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


View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:
http://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=Ha+Long+Bay+-+Vietnam&hl=en&hnear=Ha+Long+Natural+heritage&gl=in&t=m&z=11

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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