Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay is located in the West side of Northern Gulf and administratively belongs to the territory of Quang Ninh Province. Recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, Halong Bay became the pride of Vietnam’s natural beauty.
Halong bay serves as not only a historical symbol of nature but also an attractive tourist destination.The signature image of the bay includes thousands of limestone pillars and islets covered by greenery rising from deep blue sea. Halong literally means “descending dragon” which comes from a legend telling that when ancestors of the Vietnamese founded the nation, they was invaded by foreigners therefore their God sent them a clan dragons to defeat the enemy. When the boats of invaders approached, they were detained by walls of jewels and jade made by the dragons which led to the victory of Vietnamese. These jewels remained today as the islands and islets dotting the bay. After the battle, having interest in this peaceful land and hard-working, meek people, the dragons stayed instead of coming back to the Heaven.
Tourists coming to Halong Bay might be glamourized by over 1,600 islands, islets and karst outcrops which are unaffected by human activities. Those limestone structured made by the hand of Mother Nature are given names by the locals based mostly on their shapes as Man’s Head, Fighting Cocks, Monkey, Roof, Elephant…These karst tops have sheer, vertical cliffs in contrast with tranquil water face below, with heights ranging from 160 to 330 feet. Inhibited by none, the whole area is filled with wilderness and pure beauty of nature.
Underneath those spectacular limestone pinnacles are caves and grottos many of which have lower chamber below the sea level. The number of caves and grottos existing in Halong now is still not determined yet. All we know is there are still so much more gifts from Mother Nature to be discovered. With a view to preserving the pure beauty and integrity of nature here which has been designated as World Heritage Area, only some of caves are open as visiting sites for tourists. Some most frequently visited are Thien Cung (Heaven Palace) cave, Sung Sot (Amazing) cave, Trinh Nu (Virgin) grotto, Me Cung (Bewitching) grotto and Dau Go (Wooden Tip) Grotto. Every cave and grotto has its own folklore and legend which are created by locals with features reflecting their customs, beliefs and hidden dreams. Inside those caves are various types of structures, sets and scenes that take visitors from one surprise to another. Sung Sot Cave fascinates visitors with hundreds of stone steps while descending the cave before admiring stalactites hanging from the ceiling in many different shapes. Trinh Nu grotto, on the other hand, brings a sense of romance with a made-by-nature stone statue of a lying girl, hanging her hair down and the eyes looking towards the faraway sea in vain waiting for her lover. Moreover, the karst landscape in Halong Bay is not only scenery sites to visit for tourist but it is also of essential importance to the geomorphology history. There are many sites of submerged limestone towers in other places of the world but none is immense like the one in Halong.
With such gorgeous beauty, there is no doubt that Halong attracts over 2 million tourists every year which makes Halong the top destination in the North of Vietnam. Like many other coastal areas of Vietnam, Halong has tropical, humid climate with average temperature ranging from 15 to 25 Celsius degree. The peak season that visitors come to Vietnam for Halong Tour is during the period between late May and early August when it is extremely hot in other areas of the country. The time from January to April can be cold and misty which lowers visibility. It is regular for tropical storms to hit the bay from May to September therefore, tourist might have to modify their agendas and cancel some activities due to bad weather. In November, sunny days with clear blue sky and not so many crowds will be an ideal time to enjoy the magnificent Halong to to fullest.
Apart from sightseeing, swimming, kayaking and pleasure on boats are all-time favorite activities for visitors in Halong Bay. This number-one tourism hub also delights sightseers with fresh seafood caught by the locals. One unique experience that is worth having in Halong Bay is dining in cave. Imagine having a dinner with your spouses, lover or family with sparkling stalactites hanging above and sea tides tapping right outside where you are sitting. It would be a dinner of a lifetime.
Another attraction is the life inside floating fishing villages which serves visitors a whole new sense of life on earth. Without buildings, cars, supermarkets or any other regular facilities, villagers are mainly fishermen spending most of their life on those floating islands making a living thanks to the Sea.
More Halong Bay Histories: http://halongtourvietnam.org/halong-bay-history.html