The light inside the mountain

(No.5, Vol.7,Oct-Nov 2017 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

From Rach Gia City of Kien Giang Province one can ride a motorbike for about 80km on National Highway 80 to Ba Hon fork. Turn left and follow the asphalt road for about 7km to reach Holcim cement factory. Go about 5km further on a small asphalt road to come to Son Tra. One can also take a bus from Rach Gia city to Ba Hon fork, and then take a taxi or motorbike taxi to get to Son Tra. Every day at the Western Region Bus Station in Ho Chi City, there are many buses that go to Rach Gia City, 280km away from Ho Chi Minh city.

Inside Son Tra Cave. Photos: Nguyen Dinh Ri

Fishing on Son Tra Cave. Photo: Huynh Lanh

Although it occupies only a 2,000m2 area, in recent years Son Tra has attracted a lot of tourists and photographers. This small rocky hill has at its foot the poor village Ba Nui of Binh An Commune, Kien Luong District, KienGiang Province.
Natural scenery loving eyes are lured to this barren hill by the maze of caves inside it, with walls covered by impressive stone scales, stalactites and stalagmites that tickle the imagination.
A large part of the caves’ floor is under 0.7m of chilling water in which a number of fish species thrive.
For some time each day, sun rays peer through the Son Tra Cave entrances on the water surface, and the reflected light dances gracefully on the walls and ceiling. The scene changes as the sun glides on the sky, and the show of light gets even livelier. This is the main factor that draws photographers to this remote place.
Visitors can combine exploring Son Tra caves and the nearby Mo So Mountain in a single trip. Mo So is a crater-like mountain with a flat bottom of about 1,000m2 in the middle. Seen from above. it looks like a gigantic ring. The mountain has a complicated system of caves inside. Geologists say that these caves were formed millions of years ago as sea water eroded the lime stone core of the mountain.
There is one more hill called May near Son Tra and Mo So. This triplet belongs to the lime stone hill system Kien Luong – Ha Tien.
About 5-7km away from this triplet there is famous Ba Lua archipelago, also belonging to Kien Luong District, with about 40 islands in an area of about 70km2. Clearly visible from the shore, the archipelago is dubbed ‘The little Halong of the South.’

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