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Halong Bay

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Halong bay, the bay of descending dragon, is one of the most beautiful places on earth and is a very popular travel destination in Vietnam. Administratively, the bay belongs to Ha Long City, Cam Pha town, and part of Van Don district by the shore of Tonkin Gulf in Quang Ninh province, 170km from Hanoi.

Halong bay, with its outstanding scenic landscape, special geographic and historical features has been twice recognized by UNESCO; the first time in 1994 as Natural World Heritage and second time in the year 2000 as Natural and Cultural World Heritage.
The bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bai Tu Long bay to the northeast, and Cat Ba islands to the southwest. These two bays share similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate, and cultural characters.

Ha Long Bay has a water body of 1,553km2 with 1969 limestone islets in various sizes and shapes, of which 989 islets have been named by people according to their shapes such as sail islet, incense burner islet, pen islet, teapot islet, turtle islet, swan islet and so on... Most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence.

The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate.
Historical research surveys have shown the presence of prehistoric human in this area tens of thousands years ago. Ha Long Bay also marked important events in the history of Vietnam with many artifacts found around in the area.

The erosion of limestone has found not only the shape of islands and islets here but also created lots of cave in the area, some of them boasted most beautiful in the country.
Another distinctive feature of Ha Long Bay is the abundance of lakes within the larger limestone islands, some of them can be accessed by kayak or little bamboo boat through sea level cave or long dark tunnel.

Dotted among the bay are some floating fishing villages where people live on floating houses are sustained through fishing and marine aquaculture

Tourists visiting Ha Long Bay are not only treated to one of the natural wonders of the world, but also to a precious geological museum that has been naturally preserved in the open air for the last 300 million years.

In 2009, the New 7 Wonders Foundation, which runs the New Seven Wonders of the World program, included Halong Bay on its list of nominations as one the World's New 7 Wonders of Nature. On November 11, 2011, the New 7 Wonders Foundation provisionally named Halong Bay as one of them.
Ha Long bay is also a member of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World.