Monday, 27 October 2008

Halong Bay of VietNam - a World Heritage Site

Recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site since 1994 for it thousands of natural islands, Ha Long Bay is a legendary world,, and one of the most magnificent scenic spots in Vietnam as well.

The permanent beauty of Ha Long is created by three factors: stone, water and sky. Ha Long’s island system is multicolored with a variety of shapes and can be regarded as a water-color, a work of art. The islands, scattered all round, have different shapes which provoke the imagination: Dinh Huong (Incense Burner) implies spiritual significance, Ga Choi (Fighting Cocks) the symbol of Viet Nam tourism, Con Coc (Toad) recalls the passage of time, waiting thousands of years to seek justice in Heaven. There are islands that resemble a resplendent throne, a Vietnamese mother’s curved back carrying her child, a roof, an old man, a human head and so on.

Within the bigger islands are great attractions. Dau Go Cave (Wooden Stakes) dazzles the senses with many huge stalactites hanging poised in mid air and stalagmites growing majestically upwards. Then there is Thien Cung Grotto (Heavenly Palace) with its small, narrow entrance, but inside looking like a marvelous palace, and many other caves each has its own attractions and beauty.

Ha Long’s sea is always the same, blue, smooth and still. Ha Long has its own beauty by seasons. In Spring, buds of trees burst on limestone islands. In Summer, it is cool and clean with many sparkling sun rays reflecting from the sea’s surface. In Autumn, especially at night, moonlight illuminates the mountains so they appear like gold, inlaid into the earth. In Winter, with pervasive frost, Ha Long is glamorous as “a floating flower basket on smooth wave”

The bio diversity value

Bio-diversity is an important natural resource and needs to be preserved and conserved to maintain the ecological balance of the whole region. Bio-diversity is the general term used to reflect diversify and abundance in nature and includes all living things.

The total number of plant species living on the rugged islands in Ha Long Bay is still not known, as many islands remain unexplored. There are probably over a thousand species of plants, the distribution of which is not uniform. Instead, several different communities (species of plants that always grow together) are found, such as: mangrove, seashore plants, those of the slopes or sheer cliffs, the summit plants and those that grow around the mouth of caves and in gullies. .

In 2002 a survey on assessing and auditing Ha Long Bay’s bio-diversity was conducted by management authorities and researchers. They surveyed 9 areas in Zone 1 of the World Heritage and all sites had maintained its bio-diversity and species diversity, and more new species were discovered.

( from

Do you feel Halong Bay is beautiful?

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