Our Lady’s Cave in Con Dao jungle

BA Ria Vung TauTo reach the cave of Our Lady hidden in the forest, visitors need to pass through the primeval forest and stone steps.

Hidden in Con Dao National Park, Our Lady’s Cave is where the French colonialists found and placed a statue of Our Lady to pray during the years of occupation in the island in the 19th century. Previously, this was the place where fishermen Catholics pray every time they go out to sea.

Our Lady's Cave is hidden in the jungle in Con Dao.  Photo: Nguyen Khai Trung

Our Lady’s Cave is hidden in the jungle in Con Dao. Photo: Nguyen Khai Trung

Nguyen Khai Trung, a 24-year-old travel blogger, said that Our Lady Cave is located in the primeval forest of the national park, so few tourists know about it. Coming to Con Dao, people mainly go for spiritual tourism to temples, pagodas and resorts, not many people choose to experience ecology in the national park.

The national park is located about 3 km from the town, from here you go straight to Vo Thi Sau and Huynh Thuc Khang streets, when you see the signboard, turn right, enter the management room to buy a ticket of 60,000 VND. After that, visitors who ride motorbikes for a few hundred meters more will see signs indicating going to Notre Dame cave, Bang beach, Dat Tham beach, leave the car and start climbing the stone steps.

Stone marker with instructions written in French.  Photo: Nguyen Khai Trung

Stone marker with instructions written in French. Photo: Nguyen Khai Trung

Trung said, the distance to find Our Lady’s Cave can be considered a short trekking, when visitors have to cross the primeval forest and stone steps, many sections are a bit difficult to go. However, the road is short, only about 400 m, when looking at the signboards and landmarks inscribed in French “Grotte de NDL” (Our Lady’s Cave), go in the direction the arrow indicates.

In the quiet atmosphere of the mountains, visitors can easily see the light radiating from the cave. Outside the vines surround the entrance of the cave, inside there is an altar, placing statues of Our Lady and Jesus on the cross, flowers and candles. Because the cave is shallow and small, when entering, Khai Trung finds the space airy and dry. If you light a candle, after visiting, you need to blow it out before leaving.

The altar inside the cave with two colors painted white and blue.  Photo: Nguyen Khai Trung

Khai Trung feels the sacredness and imagines the history of the cave. Photo: Nguyen Khai Trung

To visit Notre Dame cave, it is necessary to prepare good health, water and snacks, comfortable clothes. If you still have enough energy, visitors can explore other places in the national park, mainly pristine beaches such as Bang beach, Dat Tham beach, Ong Dung beach, Hot spring beach… or continue climbing the mountains. mountain top, explore Dam Tre bay. On the way to visit, visitors can meet many endemic animals of Con Dao such as long-tailed monkeys, black squirrels…