Top 10 Halong Bay Facts | Unveiling The Mysteries

Halong Bay, located in Quang Ninh province, is a fascinating tribute to nature’s pure splendor. Its stunning landscape of green seas, towering limestone pillars, and verdant islands have earned it a UNESCO World Heritage site status. However, Halong Bay is much more than meets the eye. There are many Halong Bay facts that you might have never heard of.

In this article, we will go on an intensive journey of this interesting site, diving into the lesser-known features. We encounter incredible geological wonders, enthralling tales, and astounding biodiversity, all of which combine to create Halong Bay an outstanding location just waiting to be found.

1. Etymology Of Halong Bay

The name “Ha Long” is derived from the Sino-Vietnamese language, meaning “descending (Ha) dragon (Long).”

According to local legend, a family of dragons was sent by the gods to aid the Vietnamese in defending their country. The location where the mother dragon descended was named Ha Long, while the area where the dragon’s children gathered became known as Bai Tu Long Bay (Bai: attend upon, Tu: children, Long: dragon). Additionally, the place where the dragon’s children vigorously wagged their tails was called Bach Long Vy Island (Bach: white-color of the foam made when the dragon’s children wriggled, Long: dragon, Vy: tail).

Many of the islands in Halong Bay are named after their distinct shapes, such as Voi (elephant) Islet, Ga Choi (fighting cock) Islet, Khi (monkey) Islet, and Mai Nha (roof) Islet, among others.

As you can see, the names are straightforward, self-explanatory, and easy to remember. These Halong Bay facts offer a simple yet fascinating insight into the wonders of Halong Bay.

halong facts
Halong Bay

2. Geography Of Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay spans an area of approximately 1,553 km2, boasting an impressive collection of 1,969 islands and islets. Stretching along the coastline for 120 kilometers, this magnificent bay offers a vast expanse of natural wonders. King Kong or Kong – Skull Island had been here in 2017 because of its amazing beauty ever!

halong facts
This magnificent bay offers a vast expanse of natural wonders.

At the heart of Ha Long Bay, the core area visited by most Halong Bay cruises covers 334 km2 and showcases a dense cluster of 775 islets. This region forms a striking triangle, with its corners defined by Dau Go Island, Ba Ham Lake, and Cong Tay Island. Amidst this captivating triangular matrix of beauty and grandeur, it’s easy to lose yourself, but rest assured, the adventure is well worth it!

To explore every aspect of Halong Bay’s geography, you can embark on a cruise to traverse its enchanting waters!

3. Climate

Many websites claim that Halong Bay experiences four distinct seasons. However, in reality, the region primarily has two main seasons: a hot and humid summer, and a cool and dry winter.

The average temperature in Halong Bay ranges from 15°C to 25°C, and the annual rainfall typically falls between 2 meters and 2.2 meters. Halong Bay follows a typical diurnal tide system, with tide amplitudes ranging from 3.5 to 4 meters.

If you’re planning a trip, March is considered the best time to visit Halong Bay as it marks the end of winter. With light and simple packing, you can embark on your adventure.

With light and simple packing, you can embark on your adventure.

4. Historical Significance

Halong Bay has a significant historical background, serving as the backdrop for successful naval battles fought by the Vietnamese against three Mongol invasions during the Feudal period. Furthermore, during the Vietnam War, the United States Navy heavily mined many of the channels between the islands, some of which still pose a threat to shipping today.

In Vietnam, the victory achieved in the epic fight against the Mongol enemies holds great importance, and it is a topic that all Vietnamese students learn about as part of their compulsory history education. Although history is not always a favorite subject among students, including myself, it must be acknowledged that Halong Bay played a crucial role in securing Vietnam’s freedom as it stands today.

Since 2006, Halong Carnival has been the spotlight of Halong Tourism Week and the biggest festivity in the bay. Held annually, the festival is a chance for participants to showcase and celebrate the unique culture of Vietnam.

halong facts
Cannon fort in Cat Ba, also known as Point 177, is a historic area located on the top of a hill with a height of 177m.

5. Archaeology

Halong Bay is not just a natural wonder; it also holds traces of prehistoric human existence. This fascinating fact came to light when Vu Xuan Tao stumbled upon a stone axe while gathering materials for his work. The bay is home to three major cultures: Soi Nhu culture (16,000 – 5,000 BC), Cai Beo culture (5,000 – 3,000 BC), and Halong culture (3,500 – 5,000 years ago).

Having existed here for thousands of years, the grotto system features everlasting archaeology values, captivating to learn.

6. Population

Approximately 1,540 people reside in fishing villages like Cua Van and Ba Hang, sustaining their livelihood through fishing and marine aquaculture. Out of the 1,969 islands in Halong Bay, around 40 are inhabited by local fishermen who have transformed once-wild islands into thriving floating villages, such as Sa To and Thang Loi.

To enhance the tourism industry and improve living conditions, over 300 households have been encouraged to relocate to the mainland. Nonetheless, there are still traditional fishing villages that are preserved for visitors to explore.

Cua Van fishing village.

7. Islands

The majority of islands and islets in Halong Bay are composed of limestone, shaped over a remarkable 500 million years. With heights ranging from 50 to 100 meters and a height-to-width ratio of approximately 6:1, these karst pinnacles and islets exhibit sheer, vertical cliffs.

Out of the 1,969 limestone islands, only 989 are named, leaving the remaining 980 unnamed. Many of the untouched wild islands boast steep and treacherous edges, making them too hazardous for exploration.

Co To Island.

8. Caves

Halong Bay is home to three main types of caves: old phreatic caves (such as Sung Sot, Tam Cung, Lau Dai, and Thien Cung), old karstic foot caves (including Trinh Lu, Bo Nau, and Tien Ong), and marine notch caves. Some of the most renowned caves in the bay are Heavenly Residence Cave (Thien Cung), Hospital Cave, Surprise Cave (Sung Sot), Driftwood Cave (Dau Go), and Three Palace Cave (Tam Cung). These caves in Halong Bay are truly spectacular, although some are not open to visitors in order to preserve their integrity.

Sung Sot Cave, also known as Surprising Cave, even has a French name, “Grotte des surprises.” Dau Go Cave served as a storage space for sharp wooden columns built under the water level, used during Vietnamese naval battles against Mongolian invaders’ ships. The exact number of caves in Halong Bay is unknown.

Sung Sot Cave.

9. Biodiversity

Halong Bay boasts a diverse range of ecosystems, including oceanic and seashore systems housing common aquatic species like cuttlefish, oysters, prawns, and panelists. The region also features a tropical evergreen ecosystem with over 1,000 plant species.

The bay’s numerous islands are home to various species, including magnolias, amphibians, and mammals. Therefore, its marine life is rich and vast. While animal sightings during visits to Halong Bay are rare, birds and squids from night fishing activities on cruises can be observed.

halong facts
Halong Bay boasts a diverse range of ecosystems.

10. Awards

In 1962, the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Tourism recognized Halong Bay as a ‘Renowned National Landscape Monument.’ It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 for its exceptional aesthetic value.

In 2000, the World Heritage Committee further acknowledged the bay’s geological and geomorphological significance. Finally, in 2012, the New 7 Wonders Foundation officially declared Halong Bay as one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It is worth noting that the New 7 Wonders Foundation is not affiliated with UNESCO, leading to confusion among many Vietnamese individuals who mistakenly believed it to be an authorized UNESCO organization.

Earlier, Ha Long Bay was ranked fifth among the ten most beautiful places around the world in 2022, according to Canadian travel site The Travel.

Halong Bay – UNESCO World Heritage Site!


Finally, the fascinating facts about Halong Bay have exposed the wonderful treasures that await discovery. We understand the fascination of this remarkable region and offer tailor-made experiences to assure a wonderful vacation at Halong Hub. Whether you are looking for a deluxe cruise or a customized vacation to visit Halong Bay, our staffs are committed to providing extraordinary moments that meet your needs.

Learn more about Halong Hub on our About Us page, or request a quote to begin an unforgettable journey across the breathtaking landscapes of Halong Bay. Prepare to be amazed and make unforgettable experiences at this UNESCO World Heritage site.

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