Ha Long Bay
The Ha Long Bay area is about 600sq miles. It is situated in gulf of Tonkin, to the North of Vietnam, just over 100 miles east of the capital HA NOI.
The landscape has some 2,000 islands and islets, some of them such as Quan Lan and at Ba are actually inhabited. The bay also includes numerous creeks, beaches and natural cave systems (internal lakes).
Some of these islands have hidden caves, some of them open to visitors. The most famous being Sung Sot Cave (the grotto of surprises). A few of these caves also served as hideouts during the Vietnam war.
The area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994.
Ha Long literally means “descending dragon” in Vietnamese. The legend has it that this exceptional landscape was formed by the dragon (benevolvent being in Vietnam) descending into the sea to tame the marine currents. During the struggle, its tail cut slices through the mountain and the with the water level rising , only the highests tips remained visible above the surface.
Ha Long bay is one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam.
In 2010, the Quang Ninh province (home to Halong bay) received more than 1,500,000 visitors.
Even if some people believe that the bay is victim of its own success, this site is so splendid that it remains a must-see during a trip in Vietnam.
When on a boat cruise in Ha Long Bay, meandering in between the inspiring limestone pillars, let yourself be mesmerised by the atmosphere of the Jade Sea.