Halong Bay, located within Quang Ninh Province, in the northeast of Vietnam, covers an area of around 1,553 km2, including approximately 2000 limestone islands and islets covered by rainforests, most of which are uninhabited and unaffected by human presence. Halong Bay was first listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, in recognition of its outstanding, universal aesthetic value. In 2000, it had the honour of being recognised the second time for its outstanding geological and geomorphological value.
According to local legend, during the initial settlement of the country, Vietnam had to fight against invaders. To assist the Vietnamese in defending their country, the Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her child down as protectors. As the enemy ships were approaching, the dragons began spitting out jewels which turned into numerous islands, linking together to form a great wall blocking the path and crumbling those ships. After winning the battle, the dragons were so charmed by the scenic beauty of the Bay that they decided to stay and live here. The place where the Mother Dragon descended was named Halong Bay, and where the dragon's child settled was called Bai Tu Long Bay (northeast of Halong Bay).
Calmly cruising on emerald green waters among thousands of rugged islands and beautiful beaches, then stopping at some of the most spectacular caves through which you can wander, viewing impressive, centuries-old formations – it is the only way to truly experience Halong Bay. Though the Bay's mystical beauty has made it a bucket list attraction within the country, it is possible to find secluded corners to call your own, especially in Bai Tu Long.