Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

View from Sung Sot Cave - Ha Long Bay, VietnamHa Long Bay is a part of the Gulf of Bac Bo, and comprises Halong City, the township of Cam Pha and a part of the island district of Van Don. To the south-west it borders the island of Cat Ba, to the east is the sea and the mainland follow a coastline of 120 km. It stretches between the 106º58 and 107º22 eastern meridians and the 20º45 and 20º50 northern parallels.

Ha Long Bay covers a total area of 1,553 sq. km, including 1,969 islands of various sizes, 989 of which have been given names. There are two kinds, limestone and schist, which are concentrated in two main zones: the south-east (belonging to Bai Tu Long Bay), and the south-west (belonging to Halong Bay). The average geological age of the islands are between 250 and 280 million years old.

The densely concentrated zone of stone islands, grottoes and caves, world famous for its spectacular scenery, forms the central zone of Ha Long Bay, which has been listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. This protected site covers an area of 434 sq. km, comprises 775 islands and forms a triangle: with the Dau Go Island (Driftwood Island) to the west; the Ba Ham Lake (Three Shelter Lake) to the south; and the Cong Tay Island to the east. The regions immediately surrounding the area were classified as a national site by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1962.

Ha Long Bay itself was pleasant and peaceful. The water is lovely and refreshing, but extremely salty. You can visit the bay for either several hours or overnight on boat. Kayaking is the most adventurous way to discover Ha Long Bay. You can explore the open sea, hidden grottoes, extraordinary rock formations and floating fishing villages.

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