VIETNAMESE MYTHOLOGY: BA CO, THE “SIRENS” OF HALONG BAY

Halong Bay, home of the Ba Co, or Sirens of Vietnam

Halong Bay, home of the Ba Co, or Sirens of Vietnam

BA CO – “Three girls.” Water goddesses of Quang Hanh Grotto (9 km west of Cam Pha), often called the tunnel grotto.

Long ago three young ladies, in some versions friends, in others sisters, were journeying around Halong Bay. The Quang Hanh Grotto is accessible by boat or on land but the entrance is only visible when the tide is out.

The Ba Co sought shelter from heavy rainfall by entering the grotto when the tide was out. Entranced by the beauty of the grotto they are said to have lost track of the time and when the tide came back in the Ba Co drowned in the grotto, but the sea god Long Vuong took pity on them and transformed them into the goddesses of Halong Bay.

The Ba Co are  honored with a shrine in the grotto and are said to sometimes appear to young men and keep them entranced with their beauty and their flirtatious conduct for so long that their victims don’t notice the tide coming in and drown in the grotto. Their bodies vanish since they are said to be taken off as husbands for the Ba Co.   

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© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

18 Comments

Filed under Mythology

18 responses to “VIETNAMESE MYTHOLOGY: BA CO, THE “SIRENS” OF HALONG BAY

  1. I didn’t know the Vietnamese had such interesting gods and goddesses!

  2. Nice of the sea god to help them out like that!

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  4. Very nice! I’m sharing this with my facebook followers.

  5. Sad but moving story about the Ba Co.

  6. Nice twist on the usual sirens.

  7. Mark

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