Eight Lady Cave
What is this? A lady cave? Grottos with gender? Gender could be fluid, but not until this point. However, it is certainly hiding something
Right in the middle of the national park of Phong Nha-Ke Bang, turning right on the cross from the famous Paradise cave, this little memorial place is located. An interesting side fact of it: is home of one of the very few temples that could be found in this specific area of Vietnam, where most of the population is surprisingly catholic. It is also called by the name of the Immortal cave.
What happened here? What makes it so interesting to deserve this post? Well, the truth is it is worth many more.
If you come here with the aim to see incredible cave formations you will end up very disappointed, nevertheless it will still be worth the visit.
To further explain it we have to go back in time, exactly to the Vietnamese war period.
Strategically close to the HCHM highway, only a trail of mud and dirt at the time, there was a cave. It was a special one, because instead of hiding bombs and munition, this cave was hiding hope, faith and committed people.
It was used as a base and hiding place, sometimes even as a nursery home, but most of it as shelter from the constant bombards over the area. All these attacks were also meant to destroy that trail used to transport supplies of groceries and munition to the south. But not in vain a group of restless volunteers worked day and night to restore the Ho Chi Minh trail allowing the needed circulation. It was a group of these volunteers that on the unfortunate 14th of November of 1972 had reached running this cave looking for shelter from the bombs.
The attacks were happening when a tremendous roar and crack resounded through the cave, a gigantic roc bed was about to seal the entrance…but how to differentiate this inner warning from the outside explosions?
The rocks collapsed, and 5 soldiers perished underneath, leaving 4 men and 4 women trapped inside.
Regardless the local efforts and army tactics to remove it everything seemed useless. A more aggressive approach of blowing up the stone was discarded as would certainly have killed those inside with it. Days passed, and the screams were fading. Plastic tubes were introduced through some cracks, with milk and water being poured despite the uncertainty if it would reach the inside. On the morning of the 9th day, the cries for help had finally ceased.
Years passed, the war ended, technologies improved. This story seemed to be forgotten until 1996. The government finally was able to reopen the entrance, and there 8 corpses were found.
The popular belief is that the souls of this 8 volunteers remain guarding the place, granting wishes to those visitors that enter the memorial temple paying their respect. On the cave opening a little banana tree started to grow until reaching it’s beautiful and nourishing adulthood…guess how many leaves it had?
If you find the tree and eat from it it’s said your live will be long and happy.