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Halong Bay

Halong Bay is home to spectacular calcareous karsts, lovely islands, amazing grottos, unique natural cave systems, and picturesque fishing villages. Ha Long Bay is not only one of the Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations, but it is also one of the top natural world wonders. With its archeological and geological value, historical and cultural ties, and fresh seafood, Halong Bay has become one of the most tourist hot spot for both domestic and international visitors.

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Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the significant Quang Ninh province, on the country's northeastern coast. Ha Long City is the provincial capital. Almost all of the province is mountainous, with plenty of land, water, and natural resources. This province is responsible for over 90% of the country's coal production. There are 1,969 islands in Halong Bay, 989 of which have been named. The province has a total area of 6,099 square kilometers and a population of 1,415,000 people as of 2019.


The Halong Bay was inscribed on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2000, based on its remarkable examples illustrating significant periods in Earth's history and its original limestone karstic geomorphologic features. According to local tradition, when Vietnam was newly created, they had to face fierce invaders coming from the north over the sea. Halong Bay signifies "descending dragon." To aid the Vietnamese in defending their homeland, the Jade Emperor dispatched the Mother Dragon and her offspring to Earth to aid the ancient Vietnamese people in their defense. Many cliffs abruptly arose on the water with the help of Mother Dragon and her children; in front of invasion ships, rocks and each other struck the front ships. The Dragons ultimately swept the invaders from the north and peace was restored to the country of Southeast Asia again.


The Mother Dragon and her progeny did not return to heaven after the fight, instead remaining in the mortal world and taking on human form to assist people in planting, cultivating, raising livestock, reclaiming, and expanding the country. The position where Mother Dragon descended was titled Ha Long. The position where the dragon's children attended upon their mum was named Bai Tu Long (Bai: attend upon, Tu: children, Long: dragon), and the area where the dragon's children squirmed their tails strongly was named Bach Long Vy (in Hai Phong province).


Halong Bay is popular with tourists all year, with the peak season falling between late May and early August. Sailing amid hundreds of limestone islands, visitors can explore the Sung Sot (Surprising) Cave, Thien Cung (Heaven Palace) Cave, Dau Go Cave, Titop (Titov) Island, and the floating fishing hamlet, as well as swim, relax on the beach, or participate in a kayaking program to the neighboring Luon Cave.

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