The Ha Long Bay ( Vietnamese : Vinh Ha Long ) is an approximately 1,500 km ² large area in the Gulf of Tonkin , northern Vietnam . According to official figures stand 1969 limestone, mostly uninhabited islands and high cliffs, sometimes several hundred meters from the water. The limestone plateau on which the bay is home to sink. in 1994 declared the Best of the bay to the World Heritage Site .
The name of Vinh Ha Long (Han nom:泳下龙) means “bay of the subducting dragon” as opposed to Thang Long – Ascending Dragon (the old name of Hanoi). According to legend, the bay was formed by a dragon who lived in the mountains near the sea. As he ran to the coast, he moved with his cock deep furrows in the land which was flooded by the sea, after the dragon dove into the water.
Geologically, the current in the bay was formed by a Holocene drowned cone karst . The grottoes and caves in part, as some beaches are also only accessible at low tide. Many of them are green, then covered over with plants that exist on the larger, often with dense jungle . In the caves, such as Hang Tong (Drum Grotto) and caves such as Hang Dau Go (Wooden stakes Cave and others), there are bizarre stalactites and stalagmites . Some of the forces of nature have formed regular passages through the rock.
Halong Bay is located in the northeast of Vietnam in an area which ranges from E106 ° 56 ‘to E107 ° 37′ and N20 ° 43 ‘to N21 ° 09′. The Bay stretches from Yen district on Hưng Hạ Long City and Cam Pha District to Vân Djon, it is bordered to the south and southeast by the Gulf of Tonkin and the north by China. In the west and southwest of the area bounded by the island Cát Ba. ² The bay has a 120 km long coastline and nearly 2,000 islands covering an area of 1.553 km. The UNESCO World Heritage designated area is still at least 434 sq. km with 775 islands.
The largest with 354 km ² island is Cát Ba , on the 12,000 islanders primarily from fishing, oyster farming and the increasing tourism to live. The greatest elevation is about 330 m. In the 1970s and 80s years, she was the starting point of the flight of many so-called boat people . During the wars against the French and Americans were some of the islands and caves to large camps for refugees and the sick and as a supply depot expanded. Sun existed on Cát Ba in a cave to a hospital, where were staying temporarily up to 300 people.
Halong Bay is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam. In recent years, however, were increasingly reported accidents due to poor safety standards. On 17 February 2011 died eleven tourists from England , Australia , France , Japan , USA , Russia , Sweden and Switzerland as well as their Vietnamese guide, as their pleasure boat sank. Another accident occurred on 8 May 2011, as an excursion boat of Hai Long Co Ltd with 28 French tourists on board off the island Thurs Can capsized. All boat occupants could be rescued. There were similar accidents there in 2002, 2006, and 2009. According to BBC Vietnam is expressed by some British and Australian tourists who had visited the Halong Bay, to the extent “that they consider themselves lucky to be alive” and that they were not surprised by such accidents, as all the tourist boats ” very old. “