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Halong Bay travel information

Hilton opera hotel, 5 star and luxury hotel in Ha Noi Vietnam
Area: 208.7 sq. km 
 Population: 185, 228 habitants (year 2001)
 Administrative division:
 - Wards: Ha Khanh, Ha Lam, Ha Trung, Ha Phong, Ha Tu, Hong Hai, Cao Thang, Cao Xanh, Yet Kieu, Tran Hung Dao, Bach Dang, Hon Gai,   Bai Chay, Hong Ha, Ha Khau, Gieng Day, Hung Thang, Tuan Chau
 - Communes: Viet Hung, Dai Yen.
 Ethnic groups: Mainly the Viet (or Kinh)

Halong City, formerly the Hon Gai Town, is the cultural, economic and political centre of Quang Ninh Province. It borders Cam Pha town to the east, the Yen Hung District to the west, the Hoanh Bo District to the north and Halong Bay to the south with the coastline of 20km.

The city is divided into two parts: East Halong and West Halong. The eastern part is an industrial zone where most of the province’s official buildings are also concentrated. The western part, also called Bai Chay, is the animated tourism zone.

Halong (or Ha Long) Bay is one of the most beautiful destinations in the whole of Vietnam. Located in the Quang Ninh province just off the South China Sea, Ha Long Bay derives its name from the thousands of limestone karsts and islands which rise from the waters, jutting upwards like the gnarled fingers of some great aquatic beast clutching at the sky. The legends say that years ago the gods sent a family of dragons to help the people defend against invaders, and the dragons spat out jade jewels which sunk into the bay to create the series of islands and karst formations, blocking the invaders from sailing in. And while the legends may be nothing more than just that, there is no doubt that the views seen in Ha Long Bay are such that they have inspired millions of visitors in their time, and it has been listed as a World Heritage site since 1994.

Ha Long Bay has a medium size of 1,553 square kilometers. It is accomodation of many fishing communities, including the 4 communes of Cua Van, Cong Tau, Vong Vieng and Ba Hang with a population of more than 1,600 people. The residents live on floating houses and boats, making their own lives by fishing and aquaculture.

The bay is a sea islands in tropical wet with 2 seasons: hot and moist summer, dry and cold winter. Average temperature is from 15°C- 25°C. Annual rainfall is between 2,000mm and 2,200mm. Halong Bay has the typical diurnal tide system (tide amplitude ranges from 3.5-4m). The salinity is from 31 to 34.5MT in dry season and lower in rainy season.

Today, Ha Long Bay is considered one of the most popular destinations in Vietnam so far as tourists are concerned. Unfortunately, it reeks of just that: tourism. While the area is stunning in terms of natural beauty, some of that is spoilt by the never-ending throngs of people and the fleet of diesel-powered junks (cheap imitations of the traditional Asian boats) that ferry people to and fro among the islands without any care for the environment, interested only in profiting as much as possible from the tourists. It is almost impossible to experience Ha Long Bay in an idyllic setting, but if you can handle the crowds and the very obvious tourist trap nature of the place, then it is well worth the trip. The best way to experience the bay if you are an adventurous sort is to rent your own kayak and find a secluded spot to relax, but other than that you can always rent a junk for a day cruise or even an overnight trip in the bay.

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Halong travel information

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