Home > Destinations > Halong Bay: The Stunning Natural Wonder In Vietnam

Halong Bay is one of the most visited destinations in Vietnam. And it is definitely a tourist destination you should go once in your life. Besides beautiful sceneries, Halong attracts tourists all over the world with its unique islands, caves, beaches and legendary stories…

Where is Halong Bay?

Halong Bay is located in northeastern  Vietnam, in the western part of the Gulf of Tonkin, including beaches of Ha Long City, Cam Pha City and a part of Van Don Island District, Quang Ninh Province.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay

The legend of Halong Bay: What does “Hạ Long” mean?

Long time ago, when the Vietnamese were being invaded by foreign invaders, the God sent a family of dragons to come to the earth to help the Vietnamese people fight the enemy. As soon as the ships of the invaders came, the dragons arrived. The dragons immediately spat out a myriad of jewels which soon turned into thousands of islands on the sea, like a strong wall, blocking the moving of the invader’s ships. Therefore, the crew of the invaders crashed into islands and crashed into each other because the ships were running too fast.

Halong features thousands of islands
Halong features thousands of islands of various shapes

The part In the south-west of the bay which borders on Cat Ba Island and 120 km of coastline in the west, with a total area of 1553 km2 including 1969 islands, of which 989 are named and 980 are not named. After the invaders lost and left, the Mother Dragon and Baby Dragons did not return to heaven but remained on earth where the battle took place. The place where Mother Dragon landed is named Ha Long while the one where the Baby Dragons landed is namedBaiTu Long. The place where the white tails of the dragon are located called Bach Long Vy; it’s now calledTra Co peninsula where there are vast smooth sand beach which stretches ten kilometers.

Geographical features of Halong Bay

Halong Bay has two types of islands which are limestone islands and shale islands, concentrated in two main areas in the southeast of Bai Tu Long Bay and southwest of Ha Long Bay. This is the natural creation which is 250 – 280 million years old, which is the result of the repeating process of moving up and down from the mainland to the sea. The process of abrasion and weathering of Karst has created a unique Halong. In a small area, thousands of islands with different shapes, different appearance contribute to the beauty of Halong. The area which owns most limestone islands and many beautiful caves are the central World Heritage area including Ha Long Bay and a part of Bai Tu Long Bay.

Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long Bay

The Central World Heritage Area covers an area of 434 km2 including 775 islands, creating a triangle with its peaks are Dau Go Island (west), Ba Ham Lake (south) and Cong Tay Island (east).

The stunning beauty of Halong Bay – a natural sculpture

Looking from above, Ha Long Bay looks like a giant lively watercolor painting. These are the beautiful and talented sculptures of nature. Each of the thousands of islandson Halong Bay is a sculpture with different shapes and different beauty. Thousands of limestone islands rising on the sparkling waters of Halong Bay, they are both charming and majestic yet so lively. Taking a cruise on Ha Long Bay among thousands of islands, tourists will be lost in a paradise of limestone islands. Tourists will find Halong Bay very lively because each island is in different shapes and has different names. DauNguoiisland looks like a human head is looking to the land, Hon Rong Island looks like a dragon flying over the water; La Vong islandis like an old man sitting fishing -; and CanhBuom Island looks liketwo strong brown sails sufing on the water; Trong Mai Island is where the two chickens are cuddling together on water waves… All are very real and amazing that make us feel like they are not normal islands but soulful and alive ones.

Trong Mai Island
Trong Mai Island

Halong Bay with great historical values

Ha Long Bay is also associated with the glorious history of the Vietnamese people with famous places such as Van Don – the ancient trading port crowded in the 12th century, Bai Tho mountain associated with many emperor’s poems; Bach Dang River – the evidence place of the two great battles of the Vietnamese against the invaders. Not only that, Ha Long is also one of the cradles of human culture with the glorious Ha Long civilization in the Neolithic Stone Age with the famous archaeological sites such as Dong Mang, Xien Tho, Soi Nhu, Thoi Gieng …

Pile site on Bach Dang River
Pile site on Bach Dang River (Spiked poles that General Tran Hung Dao used to repel the Mongols during Mongolian invasion of Vietnam at the Battle of Bach Dang)

Islands and caves in Halong Bay

Hidden in the heart of the limestone islands, many beautiful caves such as Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot, Trinh Nu, Tam Cung … That is actually the natural castle on earth.

Sung Sot Cave
Sung Sot Cave

Halong Bay is a biodiversity site

Ha Long is also home to high biodiversity with some typical ecosystems such as mangrove ecosystems, coral reef ecosystems, tropical forest ecosystems… With thousands of species of animals, the fauna in Halong Bay is extremely rich, diverse as shrimp, fish, squid … There are some other special rare species that can only be found here.

Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

On 17 December 1994, in the 18th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Council held in Thailand, Ha Long Bay officially recognized as the World Natural Heritage. In 2000, Ha Long Bay was recognized by UNESCO as the World Heritage the second time with its geological and geomorphological value. This has confirmed the global value of Ha Long Bay.

Halong specialties: fresh seafood

Traveling to Halong, visitors shouldn’t miss the chance to taste local specialties here. In Halong, visitors will enjoy fresh and delicious seafood caught from the bay. The restaurants in Halong with talented local chefs cooking delicious dishes from seafood such as lobsters, succulent monkfish, plump shrimps, and oysters will give guests a memorable dining experience.

Cha muc - a specialty of Halong
Cha muc – a specialty of Halong

Halong festivals and events

Halong Carnival

The festival is usually held with three main themes: the opening ceremony, the performing arts and the Carnival parade on the streets. The Carnival street parade is the highlight of the festival which has been maintained for many years and plays an important role in Carnival Ha Long. The street parade always attracts local people and visitors to join in.

Halong Carnival
Halong Carnival

Tourists coming to Halong are all overwhelmed in front of the stunning beauty of Halong Bay and have memorable experiences on Halong Bay…

Have you ever had a chance to come to Ha Long – the unique heritage in the world to admire its beauty and discover the secrets that are hidden here?