Lang cave, there is a large stream with many bulges, spreading the cave a bed of rocks, yellow sand and clay. Inside the cave, there are many stalactites falling down, creating thousands of images as thousand of Buddhist shrines, god altars and many pillars from the bottom of the cave rising to the dome. The statues, stalactites jutting in the middle of the stream become glistening in the light, and the light of the torches.

Stalactites in Lang cave are not as gray as in many other limestone caves, they are bright white and sparkling with different colors in some areas. Lang Cave is wide and long enough for thousands of people to contemplate at the same time. A few hours walking from the cave entrance, the bottom of the cave becomes a stream of about 2 m deep. From here, visitors can continue to use the torchlight, sit in the boats to explore the beauty in Lang cave.

Discovering all the caves in the complex of caves in Xuan Son forest is a dream, but also a challenge for every visitor. Each cave has its own beauty, if Doi (Bat) cave is like a hole in the middle of the mountain and is home to millions of bats, Lang cave is like an underground tunnel with the ceiling of tens of meters high; the entrance to Coi cave is as a giant monster opening its black mouth with jagged rock blocks… There are many other beautiful and attractive caves of Xuan Son mountain that with each step of discovery, we are free to imagine, feel the attractiveness of the stalactites in the cave. Let’s choose Xuan Son as a stop in your journey to experience the exciting and attractive feelings.

Source: Indochina travel,Myanmar Luxury tours