Halong Bay is one of Mother Earth’s most amazing natural wonders and one of Vietnam’s most prized treasures. The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500 sqkm. This extraordinary area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Abundant scenic beauty, archeological and geological significance, cultural and historical connections, fresh seafood and proximity to international gateways make Halong Bay one of Vietnam’s most popular places to visit.
Another exceptional geological feature of Halong Bay is the number of limestone islands which have caves and grottoes within them. The total number of caves has never been determined and there are almost certainly more which are yet to be discovered. In order to preserve the natural state and integrity of the large number of caves and grottos in the World Heritage Area, only some are open to visitors. The most commonly visited are Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace) cave, Dau Go (Wood Tip) grotto, Sung Sot (Surprise) cave, Titop Island and Trinh Nu (Virgin) grotto.
The shapes and formations on the sides and rooves of the caves, many now being part of local folklore and legends, bear witness to the different stages of formation over the ages. Some cave features, such as calcified shell-beds, are the direct result of ancient human activity.
Undoubtedly Halong Bay’s greatest attraction is its natural scenery. The towering limestone outcrops jutting skywards from the emerald-blue waters. The sheer numbers and size of the islands, islets and karsts within the bay serve to humble even the most jaded traveler.
Swimming, kayaking, hiking and of course photography on Halong Silversea Cruise 3 days/2 nights are favorite pastimes for visitors to Halong Bay – one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Vietnam. Abundant fresh local seafood is another delight.
Floating fishing villages are the most popular human attraction. Entire village populations live, work and die on these ‘floating islands’ in Halong Bay. The villagers are mainly fisherfolk and ply the waters around their villages selling their fresh produce to the passing tourist trade.0