Halong Bay - World Natural Heritage
Located in the Northeast of Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is a part of the Gulf of Tonkin, including the sea areas of Ha Long city, Cam Pha town and a part of Van Don island district.
Ha Long has the total acreage of 1553 km2 including 1969 small and large islands in which 989 named islands and 980 nameless islands. Islands of Ha Long Bay include 2 types of limestone islands and schist islands. They gather mainly in the Southeast (in Bai Tu Long gulf) and the Southwest (in Ha Long bay), which has tectonic ages of between 250 and 280 millions of year.
The crowded focusing area of stone islands with amazing views and famously pretty caves is the centre of the world cultural heritage of Ha Long Bay, including Ha Long Bay and a part of Bai Tu Long Gulf. The heritage recognized area is about 434km in acreage, including 775 islands, creating a triangle with 3 tops of Dau Go Island (the west), Ba Ham lake (the south) and Cong Tay Island (the East). The nearby area is the national relic area recognized in 1962 by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
The beauty of Ha Long Bay is firstly in the imposing appearance of nature. Long time ago, Ha Long Bay was dubbed as the wonder between sky by the world cultural celebrity Nguyen Trai. Ha Long Bay is also the place associated with the history of our nation with several renowned attractions including Van Don – which used to be a famous trading port; Bai Tho Mountain – the place retaining writings of many kings and celebrities; Bach Dang River – the witness of 2 illustrious naval battles of our troops and people under Tran dynasty, fighting against Mong – Nguyen invaders.
Moreover, after studying about the artefacts in Dong Mang, Xich Tho, Soi Nhu, Thoi Gieng, archaeologists have proved that Ha Long is one of the bassinets of mankind and Ha Long culture existed at the end of Neolithic period. Ha Long is also a place of high biodiversity with typical ecosystems of mangroves, coral reefs, tropical forests and so on, with thousands kinds of flora and fauna.
Some rare species exist here only. Walking in Ha Long, you will have the feeling of getting lost in a fairy land which was turned into stone. Some islands look like a person looking forward the mainland, the other island looks similar to a dragon flying on the water (Dragon island), another one is in the shape of an old man sitting with a fishing rod (Ong La Vong island). Many others islands include Canh Buom island, Trong Mai island, Dinh Huong island and so on.
Hidden inside those rock islands are wonderful caves including Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot, Tam Cung, etc,. those are really the palaces of nature on the earth. With those values, on December 17, 1994, at the 18th session of the World Heritage Committee, under UNESCO organized in Thailand, Ha Long Bay was recognized as the world natural heritage. In November 2000, Ha Long Bay was one more time recognized as the world natural heritage for its geological values by UNESCO. Those rewards do assert the global value of Ha Long Bay.