Tam Co Cave is a historical monument in Tan Trach commune, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province. It is about 55km from Dong Hoi City to the northwest. “Tam Co” Cave (the Eight Voluntary Youths Cave) is located at km17 on the Road No.20 which is part of the legendary Truong Son trail, the Cave also witness to the sacrifices of the force of volunteer youth during the fight against the American, especially the eight volunteers of the age of 20 years (a native of Hoang Hoa district, Thanh Hoa province) whose sacrifices became the symbolic of patriotism.
The tragic story of Tam Co Cave
During the American War, the area was a target of fierce aerial bombardments of the American to stop the northern reinforcement to the southern front-line and marked the terrible bloodshed of the volunteer youth during their attempt to keep the transport route clear. On November 14, 1972, violent bomb attacks were frenziedly dropped down to the land, a huge stone of 1000 tons collapsed to lock 8 voluntary youths inside the cave. Nine days after that, there was no hope for saving their comrades, all 8 voluntary youths sacrificed. The story of Tam Co Cave (Eight Ladies Cave) is dolorous. Many tourists coming here and hearing about the story of eight young female volunteers burst into tear when listening from the tour guide.
Since then, this place was called Tam Co Cave (Eight Voluntary Youths Cave), even though there were only 4 girls in the Cave.
The special number 8 in Hang Tam
After recounting the number of tanks and trucks used in the 1972 war against the American on this road, people were quite startled to see a round figure of 8. However, that is not the last number 8 to appear in this landmark. Many stories of the Eight Lady Cave were told by the guardians themselves.
8 bunch bananas
Looking up to the forest banana growing at the cave entrance, counting over and over again, the guardians can only see 8 bunches.
Through many “generations”, each tree only produces a chamber of 8 bunches which is like a persistent youth from the 8 people who have died here.
Gecko lays 8 eggs
The 8 bunch bananas have surprised everyone, but the story of the gecko laying 8 eggs is even more exciting.
Not long ago, there was a pair of geckos laying eggs right in the cave. The gecko eggs stick to the wall, right in the middle of the altar. Strangely, when reaching the number of 8 eggs, the female gecko ended her “birth” to the surprise of everyone.
A few months later, from those 8 eggs hatched 8 baby geckos, not a single one of them was damaged.
Gecko resounded clear 8 times on the anniversary.
On the 50th anniversary of the opening of the legendary Truong Son Road, while a large number of Party and State leaders and thousands of visitors were silently remembering the heroes and martyrs who sacrificed on the Truong Son road, suddenly there were sounds of “gecko, gecko” from the Tam Co Cave. But unbelievably, those decisive and clear sounds came out exactly 8 times and then fell silent.
These inexplicable coincidences make this place a sacred land, anyone passing, no matter how fast they will stop and go to light incense in Tam Co cave.
Tam Co Cave – a spiritual tourism site attracting visitors to Quang Binh.
Today, “Tam Co” Cave has become a spiritual tourism destination for travelers. Coming to Tam Co Cave, visitors can walk on the legendary road No 20, light incense to commemorate heroes and martyrs who sacrificed for national independence.
Tam Co Cave is located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, on the axis to visit Paradise Cave, Ozo Park.
When traveling to Phong Nha- Ke Bang, don’t forget to go to Tam Co Cave.
Some frequently asked questions
Tam Co Cave is located at km17 on the Road No.20, in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh province.
To reach Tam Co Cave, you follow the Road No.20 to Tra Ang bridge and continue to go straight for about 4km. And if you follow the Ho Chi Minh West trail, when reaching Tra Ang bridge, you turn right.