Halong Bay is a popular travel destination in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam with over 1,600 islands, of which 90% are limestone islands. The best way to get to Halong City is by car, minibus or bus from Hanoi which is only 170km away. If budget is not a problem, an hour-long helicopter transfer is also available.
There is a very active fishing culture here, as you can see from the many boats and even “floating villages” that exist in Halong Bay. Local fishermen are also increasingly practicing aquaculture to increase their yields and reduce pressure on the bay’s native fish stocks. Many exotic fish live in the bay, and Halong Bay’s mangrove forests shelter diverse wildlife of all types.
Kayaking is a great way to see the smaller islands and rocks “up close and personal,” and junk boat cruises offer a less intimate (but more luxurious) experience of the bay’s unique features.
Viewed from above, Halong Bay looks like an extremely vivid huge drawing. This is a wonderful and skilful masterpiece of the Creation and of nature that turns thousands of dumb soulless stone islands into fantastic sculptural and artistic works of various graceful shapes, both familiar and strange to human beings. Thousands of islands emerging uneven in the fanciful waves look strong and magnificent but also mild and vivid.
Halong is also home to great biodiversity with typical eco-systems like mangrove forest, coral and tropical forest. It is also home to thousands of plants and animals of numerous species, for example shrimp, fish and squid. Some species are particularly rare and can be found no where else.
With such special values, at the 18th Session of UNESCO’s Council of World Heritage held on 17 December 1994 in Thailand, Halong Bay was officially placed on the list of the World Natural Heritage. In 2000, UNESCO recognized it as the World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values. This confirms the global premier value of Halong Bay.