Carved into the karst cliffs of the eponymous island, the eerily beautiful Dau Go Cave (Hang Đầu Gỗ)
is a mesmerizing sight, with dramatic cascades of stalactites and stalagmites. The cave’s name, which translates as ‘Driftwood Grotto’ or ‘Wooden Head Cave’ depending which version you prefer, is said to hark back to the 13th century, when it was used by General Tran Hung Dao to store the giant, steel-tipped wooden stakes that were used to defend themselves against Mongol invasion.
Today, Dau Go Cave is among the most visited caves of Halong bay, accessible by boat or kayak, and featuring three large chambers, reached via a 90-step rock stairwell. Inside, highlights include the spectacular rock formations, made all the more atmospheric by the streaks of natural light that dance off their surface, and the 25-meter-high domed roof.
Dau Go Cave is located on Driftwood Island in Halong Bay, between Cat Ba Island and the mainland.