Situated in the Northeast region of Vietnam, Halong Bay is in the Gulf of Tonkin which belongs to Halong City, the township of Cam Pha, and a part of the island district of Van Don. Halong Bay borders Cat Ba Island in the southwest, the East Sea in the east, and the mainland, creating a 120 km coastline.
Halong means “Bay of Descending Dragons”. Not until late 19th century did the name of Halong Bay appear on a French Marine Map. In 1898 a sub-lieutenant named Lagredin, captaining the Avalanse reported seeing a huge sea snake on Halong Bay. This was also witnessed by many of the crews. Whether this appearance of a strange animal looking like an Asian dragon resulted the name of Halong Bay.
Majestic and mysterious, inspiring and imperious:
there is no word to describe fully about this natural wonder – Halong Bay. Halong Bay is pure art, a priceless collection of unfinished sculptures hewn from the hand of nature.
Halong Bay is made up of 1.969 islands of various sizes, 989 of which have been given names. There are two kinds of islands, limestone and schist, which are concentrated in two main zones: the southeast (belonging to Bai Tu Long Bay), and the southwest (belonging to Halong Bay).
In 1994 it was designated a World Heritage site. Visitors cannot help but compare the magical, mystical landscape of limestone islets to other famous ones, but in reality Halong Bay is more spectacular. These tiny islands are dotted with beaches and grottoes created by wind and waves, and have sparsely forested slopes ringing with birdsong.
As one of the must-see tourist attractions in the northeast, Halong Bay attracts the attentions of many flows of visitors, not only locals but also foreigners all year-around. From February to April the weather here is cool and drizzly. The ensuing fog can make visibility low, but this adds an ethereal air to the place and the temperature rarely falls below 10°C. During the summer months tropical storms are frequent, and tourist boats may have to alter their itineraries, depending on the weather.