The Tree Caves belong to the historic limestone mountains of Ninh Binh Province, which is known as Halong Bay on land, and are located in Hoa Lu Commune, about 100 kilometers from Hanoi.
The best way to enjoy the magnificent Tree Caves is hiring a small boat for four people at Dinh Cac wharf. For only five U.S. dollars, tourists will have a two-hour trip down the Ngo Dong River.
Twenty minutes from shore, the boat takes in the first cave formed by the flow of Ngo Dong River into a limestone mountain for hundreds of thousands of years. The river’s name is said to have come from the cultivation of corn on both sides of the river.
Further on, tourists will be faced with a second cave, lying between the standing mountains on the left named Ben Thanh and on the right is one shaped like a landing eagle. By the river is a large, flat stone that is said by local people to be the resting place for Tran Thai Tong, an ancient Vietnamese king.
The last cave is no doubt the most beautiful. The water running through limestone has formed many magnificent, living stones and local people have used their vivid imagination to link these stones with mythical characters.
Along the river is many layers of green mountains, they seem to have grown from the deep water and cast shadows on the surface from the dawn of time. Somehow, tourists will spot a single stone house under the mountain where a local family raises goats, plant rice and fish to feed their family. Isolation is a way of life here.