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Halong Bay: Cruise Into Another World

There’s one holiday destination that offers a true kind of magic and mystery: Vietnam. In Halong Bay you will experience magnificent views of thousands of limestone karsts with fascinating shapes jutting out from emerald waters [sometimes partly hidden by fog], floating villages, mystical caves with deep grottoes, lakes hidden within hollow limestone islands, beautiful beaches and more.

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Take a Halong Bay cruises to explore this modern day paradise and you’ll discover why the destination, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994, is now considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Dragons, Elephants, Roosters and More

Located in the Quáng Ninh province in northeastern Vietnam and bordered by the Gulf of Tonkin on the south and southeast, a Halong Bay tours promises awe-inspiring scenery and an almost magical experience. Even the name is mystical: “bay where the dragon descends into the sea” is the rough translation of Halong Bay. Cruise into the bay and one can almost see the dragon of legend, plunging into the water, and fancy the various formations as places where its flailing tail shaped the formations.

It is also easy to visualise the animal shapes that inspired the name of some of the islands that can be seen on a Halong Bay cruises. Around the bay you can see the islets with their quirkily descriptive names: Elephant Islet (Voi), Fighting Rooster Islet (Gan Choi) and more. Real animals, however, such as bantams, antelopes, monkeys, lizards and a great number of birds inhabit the islands, of which only a portion have been named. Practically all of these islands are considered fenglin karsts – a term for tower-shaped karsts that translates as “peak forest”. They range in height from 50m to 100m, and have height/width ratios of up to about one to six.

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Magical Caves, Lakes and Beaches

Another interesting feature are the lakes you will see in the interior of limestone islands. Dau Be Island alone has six enclosed lakes, as well as cave grottoes that can be visited by boat during low tide. Dau Go Island, on the other hand, is known for its large and colourful cave which has many stalactites and stalagmites, some of them more than 20 metres high. Bo Hon Island has two caves that are popular attractions, Pelican Cave (Hang Bo Nau) and Virgin Cave (Hang Trinh Nu.) The most popular destination on a Cruises Halong Bay  is probably Cat Be island, a national park popular for hikes and tours.

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