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Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Its emerald waters dotted by countless limestone pillars and abrupt islets topped by lush patches of forest, Halong translates as 'where the dragon descends into the sea’. The legend tells that this mystical seascape was created when a holy dragon sent by the Jade Emperor spat out pearls and jades to form barriers preventing incursion by northern invaders. While the geological explanation of karst erosion is more realistic, it doesn't make this incredible seascape any less poetic.

Recognised twice as a UNESCO World Heritage site, in 1994 and 2000, Halong Bay is clearly Northern Vietnam's number one tourism hub and is located only 150km from the capital Hanoi. Most visitors reach the bay via a drive of about 4 hours from the capital, to join 2 or 3 day cruises. The overnight cruise boats offer full accommodation while you are touring some of the nearly 2,000 islands and islets found in the bay and enjoying the numerous on-board and off-board activities such as swimming, kayaking, trekking, sightseeing, dining in a cave or rock climbing.

Halong Bay attracts visitors year-round, while the best time of the year to visit is April-May or October. January to March is often cool and drizzly with ensuing fog which can make visibility low. From August to September, tropical storms occasionally occur so cruise boats sometimes must alter their itineraries to avoid inclement weather.

INTERESTING KEY FACTS
Number of islands and islets in Halong Bay
1,969

Number of islands and islets in Halong Bay
Surface area of the core zone of Halong Bay
1,553 km2

Surface area of the core zone of Halong Bay
 UNESCO World Heritage Site
2000 C.E

Recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site for outstanding geological and geomorphological value
Age of limestone in Halong Bay
500 million years

Age of limestone in Halong Bay
UNESCO World Heritage Site for outstanding, universal aesthetic value
1994 C.E

Recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site for outstanding, universal aesthetic value
Halong Bay, Soi Nhu culture
18,000 B.C

Date of the 1st ancient culture in Halong Bay, Soi Nhu culture