Ha Long Bay – a magnificent magical destination

 

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.

The 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.

The 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 rainy season.

Historical name
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 of kilometers.”

Gifted Beauty & top sightseeings
In 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.

Viewed 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.

What 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.

The 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 Tours
Saigon

A Glance at Vietnam 9 Days Tour from Saigon to Halong Bay

Saigon - My Tho - Ben Tre - Da Nang - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Halong Bay
With this tour, you will discover the spirit of Vietnam from south to north. You will be surprised by the modern chaos of Ho Chi Minh City, the ancient Hoian city, the royal past of Hue and the elegant Hanoi Old Quarter.
Prices: $840 - $1625, Code: VBT-VCT08
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Alova Cruise

Alova Cruise 2 Days

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi
By combining dedicated services and intriguing destinations, Alova Gold Cruises offers discerning passenger a truly unique cruising experience away from mass of tourist crowds.
Prices: $135 - $176, Code: VBT-HCT01
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Alova Cruise

Alova Cruise 3 Days

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi
3 day explore the mysterious Halong Bay with Alova Gold Cruise you will be overwhelmed by the magnificent scenery and spectacular natural heritage of Vietnam.
Prices: $225 - $312, Code: VBT-HCT02
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Hoan Kiem Lake - Hanoi

Amazing of Vietnam and Cambodia Tour 16 Days

Hanoi - Lao Cai - Sapa - Halong Bay - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - Saigon - Cai Be - Vinh Long - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat - Tonle Sap Lake
With this tour you will discover two magnificent countries in Southeast Asia. At the beginning you will discover Hanoi with its beautiful boulevards.
Prices: $1610 - $2945, Code: VC-VBT20
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Annam Junk

Annam Junk Tour 2 Days

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi
Majestic scenery, exquisite space, refreshing activities... are one of the first comments when you join the tour 2 day cruise on Halong bay with Annam Junk.
Prices: $113 - $156, Code: VBT-HCT03
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Annam Junk

Annam Junk Tour 3 Days

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi
3 day explore the mysterious Halong Bay with Alova Gold Cruise you will be overwhelmed by the magnificent scenery and spectacular natural heritage of Vietnam.
Prices: $136 - $316, Code: VBT-HCT04
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Au Co Cruise Tour

Au Co Cruise Tour 3 Days

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi
3 days cruise trip in the Gulf of Tonkin, including Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Bai Tu Long bay with Au Co Luxury Cruise.
Prices: $560 - $972, Code: VBT-HCT05
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Au Lac Tuan Chau Resort
Address: 151 Le Loi Str., Tuan Chau Island, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Tuan Chau Island
Au Lac Resort is located in the Tuan Chau island, 12km from Halong bay is the ideal place for you both to visit Ha Long bay and sea bathing in a special beach.
Cat Cat Village

Backroads of Vietnam Tour 24 Days

Hanoi - Sapa - Hue - Hoi An - Buon Ma Thuot - Kon tum - Pleiku - Qui Nhon - Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City
With Backroads of Vietnam Tour 24 Days, you really feel the beauty from north to south of Vietnam. You can see from the colonial charm of Hanoi to the modern chaos Ho Chi Minh City.
Prices: Contact Us!, Code: VBT-VCT20
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Bai Tho Day Cruise

Bai Tho Junk Tour 1 Day

Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi
Halong Bay is around 180km due East of Hanoi, about 4 hour drive way. This region, "the Bay of the Descending Dragon", is dotted with more than 3, 000 mountainous islands, each with its own unique landscape.
Prices: $ - $, Code: VBT-HCT06
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Halong Bay Hotels & Resorts
Au Lac Tuan Chau Resort
Address: 151 Le Loi Str., Tuan Chau Island, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Tuan Chau Island
Au Lac Resort is located in the Tuan Chau island, 12km from Halong bay is the ideal place for you both to visit Ha Long bay and sea bathing in a special beach.
Halong 1 Hotel
Address: Halong Road, Bai Chay, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Bai Chay Area
Halong 1 hotel, built in 1935, is the only one that bears the name of the bay and has been listed in The Tourist International Directory for a long time.
Halong Bay Hotel
Address: Halong Road, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Bai Chay Area
Halong Bay Hotel located about 100m from the sea shore, surrounded by magnificent natural landscape is a three stars international hotel.
Halong Plaza Hotel
Address: 8 Halong Road, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Bai Chay Ward
Situated right in the heart of Halong city, on the seashore of the bay with excellent facilities and services, Halong Plaza Hotel is the best choice for business and leisure travelers.
Heritage Halong Hotel
Address: 88 Halong Road, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Bai Chay Area
Centrally located at Bai Chay beach, Halong city. Vietnams Halong bay is located about 160km northeast of Hanoi.
Mithrin Ha Long Hotel
Address: East Hung Thang, Bai Chay ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Bai Chay Ward
Located along Hung Thang Avenue in the district of Bai Chay, the Mithrin Hotel is situated right in the heart of Halong city facing Halong bay.
Saigon Halong Hotel
Address: Halong Road, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Location: Bai Chay Ward
Picturesquely located on the coastal high way leading to Halong bay. Just a few minutes walk from the center of town, Saigon Halong Hotel composes of a 15 story building surrounded by number of attractive villas scattered on the hill side.
Sunlight Hotel
Address: 88 Hung Thang, Bai Chay ward, Halong City, Vietnam
Location: Bai Chay Area
Our Sunlight Hotel always understand that having a traditional value customer is the first factor deciding the development.
Viethouse Lodge Hotel
Address: Tuan Chau Island, Halong, Quang Ninh, Viet Nam
Location: Tuan Chau Area
Viethouse Lodge is located halfway up the hill, situated next to the road that leads to the highest peak of Tuan Chau island.
See Also
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Perfume Pagoda (Chùa Hương) - “the first ranking Southern grotto” 
“Perfume Mount is an ever wish/ With mountains, water, and clouds/ People always ask if this is the top-ranking cavern…” (extracted from “Perfume Mount passion”)
Around 60 kilometers southwest of Hà Nội, Perfume Pagoda is one among the largest and unique religious sites in Huong Son Commune, My Duc District, old Ha Tay (or enlarged Hanoi), right banks of Day River, northern Việt Nam.  
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Tam Coc – Bich Dong is also called “A terrestrial Ha Long Bay”, or the “Vietnam’s second nicest grotto” (to Huong Tich) for its poetic and inspirational natural scenery.  
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