The bay of the descending dragon

Located in Quang Ninh Province, north-eastern part of  Vietnam, and about 165 kilometers from Ha-noi, Ha-long Bay was listed by UNESCO as one of a World Natural Heritage Site in 1994 because of its beauty and uniqueness.

The beautiful landscape of Ha-long Bay was known for ages. Even some 500 years ago, a Vietnamese poet named Nguyen Trai praised its beauty in his verse called Lo Nhao Van Don, in which he called it as rocks wonder in the sky.

In the bay, people can see thousands of limestone karsts islands and islets in various sizes and shapes, most of which are uninhabited. It looks like thousands of unique statues jutted out from the sea that forms a spectacular seascape. Unfortunately, it was pretty foggy when I visited the bay.

Some of the karsts islands are hollow, with enormous caves. Most of the caves have also spectacular view inside them. Other small islands support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow water for fishes and any kinds of mollusks. Visitors may buy the fishes and mollusks there for their meals while cruising in the area.

The local believes that those limestone karst islands and islets are actually jewels spitted out by a family of dragons descended from heaven in the area to help their forefathers in fighting with invaders. Upon hitting the sea, those jewels turned into various islands and islets dotting the seascape and formed a formidable fortress against the invaders; thus the name of the Bay of the Descending Dragon or Vinh Ha-long in Vietnamese.

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