If one imagines a majestic and magical place in Vietnam wherein many islets and islands appear like sculptures created by nature's hands, one will see the beauty that is Ha Long Bay. However, one's imagination will not do justice to the real thing. One should visit Ha Long Bay to truly see the breathtaking vision that has drawn countless visitors to the country.
Anyone who has seen Ha Long Bay will not wonder why the area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Often compared to Phang Nga in Thailand and Guilin in China, the bay features about 1,600 limestone islands and islets with naturally crafted grottoes. Aside from islands, Ha Long Bay also has a number of lakes within the bigger limestone islands. The area is also home to different kinds of limestone caves such as phreatic caves, karstic foot caves and marine notch caves.
Ha Long Bay (or Vinh Ha Long) means 'Bay of the Descending Dragon.' According to legend, the islands were created by a dragon from the mountains. When it plunged into the sea, the area was filled with water.