Ha Long Bay is one of the world’s natural wonders and is the most beautiful tourist destination of Vietnam. Ha Long Bay features more than one thousand awesome limestone karsts and islands of various sizes and shapes along the 120-km coastline of Bai Chay Beach.
Its waters are host to a great ersity of ecosystems including offshore coral reefs, freshwater swamp forests, mangrove forests, small freshwater lakes, and sandy beaches. The folk tale has it that the dragons descended from heaven to help locals by spitting jewels and jade to the sea, forming a natural fortress against invaders; these precious stones are represented by the lush green outcrops. Several islands boast beautiful grottos and caves with contiguous chambers, hden ponds and peculiar stone formations. The bay is about 170 kilometers northeast of Hanoi and 3,5 hours by road.
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Ha Long Bay is the center of a larger zone including Bai Tu Long to the northeast and Cat Ba islands to the southwest. It was recognized as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1994 and listed in the New 7 Wonders in 2012.
History & Tales:
While Hanoi\'s old name is Thang
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Dragon), Halong literally means Descending Dragon. And like many other Vietnamese towns’ names, Ha Long Bay has the origin from a legend. Once upon a time, Vietnam was invaded shortly after they started building the country. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to help Vietnamese people. The dragons emitted from their mouths many pearls, which then turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls stopping the invaders’ boats.
These boats crashed into the islands and broke into pieces. Vietnamese won the battle thanks to the tricky battle field. After the victory, the dragons decided to stay on the bay and the pearls still remained. The location that Mother Dragon landed is then called Ha Long Bay and where Child ones descended is Bai Tu Long Bay.
The annual temperature of Ha Long bay is 22.8 Celcius degree, suitable for tourists to travel all year round. The best time to visit is from March to August, because during this time, tourists have the chance to shoot exotic photos with blue sky and sea as smooth as mill pond. It’s cloudy and rainy in autumn and chilly in winter. Especially, the period between August and October is the typhoon season.
What to do
Visitors to Ha Long shouldn’t miss Bai Chay beach (Scorched Beach – close to the coast of Ha Long Bay), whose sand is dark. People often mistakenly think that this is due to the climate or lack of wind in this area. However, the weather here is quite pleasant and the temperature is around 22oC. From Bai Chay, you can hire a boat and go out to the bay, where you will find some of Southeast Asian most fascinating limestone islands. Taking a cruise trip around Halong is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Bay (More about cruising in Halong Bay).
The limestone formations are both bizarre and awesome. They are Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace Cave) - 4km from the wharf outside of Ha Long City, Dau Go (Wooden Stakes Cave) – 8km south of Bai Chay, Bo Nau (Pelican Cave) , Trinh Nu (Virgin Cave) – 15km south of Bai Chay, in the island range of Bo Hon, in the system comprised Sung Sot (Surprise Grotto), Dong Tien Lake and Luon Grotto, etc.
Besides Ha Long Bay, there are Mong Cai – the border city with China (visas must have been sourced in your home country), Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City and Tuan Chau Island – a newly developed tourist resort. One can spend between 3 and 5 days visiting and experiencing the beauty of the Bay.
Ha Long Bay, situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and relatively unaffected by human influence.
The geomorphology of Ha Long Bay is known as a drowned karst landscape due to the exceptional combination of its limestone karst features which have been subject to repeated regression and transgression of the sea over geological time. The limestones of Ha Long Bay have been eroded into a mature landscape of fengcong (clusters of conical peaks) and fenglin (isolated tower features) karst features, modified by sea invasion at a later stage.
The smaller islands are fenglin towers of 50m to 100m high with height. Many have vertical walls on all or most sides and these continue to evolve by rock falls and large slab failures.
Marine invasion of Ha Long Bay has added an extra element to the normal process of lateral undercutting of the limestone towers and islands. The most conspicuous feature being the main notch cut into the entire rocky coastline. Notches are a feature of limestone cliffs worldwide, but those of Ha Long Bay are exceptionally well developed and, at many sites, extend into arches and caves. This process of undercutting and subsequent erosion maintains the steep faces of the fenglin karst towers and thereby perpetuates the spectacular nature of the landscape.
A distinctive feature of Ha Long Bay is the abundance of lakes within the larger limestone islands.
Extensive limestone caves represent another important feature of Ha Long Bay, with three main types able to be identified: old phreatic caves formed below the water table of the
Welcome onboard - cruises overnight on Halong bay
Sailing through World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay with mystical limestone karsts jutting out of emerald green water is an idyllic experience not to be missed. We have designed and fitted our boats to international standards while maintaining traditional Junk styling combined continental stylish, creating the perfect balance of modern.