Halong Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin, in the north-east of Vietnam, is about 160 km from the capital, Ha Noi. Featuring nearly 2000 islands and islets, Halong Bay covers a total area of 43,400 hectares. Halong Bay possesses unique and outstanding qualities which make it a one of a kind.
Aesthetic value: The limestone karst islands are gradually formed by wind and water erosion, producing a natural landscape comprised of conical peaks and isolated towers. Every island and islet is different from the last, and the variety of shapes that rise from the water presents a spectacular seascape.
Biological value: The natural conditions in Halong Bay have been favourable for the development of a varied ecosystem. The mountains and lagoons within the bay are home to 2,949 species of fauna and flora, including 102 rare species, 17 endemic species found only in Halong and many endangered species listed in the World Red Book.
Geological value: 500 to 570 million years ago Halong was part of the mainland. Halong Bay is the result of a long process of geological evolution whereby tectonic events and erosion have sculpted the landscape. The landscape will continue to change under the impact of the environment, which will take another million years. Halong Bay is truly a precious geological museum which has been naturally preserved for millenniums.
Cultural and Historical value: Halong is an archeological site with humans inhabiting the area from as early as 16,000–5000 BC. The discovery of human bones, stone tools and stone jewellery inside limestone caves has long proven the existence of ancient civilisation, leading to Archaeologists' claims that Halong is one of the cradles of mankind.
Halong Bay limestone mountains
Halong Bay from Titov island
Sunset on Halong Bay