Halong Travel Guide
The word Halong means Bay of the Descending Dragon and this is where over 3,000 craggy limestone rock islands, topped with thick jungle vegetation, rise out of the emerald sea. Many islands reach towering heights up to one hundred meters with sheer vertical cliffs on all sides. Some of the islands support floating villages of fishermen, whilst others are hollow and contain dramatic caves. The mysteries of Halong Bay are best explored by boat and many traditional wooden Vietnamese junks sail the waters every day. Halong Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The evolution of the islands in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. Many of the islands have acquired their names as a result of their unusual shapes, such as Voi Islet (elephant), Ga Choi Islet (fighting cock), and Mai Nha Islet (roof). A community of around 1,600 people lives on Halong Bay in four fishing villages, however birds and animals including bantams, antelopes, monkeys and lizards also live on some of the islands.
Halong Bay's Attractions:
Cat Ba Island
Rugged and craggy, it is the largest island in Halong Bay and is home to the scenic Lan Ha Bay which offers excellent opportunities for fishing and kayaking. The coastline around the island is dotted with fishing villages while the interior is wild and untamed with forests and lakes.
Titov (Titop) Island
This is a small island with a beautiful crescent-shaped beach, where the sand has been washed to a snowy white by the tide.
Hang Dau Go Cave
Also known as Wooden Stakes Cave, this cave contains three large chambers full of stalactites and stalagmites and is reached via 90 steps.
Hang Sung Sot Cave
Also known as Surprising Cave, it is home to three astonishingly beautiful chambers and a popular fertility symbol.
Often referred to as Drum Grotto because when the wind blows through the many stalactites and stalagmites, visitors think they can hear the sound of distant drumbeats.