With its karst topography and poetic peaks, the northwestern province of Bắc Kạn offers travelers majestic landscapes and exciting discoveries. One of them is Hua Ma Cave in Quảng Khê Commune, a hidden gem of impressive stalactites and mysterious legends. More information about the cave itself can be found here
Hua Ma cave is said to have been inhabited by ghosts. They could be heard howling from the cave every day when the sun went down. It was so scary that no one dared to approach. One day, as the sun was setting, a troop of soldiers passed by Lèng River in this area. They were about to cross the river to get to the neighboring village to rest, but their horse started whinnying and refused to cross the river. At the same time, a howl echoed from the side of Lèo Pèn Mountain.
Finding it strange, the commander of the troops asked the locals about the sounds and was eventually told that they were made by the spirits of dead soldiers. These poor soldiers helped the royal court fight against an enemy who was so strong and fierce that the soldiers had to hold him in the cave. However, the enemy was smart and closed the entrance of the cave thus trapping the soldiers underground.
On hearing this, the general decided to carry out a ritual offering horses to the gods. When the ritual ended, the howls stopped and the locals never heard them again. Hua Ma, meaning Horse's Head, draws its name from this frightful legend.