Halong Bay, A Mesmerizing Experience
Halong Bay in northern Vietnam is located 170km to the east of Hanoi. The bay is famed for its picturesque scenery and unique rock formations. The array of limestone islands silhouetted on the bay’s panoramic views is a truly memorable experience.
Visitors may board one of the junks (replicas of Chinese sailing vessels) so as to tour the bay area. Notable attractions are the numerous caves and caverns which will draw the imagination of the adventure seeker. Taking an overnight sailing trip will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience; kayaking is another delightful option for the active traveler. Swimming in the salty waters of the area is a unique experience which should not be missed. Other thrilling activities include bicycle riding amongst rice paddies, observing monkeys and ascending the Titov Mountain. Even a helicopter tour of the region can be arranged for those desiring an aerial view of the charming scenery.
There is a variety of restaurants located in Halong City, and almost all of them feature Asian cuisine, specializing in Vietnamese rice dishes and delectable seafood including mussels, shrimp and the local speciality, ‘su’ fish.
Colourful legends are recounted about the history of the area. According to ancient tradition, at a time when the Vietnamese were engaged in arduous struggles with Chinese aggressors, the sympathetic gods provided a family of dragons to assist the Vietnamese in defending their homeland. The dragons proceeded to spew out jade and jewels, and these stones are said to have transformed into the islands occupying the bay, joining together to create a huge barrier against the aggressors. The people who were aided by the dragons were able to safeguard their lands and would go on to form the nation of Vietnam. The name ‘Halong’ was given to the place where the mother dragon came down to the earth.