HA LONG CITY
Ha Long is the capital city and 1st-class provincial city of Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. The name Ha Long means "Descending dragon". The city was created in 1993, when the old capital, Hon Gai, was merged with Bai Chay – the main tourist area. The city mainly lies on Hạ Long Bay. It is located at about 178 km east of Hanoi.
Hạ Long city is divided into two parts: East Hạ Long and West Hạ Long. The eastern part, Hòn Gai, where most of the official buildings and industry are concentrated, is connected by bridge with the western part, Bãi Cháy, considered to be more of a tourism attraction.
Visiting Ha Long City and you can experience very diverse natural landscape, varying from long sandy beach to thousand-year-old-lime karst. Discover what you will see as you make your way to this natural wonder. The below is the highlights of Ha Long City, which we want to introduce you.
Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth and a must-see if visiting Vietnam tours. Situated in the Northwest west of the country in Ninh Binh district it is a 600 square mile paradise. A UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its significant scientific importance and geological beauty, it has, in recent, years become a magnet for people searching for peace, tranquility and something special. Its name means Bay of Descending Dragons and as normal in Vietnamese culture it is steeped in myth and legend. The bay itself was formed over millions of years as the sea cut out the softer rock and left the limestone karsts, that form the 1960 islands.
It is a remarkable land and seascape and home to thousands of species of rare flora and fauna. The largest island here is Cat Ba. More than half its land mass is given over to the Cat Ba National Park. It is home to the Cat Ba Langur, one of the rarest mammals in the world. Hundreds of cruise boats ply their trade in the bay and this has become easily the most popular way of seeing what the bay has to offer. The boats slip gently round the area taking in important caves and islands. Popular activities include kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, barbecues and sun bathing.
In the north eastern corner of Halong Bay is another bay which is just a beautiful as its more well known neighbor and is a protected area, established in 2001 and one of seven amphibian national parks within Vietnam. The Bai Tu Long National Park, is a superb biosphere and conservation area.
This is a truly wonderful part of the world. The aquatic and terrestrial regions of the park, make up an area of sixty one square miles, of pure nature at its best. Five distinct kinds of ecosystems are to be found here: Rain Broad Leaves Forest, Limestone Forest, Littoral Forest, Coral Area and Shallow Water Area. The broad green leaves forest, mainy consisting of secondary forest is home to 494 species of flora and fauna. Endangered species like the Cycas Balansae, a plant in the cycad genus, the Leopard Cat and the large Indian Civet are all to be found here. The Limestone Forest area also has rare animals like the Rhesus Macaque and the Sumatran Serow a large goat antelope type of creature. The Littoral Forest consist of small areas that surround the islands. Nineteen different Mangrove have been discovered here, as well as huge numbers of molluscs, crustaceans, marine worms and enchinoderms, which are the group that contains starfish. The coral area is to be found in shallow and is home to many types of fish and sea creature. Finally The Shallow Water area covers a large part of the sea around the islands and extends beyond the tidal area for up to two and a half miles.
With thousands of islets of different shapes and sizes on its surface, there are countless stories about them in Halong Bay. Among those beautiful islets, there are two most special chicken shaped rocks, one rooster and one hen facing each other in the middle of blue water and gentle wind of Halong. They are not only the symbols of Halong but also the symbol of a passionate love. While to some others, these rocks seem fighting each other and they call them Fighting Chicken Rock, people seem to prefer the name Kissing Rocks. The rocks that have been facing each other for probably hundred thousand years, like an eternal love.
Ha Long Bay is so beautiful and so Fascinating that it is perfectly fine to simply sit on board a sampan or junk, enjoy the luxury of your cabin and public space and gaze from the deck as the incredible scenery floats quietly by. Skipping in and out of the hundreds of small islands means that the view is a constantly changing one. Most of the cruises do though, include excursions to see one or more of the many attractions in the area. One of the most popular of these is the Sung Sot Cave.
The name means the surprise cave and it certainly lives up to its name. The cruise boat will drop you off on Bo Hon Island and wait for you. The walk to the cave is a delightful one. Surrounded by lush green foliage you have to climb about one hundred steps up the side of a hill. The view from the top is stunning as you gaze out across this fabulous World Heritage Site. Close to the top is the mouth of the cave. This is in two separate halves, the first being an large space similar in size to a concert theatre. This has natural light filtering in from above and illuminating the many stalactites that hang from the ceiling. The second chamber and main part of the grotto is enormous. The ceiling rises 100 feet about your head and the floor space, big enough to hold one thousand people at a time measures an astonishing 110,000 square feet.
The cave is deep and at its deepest point there is a ‘Royal Garden” where small bumps on the floor give the appearance of a mountain terrain. The is a pond and fig trees, cycads, and banyan trees grow. Groups of monkeys are often here as they come in searching for food. It is a strange subterranean landscape unlike any other. The electric lighting has been made in different colours and give an artificial grotto appearance to the whole place, but it is not an unpleasant effect. The stalagmites and stalactites are absolutely huge and near to the exit there is a fine example of a column, where the roof has, over millions of years met the floor. It is a truly fascinating place and totally worth making the effort to see.
Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace Cave) is located in the southwest of Halong Bay, 4 km away from Dau Go Island, which is considered the most beautiful primitive cave of the Bay. The cave is 10,000 square meters with complicated interior structure, many floors, and high ceiling. The cave becomes famous thanks to a unique system of stalactites and stalagmites with different forms and shapes. Exploring Thien Cung Cave’s craggy cliffs is no easy task. Going through a narrow door, you would be surprised by a large space inside the cave that the further you walk, the more beautiful formation of stalactites come to your eyes. On the wall of the eastern side of the cave, an impressive picture of stalactites and stalagmites give tourists the most fantastic feeling ever.
The travel guide would never forget to tell you legends or folk tales interpreted from the picture by the local Halong people. Make full use of your imagination to create pictures of fish schools, flocks of birds, and the daily life of people from a giant natural rock pillar all naturally sculptured by stalactites inside your mind when you come to the center of the cave. Above your head, on the ceiling of Thien Cung Cave, amazing rows of stalagmites drooping through million years that create colorful pictures and melodies thank to the light and the wind flowing inside the cave. Leaving the cave, tourist would feel a lingering sensation like just finish a tour to a massive art museum created by the Mother Nature.
Tuan Chau Island has an area of more than 4km², and in the east and south are two beaches endowed with very white and fine sand. In Tuan Chau, the Octagonal House where President Ho Chi Minh rested in 1962 became the memorial site. The island also has many archaeological sites pertaining to the ancient Ha Long culture of the late Neolithic age from 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.
Visitors can go to Tuan Chau Island via the 2km cement road from the mainland. Investments have been poured into the island to turn it into a modern tourist resort. It includes such fascinating extras as the dolphin, sea lion, and seal-performing club, animal circus club, golf court, cultural-sports centre, etc.
Especially, in the south of the island is Tuan Chau International Port built on an area of 200ha with 2 terminals and the system of restaurants, supermarket, souvenirs shops and entertainment area. The port has been into operation since 2016 with capacity of 2,000 boats and thousands of visitors at the same time.
- 30 April 2019: Deadline for submission of full-text reports.
- 20 June 2019: Deadline for notification of the acceptance of the author's report and form of presentation (oral or poster) at the conference