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Bai tho boat in Ha Long Ha Long - Vietnam rowing in Ha long bay Tai Chi in Ha Long

Ha Long Overview:

Ha Long Bay, situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and relatively unaffected by human influence.
The geomorphology of Ha Long Bay is known as a drowned karst landscape due to the exceptional combination of its limestone karst features which have been subject to repeated regression and transgression of the sea over geological time. The lime stones of Ha Long Bay have been eroded into a mature landscape of fengcong(clusters of conical peaks) and fenglin (isolated tower features) karst features, modified by sea invasion at a later stage.
The smaller islands are fenglin towers of 50m to 100m high with height. Many have vertical walls on all or most sides and these continue to evolve by rock falls and large slab failures.
Marine invasion of Ha Long Bay has added an extra element to the normal process of lateral undercutting of the limestone towers and islands. The most conspicuous feature being the main notch cut into the entire rocky coastline. Notches are a feature of limestone cliffs worldwide, but those of Ha Long Bay are exceptionally well developed and, at many sites, extend into arches and caves. This process of undercutting and subsequent erosion maintains the steep faces of the fenglin karst towers and thereby perpetuates the spectacular nature of the landscape.
A distinctive feature of Ha Long Bay is the abundance of lakes within the larger limestone islands.
Extensive limestone caves represent another important feature of Ha Long Bay, with three main types able to be identified: old phreatic caves formed below the water table of the time; old karstic foot caves formed by lateral undercutting of cliffs at base level; and marine notch caves formed at sea level where rock structures are powerfully eroded and eventually reduced to a wave cut platform.
In summary, Ha Long Bay possesses a tremendous diversity of caves and other landforms which derive from the unusual geomorphological process of marine invaded tower karst. These areas provide a unique and extensive reservoir of data for the future understanding of geoclimatic history and the nature of karst processes in a complex environment.(Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC)




Tourist Attractions in Ha Long

Cruises in Ha Long

Cruises in Ha Long

There are many kinds of luxury cruise in Ha Long nowadays that you can chose for your 2 or 3 days trip in Ha Long Bay. They all have an office in Ha Noi and even in Ho Chi Minh City.
You may take your private transfer from Ha Noi to Ha Long or join-in their shuttle transportation for cheaper price if you are single or couple travelers. The pick-up time is around 7: 15- 8:00 AM and from your stay. Some of them have an English speaking guide to join you on the bus but some others are not. There are English or French speaking guide on board. If you need for special language, your tour guide can embark the boat but will be charged.
Embarking time is around 12:00 – 12:30 PM, depend on each cruise.
There are some activities as sightseeing the caves, the floating market, swimming and kayaking, Tai Chi exercise in the morning…



Cua Van Floating fishing village

Cua Van Floating fishing village

Offshore of Ha Long, there is 4 fishing villages they named Ba Hang, Cua Van . Vong Vieng and Cap La which Cua Van is the biggest one.
Cua Van village situated at Hung Thang commune, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province and around 20km far from Ha Long’s wharf. Cua Van is surrounding by many islands. It is about 170 houses and their main earn for their livelihood is fishing. Travelers will see how they breed the pearls, the clams and fishes as well.
Their houses are the anchoring boat, simple but clean. Some “wealthy “ families have television sets, tables and chairs. Their “ Commune People committee “ also is a floating house and you will surprise to see as there is a Bank there.
In addition, visiting a fishing village at Cua Van, travelers will certainly to be lured to see the local classes for local children. There are 7 classes and this is the first floating classes in Ha Long. Students is at quite different ages and the mainly classes just for the grade 1 and 2.



Thien Cung Grotto

Thien Cung Grotto

The beautiful Thien Cung Grotto situated on the South- East of the bay, around 4km offshore from Ha Long wharf , Quang Ninh province.
The entering gate is quite narrow but open up large inside.
There is a legend that the Dragon King and a young lady were falling in love and have had married in this grotto. On the walls and on the top of the grotto you can imagine to many pictures even of that tale and other shape such as bird, fish, flowers …
The name Thien Cung means the Palace of Heaven.



Dau Go cave

Dau Go cave

Dau Go cave is one of the most beautiful caves in Viet Nam, situated in Dau Go Island, Ha Long Bay and around 6 km far offshore from the wharf of Ha Long.
Dau Go cave is around 5000m2. The entry of the cave is 17m wide and 12 m height.
The same like Thien Cung Grotto, Dau Go is a very old cave which has around 2 million year ago. Inside the cave, there are many imposing pictures that made by the beautiful stalactite and stalagmite.
That is a wonderful gift from nature that no one can convey. The beautiful nature brings us the deep feeling that we can’t describe by word or tell to anyone. Just come and see and feel them.



The kissing cocks

The kissing cocks

The Kissing cocks ( Hon Trong Mai) situated in the South- East of Ha Long Bay, 5km from Ha Long wharf, near Dinh Huong Island.
In the immense sea, the two rocks with the shape of a cock and a hen are kissing that standing out on the blue sky. Their height is around 10m from the water. Their heavy bodies are standing on their small “ legs” that looks they may fall down at anytime but still staying there in thousands years.
There are many photos and paintings about those two cocks and they became one of the features of Ha Long Bay.



Tuan Chau Island

Tuan Chau Island

Tuan Chau is a very pretty island which stands out of others on the South – West site of Ha Long City. It is around 2km from the mainland that you can reach by a cement road.
This island has named as a Garden of Eden with the beautiful nature and a pine forest.
It has an area of 2.2 km2, and to the east and south are two men made beaches endowed with very white, fine sand. The octagonal house where President Hồ Chí Minh stayed when he vacationed here has now become a memorial site. Nowadays, Tuần Châu Island is one of the most attractive destinations in Hạ Long City.
Tuần Châu is in an important position at the entrance of the waterway system of Thăng Long, Bặch Đằng and Vân Ðồn. This is why in the feudal time, the royal army set up a guard station here to patrol and defend the borderland. The Office of Feudal Customs was also installed there.
There are many villas in front of the beach, on the hill and on the pine hill. Many hotel as Morning Star Hotel , Tuan Chau Resort ( five star)



Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is situated in Cat Hai district, Hai Phong City. That is the largest island in the Bay with the surface 265km2 and approximately half of its area is covered by a National Park.
Cat Ba Island means "Women’s Island" (Cat meaning sandy and Ba meaning women). Legend has it that many centuries ago, three women of the Tran Dynasty were killed and their bodies floated all the way to Cat Ba Island. Each body washed up on a different beach and all three were found by local fishermen. The residents of Cat Ba built a temple for each woman, and the Island soon became known as Cat Ba.
We can reach Cat Ba Island from Ha Long Bay, by boat or from Hai Phong by the ferry. At this present time, Cat Ba increases on infrastructure including building of bigger roads, dams to build harbors and to protect Cat Ba Town from flooding, consistent electricity being brought to the island instead of having to rely on a generator, and large ferries and barges, able to transport trucks and cars to the Island from the mainland, made it easier for tourists to visit the Island, leading to a rapid increase in tourism.
There are now 3 & 4 star Hotels in this island and the most attractive is its nature with nice beaches.



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