A fifteenth-century Vietnamese king waxed poetic upon witnessing the island world of Halong I Bay, near the Tonkin Gulf: "Hundreds of streams flow around the hills, the wide-strewn islands like a chess board, rising up to meet the sky." "Hundreds of streams flow around the hills," he wrote. Nature's fundamental forces created the most magnificent island landscape on the planet in northern Vietnam, which is considered to be the world's most beautiful. More than 2,000 little rocky islands were formed approximately 300 million years ago within a T. area of approximately 1,500 km'. Each island, which is mostly composed of shelly limestone that has been created in a marine environment, is a labyrinth of caverns, grottos, and winding tunnels.
The stories surrounding Ha Long, which translates as "descending dragon," speak of a dragon sent by the gods to protect the local population from foes who were invading the region from the northern hemisphere. By attacking the attackers with strong tail strikes and ripping up any landmasses in its path, the dragon Ha Long forced the invading forces back through the bay. The enemy were driven away for good, but the islands and caves remained in their place. Because of their gratitude, the locals named the bay after the dragon who had rescued their lives: Halong Bay was born. Today, it is believed that the dragon still exists somewhere in the bay, deep beneath the surface of the water, where it continues to protect and provide for the well-being of the bay's inhabitants.
Today, the dragon defends the almost 300 people who rely on fishing for a living in the bay. The fishing villages do not have streets or a town square; instead, they are floating communities that float on the surface of the ocean. The majority of the population lives in small houseboats with bamboo roofs that serve as both a place to live and a dock for their fishing craft. They will never leave "their" bay and will spend the rest of their lives on or near the ocean. Over several generations, many of these families have navigated the ebb and flow of the tides while going about their everyday lives in boats between the rocky islands.
They consider Halong Bay itself to be their home, as it provides them with sustenance, shelter, and protection. It is simple for the fisherman to seek cover in one of many grottos that dot the islets should a storm roll in from the South China Sea. Tunnels lead to sheltered waters within the rock formations, which are otherwise uninhabitable due to their geological makeup. Over the course of millions of years, the caves and grottos have grown unique stalactite formations that fill dome-like chambers, while stalagmites line the shorelines of cave seas, creating a surreal environment.
|Over 300 families still live permanently in Halong Bay and make their living by fishing. They live on houseboats and houses set on floating rafts.|
Since 1994, settlement among the islands of Halong Bay has been prohibited, with the exception of traditional fishermen and their families, who are officially tolerated since they clean up after the ever-increasing number of visitors who visit the bay each year. As a result, the ecosystem of Halong Bay has remained relatively intact up until this point in time. They are also the hunting grounds for a variety of tropical land and sea birds, including herons, eagles, and parrots, with some species having almost taken over entire islands as a result of the abundance of vegetation and wildlife that inhabits its waters. Fish, crustaceans, and corals find themselves in a genuine paradise in the underwater environment.
Halong Bay is home to over 150 varieties of coral and well over 1,000 species of fish, all of which thrive on the nutrient-rich reefs that surround the area. Submerged in the steep underwater mountains are lobsters, prawns, and crabs who seek refuge in their caverns and cracks. a variety of species that are present The islands are a group of islands The natural paradise of Halong Bay, unfortunately, is also under peril, primarily as a result of pollution caused by development in the neighbouring, extremely productive coal mining regions. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has backed the efforts of the Vietnamese government to safeguard the country's most popular tourist attraction and one of the world's most vulnerable environments.