Vietnam - Halong Bay panorama

Halong means ‘dragon descending’

In Halong Bay, limestone karsts rise from emerald green waters while traditional Vietnamese junks sail slowly by. Over 3,000 rock islands are scattered across this bay; according to legend they were formed from pearls placed by a celestial dragon who answered the Jade Emperor’s call to stop an invasion. Enchanted by the bay’s beauty, the dragon and her children then came to earth to live in the bay. Halong means ‘dragon descending’.

Sightings of dragons are rare but Halong Bay’s other glories include tiny fishing villages with floating wooden houses and shops.

Many islands have caves or grottoes which can be seen on visits ashore. Nights on Halong Bay offer the relaxing sound of lapping waters underneath a vast black sky while mornings see the bay’s karsts peeking from hazy mists.