Destinations

Majestic Ha Long Bay viewed from a seaplane

The new images of Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh) were taken from one of the two first commercial seaplanes in Vietnam, at an altitude of nearly 1000m.

These images were taken by pilot Pham Duy Long, one of three Vietnamese pilots who piloted the two first commercial seaplanes in Vietnam.

Situated in the North-East region of Vietnam, Halong Bay is a bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, which includes Halong City, the township of Cam Pha, and a part of the island district of Van Don. Halong Bay borders Cat Ba Island in the southwest, the East Sea in the east, and the mainland, creating a 120 km coastline.

Halong Bay is made up of 1,969 islands of various sizes, 989 of which have been given names. There are two kinds of islands, limestone and schist, which are concentrated in two main zones: the southeast (belonging to Bai Tu Long Bay), and the southwest (belonging to Halong Bay). This densely concentrated zone of stone islands, world famous for its spectacular scenery of grottoes and caves, forms the central zone of Halong Bay, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The bay itself has an area of 43,400 ha, consists of 775 islands, and forms a triangle with the island of Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto) to the west, the lake of Ba Ham (Three Shelter Lake) to the south, and the island of Cong Tay to the east.

Halong Bay has many links to the history of Vietnam. For example, there are famous geographical sites as Van Don (site of an ancient commercial port), Poem Mountain (with engravings of many poems about emperors and other famous historical figures), and Bach Dang River (the location of two fierce naval battles fought against foreign aggressors).

It has been proven by scientists that Halong was one of the first cradles of human existence in the area at such archeological sites as Dong Mang, Xich Tho, Soi Nhu, and Thoi Gieng. It is also a region of highly concentrated biological diversity with many ecosystems of salt water-flooded forests, coral reefs, and tropical forests featuring thousands of species of animal and plant life.

With all this in mind, UNESCO recognized Halong Bay as a natural heritage site of worldwide importance in 1994.

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