A cave hidden under a waterfall near Da Lat you probably haven’t seen
Hang Gio (Wind Cave) is at the foot of Thac Voi (Elephant Falls) and entry is through a narrow, dark slippery opening.
Elephant Falls (in Lam Ha District, Lam Dong Province), 25 km from the resort town of Da Lat, is one of the most beautiful in the Central Highlands. The waterfall is part of Cam Ly Stream and is more than 30 m high and 15 m wide.
Visitors must descend to the foot of the mountain to see the entire falls. There are 145 rough-hewn stone steps under a canopy of trees.
The name of the waterfalls is associated with a tragic love story. According to a legend, a village chief had a beautiful daughter who fell in love with the son of the neighboring village chief. They promised to be together, but the man joined the army to fight invaders and died in battle.
The girl came to the mountain where they had promised each other and sang a sorrowful song. She kept singing until she could not stand up any longer. A herd of elephants nearby heard her singing for a long time and then turned to stone. Suddenly there was a loud explosion that split the mountain into two, and water rushed off it.
At the foot of Elephant Falls are many large rocks in various shapes. The stones form Wind Cave beneath the waterfall. The entrance is narrow and only one person at a time can creep under the roots of ancient trees to get in.
The cave is around 20 m long and the tiny, dark, slippery entrance space makes it a harrowing trip.
But inside, one is rewarded with a large space and plenty of breeze. The cave is wet all year round, the cliffs are covered in moss.
The high rocks create gentle winds next to the waterfall. The outer part of the cave is always covered in spray.
During weekends, Elephant Waterfall is very popular. The entrance fee is VND20,000 (86 cents). Near the foot of the falls, authorities have put up a walkway so that visitors can take photos and enjoy the view.
Thanh Long of Dong Nai Province said: "When climbing over the cliff and entering deep caves, I feel like I am conquering an old forest and exploring strange lands. The waterfall is very beautiful and unspoiled though when I went it was dry season."
The more adventurous scramble over rocks and frolic in the water. But authorities frown on this because there are jagged rocks under the water and the flow is strong, especially in the rainy season.
Linh An Pagoda right next to Elephant Waterfalls is also a popular tourist destination around Da Lat. Built in 1993 the pagoda has exquisite architecture and is referred to as the second Truc Lam Zen Monastery, referring to a meditation center in Da Lat.