Ha Long Bay in Vietnam
In Vietnam's Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay is dotted with more than 1, 600 islands and limestone islets of different sizes and shapes, which is the most beautiful natural attraction and the most popular tourist attraction in Vietnam. Halong bay attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year.
Facts of Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay, also named Vinh Ha Long means the descending dragon bay, is a UNESCO world heritage site in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam, with an area of 1553 square kilometers and contains about 3000 limestone islets. These limestones have been eroded and accumulated over hundreds of millions of years, combined with seawater intrusion, forming a magnificent landscape, the so-called karst terrain.
A variety of marine and terrestrial mammals, crocodiles, fish and birds can be found in waters and tropical forests. In 2011, it was listed by UNESCO as one of the "World's Seven New Natural Wonders". A series of multi-shaped islands in Halong Bay is like a paradise on earth, especially when the seesaw boat shuttles between them, it will make people feel the time and space backward.
Legend of Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay means the descending dragon bay in literally. There are many legendary versions. The most famous one is this: At the beginning of Vietnam's founding, foreign enemies invaded the country. God sent the mother dragon to bring a group of dragons to help defend the enemy. When the enemy ships attacked from the sea to the shore, the dragons spewed out countless pearls and turned them into stone islands, connecting them into a solid wall. After the enemy collapsed, the mother dragon and the child dragon fell in love with the bay and did not want to return to heaven. Thus, the mother dragon landed in the bay, and the land where it landed was called the descending dragon bay.
Ha Long Bay Attractions
Cruise Chau Island
Cruise Chau Island is the only earth island in Halong Bay. There are many two-floor buildings in the eastern part of the island that are particularly eye-catching. One of the octagonal red-tiled buildings, nestled among pines and white sandalwoods, was the resting place where President Ho Chi Minh used to rest when he visited Halong bay.
Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba island is the largest island and the most popular island in Halong Bay. There is a large expanse of virgin forest on Cat Ba Island, and the Vietnamese government has designated this virgin forest as a national nature reserve. There are many precious trees growing in the reserve. The forest is home to a variety of rare birds and animals. It is a huge natural zoo and botanical garden. It is a heaven for landscape lovers and active travelers looking to get in amongst nature.
Dong Thien Cung
Dong Thien Cung is a typical karst style cave and one of the must-see attractions in Halong Bay. Covering an area of 3000 square meters, Thien Cung Cave has a complicated interior structure, high ceiling and many floors, consisting of three sub-holes. Dong Thien Cung is like a splendid heavenly palace, where are colorful and diverse giant stalagmites and stalactites that have been formed for millions of years.
Hang Sung Sot
Located on the Bohon archipelago in the center of Halong Bay, about 15 kilometers from the tourist terminal, Hang Sung Sot is one of the most magnificent and beautiful caves on Halong Bay. Covering an area of 10,000 square meters, one of the main features of the Surprised Cave is that there are countless small nests on the top of the cave. After entering the cave, visitors feel as if they are walking under the cloudy sky.
Hon Trong Mai
Located on the south side of Bohon Island, it is about 800 meters away from the Hon Dinh Huong (incense burner stone). Two small stone mountains about 12 meters high, like a pair of wings-winged large chickens standing by a narrow trench separated and standing face to face. Two stone mountains were chosen as the most unique image of Halong Bay. In 2000, Cockfighting Stone was selected as a symbol of Vietnam's tourism industry.
There are 4 fishing villages in Halong Bay World Heritage Area, namely: Ba Hang, Cua Van, and Vong Vieng. When coming here, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the fishermen's life, work and unique traditional cultural habits in the Halong Bay Natural Heritage Area. A marine cultural center will be built in the Wanmen fishermen's village, which will become an important bridge for the Halong fishermen and visitors to the World Heritage area.
How to Get to Halong Bay
To get to Ha Long Bay, you'd better book a package tour among the tour agencies in Hanoi. It is the most convenient way to travel to Halong Bay. In order to get close to Halong Bay from multiple angles, it is recommended that you take a 2 to 3 days cruise trip to Halong Bay and spend a night in the cruise to appreciate its beauty.
Visitors from Ho Chi Minh City and the south area can take the car, train, or plane to Hanoi, and then take a ride from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Most travel agencies in Hanoi can arrange a minibus to and from Bai Chay pier. In general, taxis are reluctant to go to ha long bay because of the problem of returning empty cabs.
If the budget is not a problem, you can also take a helicopter tour of Halong Bay. Take a helicopter from the Vietnam Northern Airlines Service Company and take off from Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi. It takes about 1 hour, but only on Saturday.