Focus On: Halong Bay in Vietnam

by Jules on April 16, 2012

Halong Bay in Vietnam, 500 million years in the making

Halong Bay is a popular local attraction for both locals as well as tourists from all over the world and has just been announced as one of the New7Wonders of Nature! For tourists, Halong Bay is a World Heritage area; while for locals who literally translate it to “Bay of Descending Dragons,” it is a rich area filled with tropical, coral and mangrove forests. The locals associate a lot of historical value with this place as Halong Bay is the result of 500 million years of limestone rock formation.

When you reach Halong Bay, situated in the province of Quáng Ninh in Vietnam, you may laze around for some time, relax and unwind, however, don’t forget the must-do activities of this famous tourist attraction. You must visit the unique limestone islands of Halong Bay, whose coastline stretches for over 120 km, such as Dinh Huong, Sail, Tortoise and Mans Head. Ha Long itself has thousands upon thousands of caverns, isles and inlets formed out of limestone within its 1,553 square kms. There is no doubt about the fact that exploring these islands is an experience in itself, with nearly 2,000 individual islets. Try kayaking inside the actual limestone caves which contain massive lakes. You can also get out inside the caves and walk designated routes. Or relax onboard a cruise, enjoying the sunrise and sunset whilst on deck, swimming, climbing the mountains and caves, and visiting boathouses of the locals. You can also watch the fishermen go about their daily lives as they live and work on floating villages. Halong Bay provides rich pickings as there are 200 different species of fish here and some 450 species of mollusc.

If you are interested in seeing this exquisite part of northern Vietnam, the best time to travel is between October and April. During these months, the weather is surprisingly pleasant. Other than this time, the summers are extremely humid and hot while the winters are really dry and cold with very little rainfall. Since weather has an important role in making your trip successful or unsuccessful, make sure you take into consideration the timing of your trip.

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