Ha Long Bay situated in Quang Ninh province in Vietnam – Part 1

Ha Long Bay is a popular travel destination that is situated in Quang Ninh province in Vietnam.

Overview of Ha Long Bay

• It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• The bay administratively belongs to:
– H? Long City
– Cam Pha town
– Part of Van Don district
• The bay features thousands of limestone karsts.
• It also has various isles in many sizes and shapes.
• Ha Long Bay is a center of a larger zone. This larger zone includes:
– Bai Tu Long bay to the northeast
– Cat Ba islands to the southwest
• These larger zones share similar characters of:
– Geological
– Geographical
– Geomorphological
– Climate
– Cultural
• Ha Long Bay has an area of about 1,553 km square.
• This includes over 1,960–2,000 islet.
• Most of these islets are of limestone.
• The core of the bay has an area of 334 km square.
• It has a high density of 775 islets.
• The limestone in this bay has taken 500 million years of formation.
• The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years.
• It formed under the impact of the tropical wet climate.
• The geo-diversity of the environment includes:
– a tropical evergreen biosystem
– oceanic and sea shore biosystem
• Ha Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species.
• It is also home to 60 endemic fauna species.

• The successive ancient cultures are:
– The Soi Nh? culture around 18,000–7000 BC
– The Cai Beo culture 7000–5000 BC
– The H? Long culture 5,000–3,500 years ago

• H? Long Bay also has various artifacts found in:
– Bai Tho Mout
– Dau Go Cave
– Bai Chay
• The bay consists of a dense cluster of over 3,000 limestone monolithic islands.
• These islands have thick jungle vegetation.
• They appear to be rising from the ocean.
• Several of the islands are hollow.
• They have enormous caves.
• Hang Dau Go is the largest grotto in the H? Long area.
• It has three large chambers.
• Each contain large numerous stalactites and stalagmites.
• There are two bigger islands, Tuan Chau and Cat Ba.
• There are tourist facilities including hotels and beaches.
• There are a number of beautiful beaches which are on the smaller islands.

• Ha Long Bay has four fishing villages
– Cua V?n
– Ba Hang
– Cong Tau
– Vong Vieng
• They live on floating houses
• They sustain through fishing and marine aquaculture.
• Over 200 species of fish and 450 different kinds of mollusks are known to be found here.
• Many of the islands have unusual shapes and got their names from them. The names include:
– Voi Islet (elephant)
– Ga Choi Islet (fighting cock)
– Mai Nha Islet (roof)
• 989 of the islands have been given names.

• Birds and animals include:
– Bantams
– Antelopes
– Monkeys
– Lizards
• These islands are individual towers with landscape heights from 50m to 100m.
• Their height and width ratios of up to six
• There is a specific feature of Halong Bay that there are lakes inside the limestone islands.
• Dau Be island has six enclosed lakes.
• All these island lakes occupy drowned dolines within fengcong karst.

Location of Ha Long Bay

• H? Long Bay is located in northeastern Vietnam.
• The bay stretches from Yen Hung district.
• It goes past Ha Long city, Cam Pha town to Van Don district.
• It is bordered on the south and southeast by the Gulf of Tonkin.
• It is bordered in the north by China, and on the west and southwest by Cat Ba island.
• The bay has a 120 km long coastline.
• It is about 1,553 km² in size with about 2,000 islets.
• The area designated by UNESCO as the World Natural Heritage Site.
• It incorporates 434 km² with 775 islets.

Ecology of Ha Long Bay

• Halong Bay is host to two ecosystems:
– a tropical, moist, evergreen rainforest ecosystem
– a marine and coastal ecosystem
• The bay is home to seven endemic species:
– Livistona halongensis
– Impatiens halongensis
– Chirita halongensis
– Chirita hiepii
– Chirita modesta
– Paraboea halongensis
– Alpinia calcicola
• The many islands that dot the bay are home to:
– 477 magnoliales
– 12 pteris
– 20 salt marsh flora
– 4 amphibia
– 10 reptilia
– 40 aves
– 4 mammalia
• Common aquatic species found in the bay include:
– cuttlefish (muc)
– oyster (hao)
– cyclinae (ngan)
– prawns (penaeidea (tom he)
– panulirus (tom hum)
– parapenaeopsis (tom sat)
– sipunculoideas (sa sung)
– nerita (oc dia)
– charonia tritonis (oc tu va)
– ca say

Best time to visit / climate

• The climate of the bay is tropical.
• It has two seasons: hot and moist summer, and dry and cold winter.
• The average temperature is from 15°C- 25°C.
• The annual rainfall is between 2000mm and 2200mm.
• H? Long Bay has the typical diurnal tide system.
• The salinity is from 31 to 34.5MT in the dry season and lower in the rainy season.

Location on Google Maps

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Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:

How to get there?

Independently from Hanoi
There are 4 main ways to transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay:
• From Hanoi, you can take a mini bus from Gia Lam bus station.
• Tickets are bought at the ticket counter for 90,000 VND.
• The ride is approximately 4 hours long.
• Air-conditioning is minimal.
By open bus: US$15 one way, pick up & drop off at Bus Station.
By shuttle bus: Pick up & drop off passengers in the Ha Noi old quarter. Fare about 10 US/ way.

By Train:
• Take cargo train from Hanoi to Yenvien and then to QuangNinh.
• The terminal is about 50km away from the harbor.
• Expect train delays and cancellations without notice.
• Hard sleeper only.
• US$10 one way.

To Get around
The islands can be accessed from various ports:
• Haiphong, a large historic port city at the mouth of the Red River.
• Halong City, spanning a portion of the northern part of the archipelago.
• Cai Rong, a small port serving the north-easterly part of the archipelago.

Some Travel Books on Vietnam

Vietnam (Country Travel Guide) DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Vietnam and Angkor Wat To Vietnam With Love

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.in
Hotels at hotels-in-vietnam.com
Hotels at agoda.com

Blogs / Sites about Ha Long Bay – Vietnam

blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs at halongbay-vietnam.com
blogs at tripadvisor.com
blogs and reviews at whc.unesco.org

Images and photos of Ha Long Bay – Vietnam

images at google.com
images at wikipedia.org
images at halongbay-vietnam.com
images at whc.unesco.org

Videos of Ha Long Bay – Vitnam

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