Destination of the Month

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is a naturalist's dream and Vietnam's pride, one of the destinations you don't want to miss when travelling to South East Asian countries. Abundant scenic beauty, archaeological and geological significance, cultural and historical connections, fresh seafood and proximity to International gateways make Ha Long Bay one of Vietnam's most popular places to visit.

Ha Long Bay is a veritable masterpiece of Nature, located at the northeast corner of Vietnam, 165 km from Ha Noi – the capital of Vietnam. In 1962, Ha Long Bay was recognized as a vestige and beauty spot of national significances by Ministry of Culture and Information of Vietnam and recognized as a world natural heritage site by UNESCO for the two categories: The Exceptional and Universal Value of the Landscape (1994) and The Special Value of Geology and Geomorphology (2000).

Ha Long Bay's center area was recognized as a world heritage area by UNESCO and covers an area of 434 sq. Km, including 775 islands, of which 411 are named. The legend tells of a dragon, striking the water with its tail, creating the chains of islands. It can be easily reached via a 3.5 or 4-hour drive by car or bus. You will be able to visit Ha Long Bay onboard a junk, either for a 4-hour cruise, or by spending the night on board. It is bound by Dau Go Island (in the West), Dau Be Island (in the South) and Cong Tay Island (in the East).

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage and a Natural Wonder of the World, the core Ha Long Bay gains and shares its fame with 2 sibling bays, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, together forming a vast sea area known commonly to International tourists as, simply, Ha Long Bay.

The beauty of Ha Long Bay is not only the forms of its mountains, islands and the color of its waters, but also its infinitely rich system of grottos and caves. Each has different scale, shapes and beauty, which makes Ha Long Bay such a fascinating attraction. Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace Grotto) bears a modern and refined trait, while Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto) is ample and grandiose and Sung Sot (Surprise Grotto) appears deeply secretive.

A continuation of Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is surrounded by limestone mountains. With its beautiful sandy beaches, the bay has retained its wild and natural beauty.

Although close to busy Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay has retained its tranquility and wildness. Lan Ha also has hundreds of small deserted yellow and white sandy beaches scattered around the bay.

The Island of Cat Ba is the largest island in Ha Long Bay. Its limestone hills contain numerous lakes, waterfalls and caves. Numerous beautiful beaches and fishing villages dot its shores.

The Cat Ba National Park is home to an extraordinary biodiversity which earned it, in 2004, classification as a global biological pool by UNESCO. The coastline is made up of rocky cliffs, decorated with small white sand coves, but also mangroves. The pure coastal waters are ideal habitat for seals and dolphins, sea turtles, lobsters, corals, oysters and other sea life.

Literally "Where the dragon descends into the sea" in Vietnamese, Ha Long Bay's regal limestone pillars rise from its emerald waters in breathtaking formations. Some of the islands are hollow and house mystical cave systems and sea lakes, just begging to be explored by kayak or swimming. Scenic cruises are the best way to explore this spectacular seascape complemented by rich biodiversity.

Ha Long Bay is a place with a unique landscape, an abundant cave system and lovely beaches. Many traditional and cultural values, historical relics, pagodas as well as shrines remain. Consequently, Ha Long Bay has a lot of advantages to develop many types of tourism such as: ecological tourism, diving, hiking, traditional festivals, sightseeing, studies and researches. Today, Ha Long Bay is one of International and National tourism centers.

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay is September, October, March and April.

Swim and kayak on the emerald-blue waters; hike and rock climb on endless islands; taste fresh local seafood; exercise Tai Chi Class and other delights and, of course, capture the magnificent landscape, whether it is sunrise or sunset. Visit, relish the experience and bring home the memories of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

So, what are you waiting for? Mother Nature is calling you.