Ha Long (Descending Dragon), one of the most famous tourism hubs of Vietnam, is a small bay in the western part of the Gulf of Tonkin, including the territorial sea of Ha Long City, Cam Pha Town, and part of Van Don Island District, Quang Ninh Province. The harmony of nature with rock, sea, and sky paints the grace of this bay. It has become one of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO twice on December 17, 1994, and December 2, 2000, due to thousands of magnificent islands and caves. If there is a chance to visit or return to Vietnam, this place is an indispensable one to have on your discovery travel list.
Thien Cung Cave
Thien Cung Cave (Heaven Palace) is in the north of Dau Go Island (Wooden Head), which is 4km south of the tourist port. People praise it the most beautiful Cave of Ha Long for its vast and multi-compartment space with numerous limestone stalactites and stalagmites bearing strange shapes.
Dau Go Cave
Located about 300m from Thien Cung Cave, Dau Go Cave is a huge, mossy ancient Cave that the French call “The Cave of Wonders.” Dau Go Cave has a rich diversity of flora and fauna, such as moss, ferns, and woody plants. The Cave is also a different feature compared to many other Caves in Ha Long Bay.
Me Cung Cave
Fanciful and appealing as the name implies, Me Cung Cave (Labyrinth Cave) of Ha Long Bay is always referred to the poetic and romantic beauty. The Cave is located at the height of 25m on Lom Bo Island. From a distance, the Cave door is like a roof rooted deep inside the island’s edge. For visitors, entering the Cave is as real as entering the lavish, magnificent palace of the royals. Like Thien Cung Cave, the Me Cung Cave also has a complex multi-level and multi-compartment structure with countless colourful fantasy stalactites. There is also a small lake called Me Cung Lake with all kinds of corals, black sea cucumbers, etc. well proliferated at the bottom.
Trong Cave and Trinh Nu Cave
Trong Cave (Male Cave) and Trinh Nu Cave (Virgin Cave) are 700 – 800m apart, on the east of the island of Bo Hon. This place is famous for the gorgeous scenery and the touching story related to the names of these two Caves. The name Trinh Nu Cave was because of a horizontal rock that looked like a woman lying with her hand reaching out to the sea. And people named Trong Cave for having a very tall stalactite column that looks like a giant guy standing, looking out to the ocean. On rainy days, you will hear the sound of the wind hitting the cliffs sounding like the drum.
Wholly admiring Ha Long Bay’s magical beauty will be the prominent point of the journey tracing back the origin of overseas Vietnamese.
Titop (meaning the beauty of a charming girl) is located in the southeast of the gulf and is considered one of the most magnificent islands of Ha Long. In the past, Titop Island was barely known by visitors and had the folk name Nghia Dia Island (Cemetery Island) or Hong Thap Tu (Red Cross). The island has a steep bank and an inclined side with endless white sand by the beach. For a trip to Titop Island, visitors can delight in swimming at Titop Beach, admiring the full view of the majestic Ha Long Bay from the top of Titop, or experience kayaking, towed tubing, parachuting on the sea.
Soi Sim Island
For those who are bored of bustle resorts, beaches, and seeking for a place with wild beauty and fresh air, Soi Sim Island (meaning the search of Rose Myrtle) will be a perfect choice. Nestling in the west of Ha Long Bay, about 700m from Ti Top Island, Soi Sim imprints the calm sea, pure nature, and white sand stretching on pristine beaches upon the mind of any comers. On the island, there is a primeval forest with a wide variety of plants, especially rose myrtle, which is the base of its local name Soi Sim Island.
Sung Sot Cave
This Cave nestles on Bo Hon Island, in the area of many famous sights of Ha Long. The French were once taken aback by the beauty of the incredible variety shapes of fossil stalactites that they named the Cave “Grotte des surprises,” meaning the Cave of amazement. Today, the locals call this place Sung Sot Cave.
Cua Van fishing village
One of the most authentic Vietnamese destinations in Hạ Long tour is Cua Van fishing village (literally meaning the fishers’ town with one huge entrance). The peaceful and tranquil feeling of the place will surge over any visitors. More than that, they can learn about fishers’ cultural lives and how to rowboats, cast nets, catch fishes, and shrimps.
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt