If you are in North Vietnam or even anywhere in the country for that matter, you’d do yourself a great service by heading to the beautiful and grand limestone formations over at Halong Bay. These are truly amazing sites and worthy of its UNESCO Heritage status. In addition to viewing these natural wonders, you can also swim the crystal blue waters, climb these natural structures and even explore the numerous caves here.
The bay has an area of about 1,553 km² and anywhere between 1600 to about 3000 inlets, most of which are limestone and topped with thick jungle vegetation. The area is the result of over 500 million years of formation through different environments and conditions and the rocks themselves over 20 million years under the impact of Vietnam’s tropical and humid climate.
Some of these islets do look like animals. If you see one that resembles a chicken, an elephant or monkey, then good chances are that they are named after them. Such names include Voi Islet (elephant), Ga Choi Islet (fighting cock), and Mai Nha Islet (roof).
What would a Vietnamese site be without any accompanying legend to its beginnings? Halong Bay, when translated means Descending Dragon Bay. Long ago, the Vietnamese were battling Chinese invaders. In order to assist the locals, the gods sent dragons to help defend the country. They spat out jewels and jade onto the water, which turned into the islands and islets we see spurting out from the sea, forming a natural barrier that kept the Chinese out. Enjoying the peace, the dragons decided to settle here. So, don’t be surprised to see one on your trip!
And don’t forget your camera! The scenes at here are truly breathtaking; it’d be almost a sin not to capture some of this magic for yourself. While we’re in the topic of Halong Bay, why not christen your experience a little bit by explore this awesome site aboard the Emeraude, a replica of an early 20th century steam boat?
From north to south and everywhere in between, Vietnam will truly capture your imagination. Colonial structures, regal history, romance, beaches, ancient mysticism, it’s all here and to be experienced via our Vietnam tours.
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