One of the main natural tourist attractions of Vietnam is Halong Bay, known for its caves, limestone islets and rock formations that emerge from the water. Tourists enjoy taking cruises here onboard the typical local junks.
Halong Bay is located in the Gulf of Tonkin, in the province of Quang Ninh and is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
A local legend tells that, during a battle between Vietnamese and Chinese, the gods sent dragons to help the former. The dragons spit out jewels against the invaders, which turned into the islets of the bay.
In fact, according to scientists, the bay was formed through a process of orogenesis, with rising and lowering of the sea level over time.
Halong Bay is home to about two thousand limestone islands with several caves. The most famous is Hang Đầu Gỗ, renamed by the French "Cave of wonders": particularly interesting for a visit, it contains many stalagmites and stalactites.
Some of the islands are inhabited, mostly by fishermen. Others are equipped with tourist facilities.
Do you suddenly feel like leaving for Vietnam now?