Located in Quang Ninh Province, Ha Long Bay includes the sea areas of Ha Long City, Cam Pha Town and a part of Van Don island district. With the admirable natural beauty and multiform, special values, Ha Long has become the must-see destination in Viet Nam for domestic and international visitors.
The legend has it that, once upon a time, soon after the Viet people established their country, invaders came. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to the earth to help the Viet people fight against their enemy. When the dragons landed down on the earth, invaders’ boats were rushing to the shore. The dragons immediately turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls challenging the invaders’ boats. The fast boats couldn’t manage to stop and crashed into the islands and broke into pieces. After the victory, Mother Dragon and Child Dragons didn’t return the heaven but stayed on the earth at the place where the battle had occurred. The location Mother Dragon landed is present Ha Long Bay and Child Dragons landed is present Bai Tu Long Bay. The dragons’ tails waving the water created Bach Long Vi (present Tra Co Peninsula).
Tourist boat in Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay covers the area of 1,553km² and encompasses 1,969 islands of various sizes which are mainly limestone islands with tectonic age from 250 million to 280 million years. The process of long geological evolution created the unique Ha Long Bay in the world with thousands of islands which look like fantastic sculptural and artistic works of various graceful shapes such as Canh Buom (Sail) Islet, Trong Mai (Cock and Hen) Islet, Lu Huong (Incense Burner) Islet… All of them are vivid and soulful.
Inside the stone islands in Ha Long are various caves considered as magnificent palaces on the earth such as Thien Cung (Heaven Palace), Dau Go (Driftwood), Sung Sot (Surprise), Trinh Nu (Virgin)… Many people from all over the world to Ha Long have felt puzzled as their vocabulary is not rich enough to depict the splendor of this place.
Sung Sot (Surprise) Grotto
Ha Long is also home to great biodiversity with typical eco-systems like mangrove forest, tropical forest, coral… These eco-systems are where thousands of fauna and flora species concentrates. Some species are particularly rare and can’t be found at any where else.
In addition, Ha Long Bay is also attached to glorious historical pages of Viet Nam country with famous sites such as Van Don – the busy trade port in the 12th century, Bai Tho Mountain – where preserve autography of kings and celebrities and Bach Dang River – witness for two famous naval battles of Vietnamese people against invaders. Also, Ha Long is considered as one of the cradles of human kind with the glorious Ha Long culture in the late Neolithic age through archeological sites as Dong Mang, Xich Tho, Soi Nhu and Thoi Gieng…
Up to this time, some floating fishing villages have still existed in the sea area of Ha Long Bay such as Ba Hang, Cua Van, Vong Vieng, Cap La. Many special tangible and intangible culture values of the coastal area have been preserved in these fishing villages, especially Cua Van fishermen’s dual love songs, dum songs, wedding songs … Visiting these fishing villages, visitors will have chance to study the fishermen’s daily activities as well as typical traditional culture in Ha Long Bay.
Fishing village in Ha Long Bay
In 1994 and 2000, Ha Long Bay has recognized by UNESCO as world natural heritage for its outstanding aesthetic and geographical, geomorphologic values. The UNESCO-recognized zone has the area of 434km². It looks like a giant triangle with Dau Go Island (in the west), Ba Ham Lake (in the south) and Cong Tay Island (in the east) as its three angle points.
Thuy Hang (TITC)