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Ha Long Bay: Where Vietnam’s Dragon Descended

The thousands of limestone islets set deep into the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay is perhaps one of the world’s most mystical landscapes.

And according to local legend, Vietnam has a Mother Dragon and her children to thank for its most spectacular natural sight.

Ancient lore describes a great battle in which a family of dragons appeared to assist in the defence of a newly developed Vietnam. As the dragons descended, they attacked the enemy by spitting out jewels and jade, which turned into an invincible defensive wall. The invaders were destroyed and the Vietnamese were left with Ha Long or “Descending Dragon” Bay, a stunning reminder of their triumph.

It’s more boring likely that the dramatic landscape with it’s unending karst islets was formed by over 20 million years of erosion from the wind, waves and rains of its tropical wet climate.

When shrouded with a thin layer of fog, Ha Long Bay, is especially eerie, and I much prefer to believe in the dragons.

Have you visited Ha Long Bay? Was it a mystical experience?

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29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great shots =)

    February 1, 2015
  2. beautiful!
    brings back memory
    of boating there πŸ™‚

    February 1, 2015
    • It’s a wonderful experience! Did you also order some fish from the fisherman and have it cooked onboard the boat? We did, and it was so delicious!

      February 2, 2015
  3. Awesome Ha Long Bay pics.

    February 1, 2015
  4. Nice shots, Shelley. Ha Long was also one of my options for this challenge.

    February 1, 2015
    • Thanks Stefano! πŸ™‚ Depth was such a broad category, there were a lot of different options to choose from for sure.

      February 2, 2015
  5. Ha Long bay is amazing. I went there way back in 2006. I went on one of those overnight boat tours and it was such a great experience. Even though it was raining most of the time the landscape was one of the most breathtaking I’ve ever seen!

    February 1, 2015
    • I think the rain could even make that place more magical feeling! I was just on a boat for a few hours (was on a korean tour group with my mom and aunts), but would love to go back and do one of those overnight boat tours. It must’ve been such an amazing experience!

      February 2, 2015
  6. Yes, it really is a stunningly beautiful place. πŸ™‚

    February 1, 2015
    • Similar to Krabi I think, with all the karst formations, but with a very different feeling. Really magical. When did you visit?

      February 2, 2015
      • I haven’t been to Krabi but it looks gorgeous as well! I was in Ha Long Bay last January, actually- just over a year ago!

        February 3, 2015
        • Krabi is well worth a visit too… definitely more beach-y than Ha Long Bay though, that’s for sure…even if the rock formations are similar. πŸ™‚

          February 4, 2015
          • Haha yes, having gone in January I wasn’t so keen to swim, although we did stop at one small beach area to hike up a cliff for gorgeous views of the bay! I feel like that’s probably a common stop for the tour boats to make πŸ™‚

            February 4, 2015
  7. Love your pictures!

    February 2, 2015
  8. This places looks stunning….adding it to my long list of places to visit! πŸ™‚

    February 2, 2015
    • Ha Long Bay is definitely worthy of being on the never ending list of places to visit! πŸ™‚ I’d love to go back and do one of the overnight cruises one day.

      February 3, 2015
  9. Beautiful, Shelley, esp. the cascade.

    February 9, 2015
  10. I prefer the dragon story too πŸ˜‰ Brings back lots of great memories from my trip there many years ago.

    February 9, 2015
    • I’d love to visit again one day, especially with hubby, since he’s never been. The dragon story seems to fit the feeling of the location more, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

      February 10, 2015
  11. Nguyen Minh Tuan #

    Good post but description is very less. Happy to know that you guys have enjoyed a lot there.

    February 20, 2015
  12. Jhoana's Jaunts #

    Great pictures! I have just been there last year and the place is truly beautiful that I blogged about it too. I am amazed at the people who live in Halong going about their daily chores away from most of the things bothering city dwellers like us. There is peace and serenity and contentment there.

    February 22, 2015
    • It’s such a beautiful place! It felt almost mystical to me with all the fog and never-ending karsts as far as the eye can see. It is amazing all the different ways we have of living in the world. Yet another reason to travel…so we can discover more! πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2015
  13. I visited Ha Long Bay i 2013 and think it was amazing! It reminded me a lot of Krabi. We stayed over for a night at one of the islands out there, kayaking and climbing. It’s was beautiful.

    February 27, 2015
    • It IS very similar to Krabi isn’t it? Just a bit of a different vibe. πŸ™‚ Ohh, I wish we had stayed overnight too, but unfortunately I was on a tour, so we just spent a few hours there. Next time, I’ll definitely spend more time.

      February 28, 2015

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