Ha Long Bay (“descending dragon bay”), often misspelled as Halong Bay, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994 and one of the most popular travel destinations in Vietnam. It includes around 2000 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. The place’s exceptional scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest. Ha Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.
Ha Long Bay is a spectacular seascape sculpted by nature. 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. Marine invasion of Ha Long Bay has added an extra element to the normal process of lateral undercutting of the limestone towers and islands.
There are two bigger islands, Tuần Châu and Cat Ba, that have permanent inhabitants, as well as tourist facilities including hotels and beaches. There are a number of beautiful beaches on the smaller islands, which can be reached with the help of many local touristic sailing boats. Another attraction you can find is dining in a cave. You can have a romantic dinner with your better half or even throw a big party inside the caves.
According to local tales, when Vietnamese had to fight against invaders they had a family of dragons as protectors. They began spitting out jewels and jade, which turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay. Right after, several rock mountains abruptly appeared on the sea, ahead of invaders’ ships, which struck the rocks and each other. After winning the battle, the dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth, and then decided to live in this bay.