Ha Long Bay is located in the northeastern part of Viet Nam and constitutes part of the western bank of Bac Bo Gulf, including the sea area of Ha Long City, Cam Pha City and part of Van Don Island District, Quang Ninh Province. UNESCO recognized it as the World Natural Heritage two times.
Ha Long Bay encompasses 1,969 islands of various sizes which are concentrated in two main zones: the south-east (belonging to Bai Tu Long Bay) and the south-west (belonging to Ha Long Bay). The bay has been first recognized as World Natural Heritage since 1994 by UNESCO for the natural beauty, and for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values since 2000. Ha Long Bay covers a total area of 1,553km², including 1,969 islands of various sizes, 989 of which have been given names. There are two kinds, limestone and schist. The average geological age of the islands is between 250 and 280 million years old.
Ha Long Bay has been called by the great national poet Nguyen Trai: “a marvel of the earth erected towards the high skies”. While exploring the bay, tourists will feel lost in a legendary world of stone islands which shapes change depending on the angle and the light. There are many names given to islands according to their shapes and forms such as Hon Dau Nguoi (Human Head Islet), Hon Rong (Dragon Islet), Hon Canh Buom (Sail Islet), Hon Trong Mai (Cock and Hen Islet)… But the beauty of Halong Bay does not consist only in the forms of its mountains, islands and the colour of its waters, but also in its infinitely rich system of grottoes and caves such as: Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace Grotto), Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto), Sung Sot (Surprise Grotto), Tam Cung (Three Palace Grotto), Trinh Nu (Virgin Grotto)… Each is a grandiose and refined natural architectural creation.