It experienced a long history. Many places of the country have been associated with a dragon which was the first of four spiritual creatures. Image of the dragon is a familiar image in the cultural life and spiritual of the Vietnamese from thousands of years ago. Therefore, many areas of the country have been connected with them (Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle, Phoenix). The typical Dragon Place-name is well-known in Vietnam such as: Thang Long (Ha Noi), Mekong river (the North), Bai Tu Long, Bach Long Vi (Hai Phong), Long Bien Bridge (Ha Noi), Nha Rong wharf (Ho Chi Minh), Ham Rong bridge (Thanh Hoa), Ham Rong mountain (Sapa), Long Hai (Vung Tau), and the finally place is Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh) – one of the seven wonders of the world where is known as the place where the dragon alights, so most of the foreign tourists choose Ha Long Bay is where they will go to the first visit in Vietnam.
II. The Legend of Ha Long.
In by gone days, Ha Long which have been formed by geological tectonic is known as a unique natural wonder. Nevertheless, in the minds of the Vietnamese from prehistoric times to the popular imagination and the notion of Dragon and Fairy roots, this formed many interesting legends about Ha Long Bay. The story that most people are spread by word of mouth start from the legend in the founding a state is Ha Long Bay history. When Vietnamese threatened by invaders, the Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to earth to help fight the enemy. When the boat of invader came, dragon sprayed pearls, sea turned into thousands of stone islands to block a fierce attack of the enemy’s boat .The enemy is defeated. Mother Dragon and Child Dragons saw the ground was peaceful. In addition, trees were so lush, and the person was really diligent, hard-working and unite, so they did not return heaven and stayed on earth where the battle had happened. Area that Mother Dragon landed was Ha Long, and Child Dragons alighted was Bai Tu Long .
III. Several elements contribute to the beauty of Ha Long
Talking about Ha Long Bay, people often known to the islands, caves and stunning beaches, but few people pay attention to the things that attached to it as well as helping somewhat to replicate and bring people coming to Ha Long such as: natural conditions, social and human.
The natural conditions are an integral part of creating the beauty of Ha Long Bay. Ha Long locates in northeastern of Vietnam. It is the part of the west coast of North Bay, including the sea area of Ha Long City, Cam Pha town and Van Don island district. Southwest bay borders Cat Ba island to the west by the mainland with a coastline of 120 kms, including 1969 islands, of which 989 islands named and 980 unnamed. There are two types of islands of limestone and schist islands, concentrated in two main areas of the southeast and the southwest. The climate division two seasons: summers and winters. Ha Long Bay is a place with two typical ecosystems is “ecological evergreen tropical moist” and “coastal and marine ecosystems.” In the each large system mentioned above, there are several ecosystems.
A long cultural history, aesthetic asset values, bio diversity and common conditions favorable, all of them create a fanciful natural landscape. With such special values, on 17/12/1994, in the 18th session of the World Heritage Council of UNESCO held in Thailand, Ha Long Bay was officially recognized as a natural Heritage, On December 2nd, 2000, based on the International Convention on the protection of cultural heritage and the natural world at the 24th Conference of the Council of World Heritage. Ha Long Bay was recognized as world heritage 2nd standard value of geology and geomorphology. In addition, the New7Wonders organization’s website. Ha Long Bay in the top 7 was chosen as the new natural wonders in the top 7 of the world on 11/11/2011 (GMT).
Thanks to Ha Long poll be the new natural wonders of the world, the number of tourists who went to the bay are dramatically rising day by day. The statistics show that in 2011, the number of tourists went to Ha Long Bay is 6.6 million people, and there were 2.5 million foreign visitors. In recent years, the number of tourists has visited Ha Long Bay are higher than the previous years. If in 2005, the number of tourists to Ha Long reached nearly 1.8 million people, only three months of the end of 2011, Ha Long has welcomed 2.1 million visitors. This is more than all of 2005 combined.
The first quarter of 2012 was 2.4 million that up to 20% over last year, including 420,000 foreigners. Due formed by limestone terrain Ha Long Bay has many islands and caves. Although it not as good as the Phong Nha (Quang Binh) but a number of caves on the Ha Long Bay is well-known scenic spots, has long become destinations on their journey to visit Ha Long Bay. Therefore, tourists are increasing. This creates a lot of jobs for local workers, promote the socio-economic development, and promote the image of people in Quang Ninh, in particular, and Vietnam in general to the world. It is a tremendous resource that Halong Bay gives smokeless industry. With beauty and the global exceptional value, Ha Long Bay has been attracting more and more tourists from all over the world coming to Vietnam.