Dau Go Grotto
The grotto is on Driftwood Island. Seen from afar, the entrance to thegrotto appears to be blue, and has a shape similar to that of ajellyfish
After 90 steps up the island, theentrance is reached. The ceiling of the grotto is about 25 m. Hundredsof stalactites falling down from the roof of the grotto look like awaterfall.
The grotto is divided into three main parts.
The exterior is a room with a vault fullof natural light. Many forms may be seen in the rock formations of thechamber, depending on the imagination of the visitor of course.
Crossing the first chamber, one entersthe second chamber through a narrow passage. The light here ismysterious, and new images appear in the stone. It makes us having afear and be inquisitive.
The third chamber of the grotto iswidely opened. At the end of the grotto is a well of clear water.Looking up in the dim light we recognize that surrounded is the image ofan ancient citadel and a scuffle of elephants, horses, man with bristlysword and spear. All are making a rush and be petrified suddenly.
The name Driftwood Grotto came from apopular story of the resistance war against the Yuan – Mongolianaggressors. In a decisive battle, Trân Hưng Ðậo was given the order toprepare many ironwood stakes here, to be planted on the riverbed of BạchÐằng River. The remaining wooden pieces found in the grotto have givenit its present name.
And the name Giâu Gô is associated withthe legend that General Trân Hưng Ðạo (1226-1300) hid ironwood stakes inpreparation for the Bạch Đằng battle against the Yuan-Mongolianinvaders.
If the Thiên Cung Grotto is monumentaland modern (in its natural form), then Driftwood Grotto is solemn, butalso grandiose. In “Marvels of the World,” published in France in 1938,the author called the grotto “Grotte des merveilles” (a site of manymarvels)
In the first chamber, in the very middleof the grotto, is a colossal pillar supporting the large vault. On thetop of the pillar, there appears to be a monk draped in a long, darkcloak, with his right hand clasping a cane.
The second chamber is narrow. Here, thestalactites look smaller but more graceful. One feels like going to apagoda with a monk in meditation so that one steps more gently.
The third chamber features high stonecolumns out of which nature has carved images of a large kingdom, ofheroes and soldiers holding swords and spears rushing up, of warelephants and horses or lions, etc. All of them suddenly was petrifiedand remained there for good.