Ha Long Bay
is said to be a magic land of natural sea bay beauty, attracting more
and more tourists ever since UNESCO’s recognition of its nature!
Location & Climate
Halong Bay is located in the Northeast of Vietnam,
belonging to Ha Long city, Quang Ninh Province, in the Gulf of Tonkin.
On the world map, it has borders to China in the North and adjacent to
the East Sea in the East .
Bay has a medium size of 1,553 square kilometers. It is accomodation of
many fishing communities, including the 4 communes of Cua Van, Cong
Tau, Vong Vieng and Ba Hang with a population of more than 1,600 people.
The residents live on floating houses and boats, making their own lives
by fishing and aquaculture.
bay is a sea islands in tropical wet with 2 seasons: hot and moist
summer, dry and cold winter. Average temperature is from 15°C- 25°C.
Annual rainfall is between 2,000mm and 2,200mm. Halong Bay
has the typical diurnal tide system (tide amplitude ranges from
3.5-4m). The salinity is from 31 to 34.5MT in dry season and lower in
Literally, “Ha Long” means "Bay of Descending Dragons." Before the 19th century, this name was not recorded in any document or archive. In this term, there is a mysteriously legendary tale as follows
“Long ago, in the first founding days, the Viet people were attacked by
foreign aggressors. The Jade Emperor sent the Mother Dragon and her
band of Child Dragons to help the Viet people fight the invaders. While
the enemy vessels were launching massive attacks against the mainland,
the dragons descended in flocks from the sky. They spat out innumerable
pearls which changed into jade stone islands the moment they touched
the water. These islands linked together to form firm citadels that
checked the enemy’s advance and smashed their vessels to pieces. After
the invaders were driven out, Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons did
not return to Heaven but stayed on earth, right at the place where the
battle occurred. The spot where the Mother Dragon landed was Ha Long,
and where the Child Dragons came down was Bai Tu Long.
The place where their tails violently wagged was called Long Vi, the
today’s Tra Co Peninsula with its soft sandy beach stretching a series
Gifted Beauty & top sightseeings
1962, the Ministry of Culture and Information classified Halong Bay as a
National Landscape Site, covering an area of 1,553 km2 with 1,969 islands. Halong Bay has been recognized twice by UNESCO
as a World Heritage Area for its universal values of landscape, geology
and geomorphology, respectively in 1994 and 2000, an area of 434 sq.
km. including 775 islands.
The dense cluster of 1,969 limestone monolithic islands within the bay is topped with thick jungle vegetation, which rise spectacularly from the ocean. Most
of the islands were formed over 500 million years ago, and massed in
the Southeast and Southwest. Those in the Southeast have an average
height of 50-200m, covering lots of flora. Several of the islands
are hollow, with enormous caves. Hang Đầu Gỗ (Wooden stakes Cave) is the
largest grotto in the Ha Long area. French tourists visited in the late
19th century, and named the cave Grotte des Merveilles. Its three large chambers contain large numerous stalactites and stalagmites (as well as 19th century French graffiti). There are two bigger islands, Tuan Chau and Cat Ba,
that have permanent inhabitants. Both of them have tourist facilities,
including hotels and beaches. There are a number of wonderful beaches on
the smaller islands. The others are Bai Chay, Ti Top, Minh Chau, Quan Lan and so forth.
from above, Ha Long Bay looks like an extremely vivid huge drawing, and
sailing beneath the bay is like leisuring in between a huge valey on
water. Ha Long bay is exactly a wonderfully skillful masterpiece of
Nature that turns thousands of dumb soulless stone islands into
fantastic sculptural and artistic works of various graceful shapes, both
familiar and strange to human beings. Thousands of islands emerging in
the fanciful waves look strong and magnificent but also mild and vivid.
Amidst these islands tourists may feel as if they were astrayed in a
petrified legendary world. The names given to the islands were based on
their shapes and forms, such as, Human head Island, Sail island,
Fighting cocks islands… Inside the stone islands are various
breath-taking caves like Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot, and others. These
are really magnificent palace of many huge stalactites hanging poised
in mid air and stalagmites growing majestically upwards. Ha Long’s sea
is always the same, blue, smooth and still.
is more, the bay has its own seasoned beauty. In Spring, buds of trees
burst on limestone islands. In Summer, it is cool and clean with many
sparkling sun rays reflecting from the sea’s surface. In Autumn,
especially at night, moonlight illuminates the mountains, making them
like gold, inlaid into the earth. In Winter, with pervasive frost, Ha
Long is glamorous as “a floating flower basket on smooth wave” (by
writer Nguyen Tuan). All of them, stone, water and sky, make the Aesthetic value of Ha Long Bay.
Bay’s Geological value is evaluated in two ways: by the history of its
formation and its karst geomorphology. It is also home to the ancient
Viet people beginning from 7,000 to 18,000 years ago, Ha Long’s Cultural
− Historical value. Besides, Bio-diversity is an important natural
resource, to be well-conserved so as to maintain the ecological balance
of the whole region.
Ha Long Bay
is undoubtedly not only a national but also a world nature, a
magnificient work of Natural Creator. People who are admirers of natural
beauty should stand up, pack their luggages, and right away pick up a
flight to Ha Long, or else they will soon feel regretful!
Halong bay tour Information
Bay is definitely a must-see destination in Northern Vietnam. The best
way to enjoy its natural and magnificent beauty is to join a cruise for
one day or more if time allows. Most travel agencies in Vietnam provides
Halong bay tours that depart from Hanoi city for tourists.
those who only have one day in their itinerary to visit Halong, the
best option would be joing a day tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay. As the
time for one day (including transportation time) is limited, this is a
recommended itinerary for a Halong bay tour from Hanoi
from City Insight that cover the most visited attractions in Halong.
Furthermore, if you are seeking for overnight tours in Halong Bay, a Halong bay tour for
2 days and 3 days will be a good choice. Apart from Halong Bay, you can
visit Bai Tu Long Bay, Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay as well as
experience home-stay and cruise overnight.