Tiên Cave, a complex of caves with pristine stalactites, is a not-to-be-missed destination in Tuyên Quang. — Photo vov.vn
HÀ NỘI — The Tiên Cave Complex, a popular tourist destination in Tuyên Quang Province has been referred to as the ‘Phong Nha Kẻ Bàng’ of the northwestern mountainous region.
Just over 55km from Tuyên Quang City along National Highway 2, the Tiên Cave complex is located in Thống Nhất Village, Yên Phú Commune, Hàm Yên District.
It consists of seven caves; Tiên Cave, Thiên Đình Cave, Đàn Đá Cave, Thiên Cung Cave, Tam Cung Cave, Thạch Sanh Cave and Âm Phủ Cave. These caves are arranged in an arc.
We were surprised by the beauty of this cave, adorned by the wilderness and greatness that nature has bestowed on this land.
Unlike other caves, Tiên Cave is located near the top of the mountain. After climbing over a hundred stone steps dyed with green moss, we found a large stone gate. Here, we admired the beauty of a large mountainous area and enjoyed heaven and earth’s fresh, cool breeze.
Following the stone steps into the cave, we see gaps that look like windows. On a sunny day, the light from the cave’s entrance looks like huge floodlights shining into the heart of the cave, creating a fanciful and fancy look.
Tiên Cave is the “Phong Nha Kẻ Bàng” in the northwestern mountainous region. — Photo baotuyenquang.com.vn
Over time, with the erosion of water and wind, stalactites crystallised to create interesting shapes. On the high and wide stone arch is a picture of a bird spreading its wide wings to bring a young girl into the cave entrance, reminding visitors of the Thạch Sanh fairy tale. Underneath is a stone block like the images of Arhats alongside the images of elephants, tigers and many other animal shapes.
Entering the cave, we meet a tall stone pillar with shimmering colours. Behind the pillar was a picture of a pregnant woman.
In Thiên Đình Cave, we admired the sparkling granite columns like an ancient palace and the echoing, melodious sound when the wind blows on the cliffs like an invitation to travellers.
We continued exploring the mysteries of Đàn Đá, Thiên Cung, Thạch Sanh and Âm Phủ Caves with countless layers of high and low stalactites. Stalactites in the caves can change colour according to sunlight; pink in the morning, sparkling like crystal at noon, and crimson at sunset. There are stones lined up like a rock musical instrument, and when lightly tapped, they make strange sounds.
At the end of the journey, we stop at the Tôm Cave, where legend has it that a fairy stopped to bathe before returning to the fairy world.
We can enjoy the cool, clear water flowing from the mountain, the fresh and cool air, dispelling the fatigue.
Perhaps the Tiên Cave has so many legends because of such fanciful beauty.
An old story recounts that the moon is very close to the earth, and the full moon shines brightly everywhere. Suddenly one day, fragments of the moon broke off and fell into the sky. At that time, a handsome young man with extraordinary strength was carrying stones to mend the moon. When carrying a stone, the young man left a Ly mountain rock. The next time he carried the rock, he was broken because the beam was broken, so he threw another stone out and formed Chân Quỳ mountain.
While carrying the rock, he saw a fairy running by a horse, so he asked to help patch the moon. Both tried together, but the horse sank into the stream because the work was too much. Both the man and the horse turned to stone shortly thereafter. Since then, Bạch Mã island has appeared. It is this thrilling story that makes the caves of the Tiên cave complex even more mysterious and attractive to visitors.
Brocade products of the Dao people sold at the Tiên Cave Festival – Countryside Market. — Photo dulichtuyenquang.gov.vn
Not only has the unique landscape, every year on the 8th and 9th of the first lunar month, a big festival – countryside market is held at the Tiên Cave to promote the image of people, the land and the traditional cultural identity of the people here. This is considered the biggest festival of Tuyên Quang every year.
At the festival, visitors can enjoy the unique cultural features of the ethnic groups here through traditional rituals, folk songs, cultural and sports activities such as playing human chess, blindfolding, volleyball competition, goat fighting, strong buffalo contest, mountain climbing contest, tug of war and painting contest about Tiên Cave.
In addition, visitors can also enjoy the specialities brought by the local people, such as Cham Chu Ba wine, dried buffalo meat and field carp.
Visitors can also buy precious medicinal herbs and forest honey as gifts. VNS