When the King asked the Gods to protect him from the Chinese fleet, they sent a family of dragons, but the invaders shot them down.   Where they fell into the sea, they turned into islands and rocks which confused the army and wrecked their ships.  Ha Luong, or so we were told, means ‘dragon fall down’. 

We were exporing the cave in one of the 1,956 islands in the bay.  Our guide pointed out the stalagtites and stalagmites with his laser pen.  ‘You have to use your imagination.  There are lots of animals here.  Look!  There is an elephant.  See his trunk.  And here is a dog trunk.  And over here, a bear.  And there, a cockerel.  And look up here on the celing.  See the back of the dragon and there his tail.  And what’s that over there?  Yes, it’s the King.  And just by it, the three brothers.’

Now I want to ask you an embarassing question.  OK?  We paused, shifting our feet.  This was all getting too cringeworthy.  ‘When did you have your first kiss?’  He translated the answers.  ‘5 years ago; good.  Fifteen years ago; very good.  Fifty years ago; let me shake your hand.  Now look over there’, he said pointin g with his laser.  ‘That is the longest kiss in the world; over ten thousand years’. 

We climbed up to the next chamber, secretly wishing this would end.  There, confronting us was an image that left little to the imagination.  The women giggled.  Back lit by a reddish yellow light and supported a mass of rock at its base, a pillar of rock extended proudly upwards at an acute angle from the main fused stalagmite.   

‘That is the finger pointing up,’ he announced earnestly. 

Another cock and ball story!

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