Ha Long Bay is more than just a place to see. More than a landscape. And more than a simple travel plan. It is a unique piece of nature, part of the new Seven Wonders of the World. It won its notoriety after UNESCO decided to include it on the list of World Heritage Sites, in 1994.
Ha Long Bay was just one of my many dreams, until last year when I firmly decided to choose Vietnam as one of my itinerary destinations. Now, I do not regret a thing: bad roads, traffic jam, 180 km in 4 hours. I made a day trip from Hanoi, it was the best option so I could see both places.
As I was approaching, I could see in the distance – behind the fishing farms, – the towering cliffs that rose up from the blue sea.
Are you afraid of dragons?
Hope not! The history of Vietnam is strongly marked by cruel wars. This place also is, in their legends. It is said that when the Vietnamese people established here, more than 5000 years ago, they had to fight strong invaders. They were coming by ship from the North to destroy this country. But the Jade Emperor sent his best army to fight, from the Heaven: the Mother Dragon and its children. Sending fire and giant emeralds in the sea, they created a wall in front of the country. The ships of the enemy had sunk.
After thousands of years, the emerald walls turned into rocks of different shapes. So, this strange landscape we can see today was created.
The translation of Ha Long is descending dragons. Little Further, there is a place named Bai Tu Long, meaning Thanks to the Dragon’s children. Due to this legend, it is said, in other legends, that the Vietnamese people are descending from the dragons.
In reality, Ha Long Bay formed in more than 500 million years of natural changes.
- it is one of the most beautiful bays in the world;
- ancient civilizations established here – the scientist discovered vestiges dated back 5000 years ago;
- it contains over 1600 islands, reaching 3000 with all islets and small rocks;
- most of islands and islets are uninhabited and not affected by the humans at all.
- area covered: 43,400 ha
- there are four floating villages where the fishermen live. The total population reached 1,600.
Spectacular outside…and inside, too!
Do you think you’ve seen everything? No, no, no! Ha Long Bay hides a lot of striking caves. Some of them are lighted and have a path special designed so that anyone could enjoy them.
I visited Tien Cung Cave, a huge interior that left me the feeling that the entire cliff was emptied and decorated with the strangest forms stalactites and stalagmites, then elephants, birds, tigers, human faces and…Budda!
Ha Long Bay in photos
Now I’ll let you enjoy the photos I took at Ha Long Bay. And promise me you’ll put this place on your travel list! Don’t think it’s far away! Think it is worth it!