One of the most picturesque areas in Vietnam is where most visitors are in love with the unique charm of more than 300 exquisite limestone rocks in stunning shapes and sizes rising from crytal clear waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Imagine a mystical landscape of turquoise water spinkled with thousands of jagged, limestone islands. The Halong archipelago is one of the world's natural wonders-a bay with more than 3,00 islands, which time, wind and wave have sculpted into fantastic shapes. The best way to appreciate this magical scene is from a junk, cruising between these karst cliffs, which loom like fairy -tale castles, complete with rocky spires and hidden caves. Beacause of its beauty and rich in natural resources, Ha Long Bay has been declared a World Nature heritage by UNESCO in 1994.
In this enchanted setting, you wouldn't be surprised to catch sight of a mermaid slipping from her rocky perch, or a sea serpent rising from the deep. In Vietnamese, Halong mean " where the dargon descends in to the sea", in reference to the bay's lagendary origins. According to an ancient tale, Halong Bay was formed by a dragon, which descended from the northern moutains, gouging out deep valleys with its flailing tail. When the dragon sank into the sea, water flowed into these valleys, leaving thousands of steep peaks to rise above the waves. These cliffs are riddled with caves, some of which are easily accessible. With some magnificent stalagmites and stalagmites, these caverns are well worth exploring.
A junk cruise through Halong Bay is an unforgettable experience. But for the occasional fisherman rowing past in his bamboo coracle, you'll be left alone to enjoy the sound of the waves lapping against deserted beaches. With thousands of unihabited island to explore, the possibilities are endless. Pull into a hidden cove, collect seashells on the beach, and swim in the aquamararine sea. In this enchanted atmosphere, work, deadlines and the stresses of modern life are soon forgotten. Ha Long Bay will soothe your soul and rekindle your belief in magic.