Halong Bay is located in the Quang Ninh province of Vietnam. This bay is famous for its more than 1960 limestone, rocky, tall islands which are rich in tropical vegetation. Halong Bay is approximately 579 square miles in size and is home to approximately 1600 fishermen who live in floating villages. The rich bio-diversity of the bay, and its beauty and its history has captured the interest of many throughout the ages. It is classified as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Ho Chi Minh described Ha Lan Bay as ‘the wonder that one cannot impart to others”
There are nearly two thousand tall, rocky islands located in the bay
Ha Long Bay means ‘Bay of the Descending Dragons’ and mythology says the islands were formed from the jewels and jade dropped from the mouth of dragons sent by the gods
It has an area of roughly 1500 square kilometres (579 square miles) it is located on the northeast coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin
The unique islands are formed of limestone and schist, eroded over time to form large columns with some spectacular grottos and caves
Among the most famous islands are Thien Cung (Heavenly Residence Grotto), Tam Cung (three palace grotto), Sung Sot (Surprise Grotto) and Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto) Less than half of the islands have been named, most of the names are based on the islands shape for example Voi Islet (elephant), Ga Choi Islet (fighting cock), and Mai Nha Islet (roof)
Some islands host their own lakes, beaches, caves, grottos or resorts, while many are inhabitable and remain untouched due to their height and steep edges
It was inscribed to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1994 Halong Bay also hosts offshore coral reefs, freshwater swamp forests and mangrove forests
Some of the islands support the community of around1600 fishermen that live in floating villages, who make a living from the waters that contain 200 species of fish and 450 different kinds of mollusks
The geomorphology of Ha Long Bay is known as a drowned karst landscape. The limestones of Ha Long Bay have been eroded into karst features such as fengcong (clusters of conical peaks) and fenglin (isolated tower features)
Ha Long Bay has had a complete karst evolution for 20 million years
Many remarkable geological events in Ha Long Bay’s history have occurred in the last 1,000 years. Some of these include the advance of the sea, the raising of the bay area, the strong erosion that has formed coral, and the pure blue and heavily salted water.