Travel guides

Ha Long bay overview

HA LONG BAY INTRODUCTION:

Spread over the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, the legendary Ha Long Bay covers the regions of Ha Long city, the township of Cam Pha and a part of the island district of Van Don. The bay encompasses 1969 islands of various shapes and sides, 989 of which have been given names. The natural beauty of Ha Long Bay has long been praised and was first recognized as a World Heritage in 1994 by UNESCO. In 2000, UNESCO recognized it as a World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values. This confirms the global premier value of Ha Long Bay.

Two main kinds of islands can be distinguished: Limestone and schist, its formation would date back to 250-280 million years ago. Viewed from above, Ha Long Bay resembles a geographic work of art. While navigating on the green clear water, you feel lost in a legendary world of stone islands, which shapes change depending on the angle and on the light. At the core of the islands, there are wonderful caves and grottoes to be discovered.

Around the Gulf of Tonkin, famous for the three bays that are Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay of which Bai Tu Long Bay is the biggest bay and Lan Ha Bay is the smallest one. Lan Ha Bay covers an area of 70km2 of which 54km2 is under the management of Cat Ba government, the rest belonging to Ha Long government. Ha Long Bay is more than 20 times bigger than Lan Ha Bay. The Bay covers an area of 1553km2 with 1969 islands in the bay. Even Lan Ha Bay is much smaller than Ha Long Bay. It is much nicer, because it is a less touristy area which is perfect for swimming and snorkeling around secluded beaches.

Limestone rock formation around the bay is something that used to be mysterious. By some research that has just been carried out, it can be explained below. The procession of formation can be divided into three main steps below:

Sedimentary rock: This procession was formed for a long time under the earth and this is the beginning of the rock’s formation. It was formed by the tiny cells that come from the dead organisms including corals, oyster’s shell, clam’s shell, fish bones…. It was formed by layers set on each other and between the layers there is a thin connection of sand or mud.

Earthquake procession: Around 500 million years ago, there was a very big earthquake that happened around this area. The tectonic which came from the earthquake made the sedimentary rock come up. There were no islands at the beginning because the rock had a very flat surface. Because at the beginning the rock was young- quite smooth and floppy- it was easy to be eroded by the rain.

Rain erosion and the islands formation: By rain erosion, a huge rock was divided into thousands of islands. Many valleys, caves, grottoes and lagoons were formed, creating the beautiful landscapes you see nowadays. Also, by the erosion made from rain, it made the bottom of the area have a natural half-round shape. That is why around the sides nearby, the islands are always shallow, and it is getting deeper like the shape of the half round.

SUNG SOT CAVE

The Cave is situated in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage area. It is known as Sung Sot Cave or Surprising Cave, located on Bo Hon Island.
Ascending to the cave, the way leading to the entrance is decorated by trees and plants. In the Cave, it is divided into two chambers, decorated by so many amazing stalactites and stalagmites make the Cave become more attractive.
Archaeologists have done much research and have found a lot of evidence related to the pre-historic people.

THIEN CUNG CAVE

It is located on the South-West site of the Bay, 4km away from the Wharf outside of Ha Long city. The way leading to the Cave is covered on both sides by a thick layer of tropical plants. After entering a narrow gate, its 130 meters long girth opens up. Getting into the Cave, you will be astonished in front of a very animated and splendid beauty made by stalactites holding on the ceiling and stalagmites growing up from the ground. On the East wall of the Cave, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with characters of tales. Going out of the Cave we have a sensation of just watching a unique experience. The Cave has been recently discovered and it is considered as one of the most beautiful caves in the Bay.

TITOP ISLAND

This is a very beautiful island with the two sides surrounded by a very big sandy beach. There is one stair-way leading to the top, from which visitors can have good views around both Ha  Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay
It is located on the South-West of Ha Long city. On the 22nd of November 1962, the XoViet astronaut-Ghermann TITOP and Vietnam President HO CHI MINH came to visit the island. In order to memorized the visit, the Vietnam government named the island with the name-TITOP.

KETTLE ROCK

Am Rock (Ấm in Vietnamese) or Kettle rock is situated in Bai Tu Long Bay. It was named Am following a popular story that is a teapot of Jade Emperor who accidentally dropped it into Ha Long Bay, so its handle was broken.

Trong Mai Islet ( flighting cock islet )

Trong Mai is situated on the south-west side of Ha Long Bay, 5 km from the tourist wharf near to Dinh Huong Islet. In a somewhat large expanse of open sea, the island seems to grow up from the bottom of the deep emerald waters. At sunset, the island with the height of over 10 m is bright red and in a somewhat tottery position. Their tiny legs support heavy bodies, and it appears that one strong wave could throw the two stone blocks into the sea. However, hundreds of millions of years have passed, and the Trong Mai is still there. The image of the island is the logo of Ha Long Bay and Vietnam Tourism.

 

HOW TO GET IN CAT BA ISLAND FROM HA LONG CITY

Many travelers have been coming to Ha Long city ( mainland ), some of them want to get on beautiful Cat Ba Island. Therefore, we would like to give you some easy ways to Cat Ba as follows:

1, Ferry from Tuan Chau pier:

- Departure: 7.30 am, 11.30 am, 2.30 pm ( in Winter )

- Duration: 1 hour

- Price: 80.000 vnd / one way ticket

- Tel.: 0332473668, 0332473989

-  Note: There are some more departure times in Summer time

2, Private speed boats from Tuan Chau Pier ( small group only ):

- Depart: any time ( in case you miss the ferry )

- Price: from 700.000 vnd

Note:

- Both the ferry or speed boat to Cat Ba Island will stop at Gia Luan Harbor ( 28 kms away to Cat Ba Town )

-  At Gia Luan Harbor, you can take a green public bus ( that will leave 10 minutes after the ferry arrival ) to Cat Ba Town, the bus costs 30.000 / person

-  If you miss the bus, you can take a taxi easily to the town, it costs from 350.000d/ taxi

3, Tourist boat from Ha Long City to Cat Ba Island: ( around  2,5 hours straight way ).

- Departure: any time

- Price: negotiable depending on kind of group or private boat.

- Note: Expensive option

For more questions or reservations, please contact us for details:

Email: victortoursbooking@gmail.com

Phone/whatsApp: +84 974779870

Reservation: Mr. Victor, Tel. +84 974779870

Address: No. 216, ¼ Road, Cat Ba Town, Hai Phong City