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Bich Dao Grotto: Honoring Love

Bich Dao Grotto, also called Tu Thuc Grotto, is a favorite tourist destination in Nga Thien Commune, Nga Son District, Thanh Hoa Province, because of its love story between a scholar and a fairy.

Tu Thuc Grotto was named after the scholar Tu Thuc who met a beautiful fairy named Giang Huong. He fell in love with her and so followed her to her home, the fairy land. But missing his home at the same time, Thuc decided to go home for a while to visit his village. Much to his surprise, no one recognized him nor did he know anyone. Unknown to him, time ran differently between the human and fairy world and he was gone longer than he realized. Everyone he knew had long since died. In deep remorse, Thuc left and was never seen again.


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The grotto is composed of different sections each with its own set of stalactites and stalagmites forming a certain shape or character. Silver Store, Rice Store, Salt Store and Coin Store are some of the names visitors have given to the awe-inspiring, uniquely-shaped objects. A stalagmite shaped like a dragon with egg-shaped pebbles in the middle of it was called “the dragon brooding golden eggs.” Above are stalactites that resemble leaves falling and producing a one-of-a-kind traditional musical instrument sound like the gong, drum and ball. As such, this part of the grotto is called “The Orchestra.” The center area resembles a chessboard and another part looks like shoes. A pool with hanging stalactites can also be found inside the grotto. The path upwards and downwards the grotto are interestingly named “The Way to Heaven” and “The Way to Hell,” respectively. Flowers, seals, caps and gowns are other shapes that can be noticed inside the grotto.

A grave honoring the heartbroken scholar Tu Thuc is placed inside the grotto strategically along with an altar-shaped rock and stalagmites which look like candles and ancestral tablets. For hopeless romantics and history lovers as a whole, the Bich Dao Grotto is a must-visit for every typical Tourist.


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