Halong Bay in Vietnam – UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in Quang Ninh Province of Vietnam, has been famed all over the world for years. More and more nature lovers and vacationers have been exploring the marvelous destination and praised it highly from the bottom of the heart. If you inevitably hold the passion and curiosity for the legendary Bay, keep reading to get the in-depth look at Halong Bay right here.

Quick Facts of Halong Bay to Remember

  • Official English Name: Halong Bay
  • Administrative Location: Halong City, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
  • Area: 1553 km2 and 1200 km coastline; including more than 3000 islets with the body of water
  • Population: Around 1600 inhabitants living in the floating fishing villages like Cua Van, Vong Vieng, Ba Hang, and Cong Tau.
  • Notable recognition:
  • In 1962: Officially recognized as Renowned National Landscape Monument by Vietnam Tourism Authority
  • In 1994: Admitted as UNESCO World Heritage Site by UNESCO
  • In 2003: Became a member of Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World
  • In 2012: Acknowledged as One of New 7 Wonders by New7 Wonders Foundation

Geological Formation and Value of Halong Bay

It’s revealed that the geological formation of Halong Bay has the history of over 500 million years. The changes took place between the growing and sinking of the mountain, the marine degradation, and the encroaching sea. In the past, Halong used to be described as below:

  • Odovic – Silua Era: the very deep sea
  • Cacbon – Pecmi Era: the shallow sea
  • Plaogen – Neogen Era: the coastal region

Besides, two significant events that contributed to the incredible beauty of Halong today were:

  • The big ancient marine limestone accumulation that reached over 1,000 meters: 340-240 million years ago.
  • The Karst erosion era: more than 20 million years ago.

You can see Halong Bay as a remarkable illustration for Karst era. The Bay reflected the blend of geological and climatic elements such as the thick limestone combined with tropical weather of Vietnam, and the slow tectonic uplift. What’s more, the unique caves, karst lakes and towers, and valleys of Halong were geologically formed by the consistent erosion procedure of rain and sea tides. In general, the geological system in Halong can be divided into 3 major patterns:

  1. The vertical pattern: The highest and oldest caves.
  2. The horizontal pattern: The middle-age caves.
  3. The cutting and erosion of water streams created the patterns with inestimable biological, geological, and oceanographic merits.

The Legend of Halong Bay

The legend behind the name of Halong Bay does inspire and mesmerize the tourists all over the world. Literally, “Halong” means “The Descending Dragon.” Here is the legend of the fairyland for your thoughtful reference.

During the early formation of the old Vietnam, many cruel enemies from North wanted to invade the country, and the ancient Vietnamese had to fight against them. Then, to help the Vietnamese protected the country, the Jade Emperor let the Mother Dragon and her children descend on earth. The divine entities incinerated the invaders with the magical fire and giant emeralds. Magically, the Dragons’ emeralds were scattered around the sea battlefield and created the unconquerable wall that drove the evil fleet to sink. And the result was that peace came back to Vietnam once the enemies were swept away. Later, the divine wall of the emeralds became many islands and islets of various sizes and shapes. How about The Mother Dragon and her children? Did they come back to heaven? Well, they preferred staying in Vietnam, turning into human form, and helping others to plant, build the castle, spread the country, etc. To commemorate the divine help, the ancient people named the Bay where The Mother Dragon descend as “Halong Bay” and the bay where her children descend as “Bai Tu Long” (meaning “Thanks to the Dragon’s Children”).

Great Potentials for Halong Bay Tourism

Halong Bay is obviously marvelous, unique, and valuable. Numerous beautiful words have been used to describe the legendary Bay day after day. So, without a doubt, this destination is the biggest gem that Vietnam has in order to introduce Vietnamese Tourism to the worldwide contexts.

First of all, Halong Bay Tour cannot be completed without the luxurious and relaxing Cruise Trip. Halong Bay Cruises are the ideal options for everybody to rest, enjoy sightseeing, and even to sleep well. As one the world’s most gorgeous boating destinations, Halong owns a wide range of cruises that brings the tourists to the natural caves, floating villages, far-off islets, and more. The view of the peaceful and mystic serenity is perfect if you see from the standard cruises. Besides, the facilities and services on board are mostly guaranteed that is correspondent to your chosen range of cruises. Relaxing and sleeping on the 5-star cruises one night or more, you will feel like it’s the 5-star floating hotel. Even the finicky passengers feel satisfied with what the Halong cruise services and most of them have shared and published online their real experience with the tourists worldwide.  The seafood served on board is very scrumptious, and the most notable ones are lobster, crab, prawn, lamprey, and clams.

Next, Halong Bay is blessed with many natural places of interest that are all ideal for eco-tourism in which you get immersed in primitive nature to feel refreshed. The most remarkable attractions should always include the Kissing Rocks (or Fighting Cocks), Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island, Tuan Chau Island, Surprise Cave, Dau Go Cave, Ti Top Beach, Ba Trai Dao Beach, and Cua Van Floating Fishing Village. As said, there are more than 3,000 islets in this destination and please know that each islet is marvelous and worth exploring.

In each of the renowned attractions in Halong Bay, the tourists find it energetic to try out lots of desirable activities. The water activities to play in the relaxing beaches and islands are swimming, scuba diving, sunbathing, kayaking, parasailing, and squid fishing. Renting the equipment for these services is easy.

That is what people frequently enjoy in Halong Bay, but if you’re looking for something new and interesting, there stand out several wonderful options. Halong Bay Helicopter Tour or Seaplane Tour is the modern highlight to experience. You now can take a helicopter or a seaplane to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay in an easy, comfortable, and quick manner. What could be greater than contemplating the Bay of the Descending Dragon as the free birds in minutes? You will surely love this exciting experience to view Halong Bay via the “birds’ eyes” which is uninterrupted and impeccable.

The other special enjoyment to try in Halong Bay is dining in a cave restaurant. This refers to the fact that you will enjoy the meals in the magnificent limestone caves in which lots of ancient oh-so-surprising stalagmites and stalactites are hung above the heads. They look extremely mystic and beautiful, and you will even feel heartier to enjoy the appetizing meals in the space of soft music and nice view.  The caves have witnessed lots of sweet proposals.

Then, remember to bring home the unique and fantastic souvenirs of Halong Bay! Just buy for your partner the pretty handicrafts and the decorative items. If you visit the local floating markets, don’t be reluctant to pick up the fresh fruits as well as trying the folksy food in Halong Bay in Vietnam !