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Ha Long Bay

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Ha Long is literally translated as Bay of descending Dragons. The bay is located in the North 170 Kms, or roughly a 4 hour drive East of Hanoi. It covers an area of approximately 1,500 square kilometres and consists of 1,969 mainly limestone and schist islands of various sizes of which 989 have been given names. The islands have an average age of between 250 and 280 Million years old.

 

The actual bay itself covers an area of 434 Sq Kms comprising 775 islands and on 17 Dec 1994 it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in recognition of the areas historical significance to the Vietnamese people and because of its natural beauty. Some of the larger islands have sandy beaches suitable for swimming while others are hollow forming large caves which help add to the breath taking scenery the bay is famous for. In Spring and early Summer the calm waters become very clear creating a magical feel to the bay.

Some of the most well known caves in Ha Long Bay are:

Hang Dau Go cave is one of the most beautiful and most famous of the caves in Ha Long bay. Located on a small 185m high island, it consists of 3 chambers which are accessed by climbing approximately 80 steps carved into the rocks which lead up to the opening of the cave. The first chamber is the largest and contains many large stalactites and stalagmites but the second chamber is often said to be the most spectacular due the central crystal like structure which when hit by light creates a rainbow of colours.

Hang Bao Nau cave is not the largest cave in the area but the view from inside the cave is simply wonderful and takes in the entire beauty of the bay.

Hang Trinh Nu cave. Tunnels through the centre of a nearly 2 Km long island and consists of many uniquely beautiful chambers along its length. Hang Trinh Nu is also known as the Virgin cave & Mid gate cave.

Sung Sot cave is the name given to 2 chambers in the same area as the Trinh Nu cave. The ceiling height in the 1st chamber reaches an amazing 30m and is the reason the chamber is also known as the waiting room.. The French are credited with discovering the cave in 1901 but in reality the existence of the cave was most likely known to the locals for centuries. There are a wide range of attractions, accommodation, tours and cruises available in the Ha Long Bay area with something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

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