Ha Long Bay in Vietnam features numerous limestone pillars, caves, and arches, thanks to changes to the sea and erosion over the years.
Legend says that dragons built these rocks and islands as a way to keep out invaders. In fact, the name “Ha Long” translates to “descending dragon.”
Why Is It Famous?
The unique appearance of Ha Long Bay and its islands has led to its fame. The formations seem like something out of a movie, instead of something created by nature. From a geological perspective, the existence of the bay’s karst formations on the water is unique, attracting a great deal of attention.
Ha Long Bay is in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province. The area includes more than 1,600 islands and islets, most of which are uninhabited, offering preservation. The closest city is Hanoi, which is 103 miles away.
Ha Long Bay includes an unusual karst landscape, something unique as most karst formations occur on land instead of water. You will find 1,960 to 2,000 limestone islets and islands across the over 1,500 square kilometers of space in the bay.
The bay’s limestone is the result of 500 million years of formation throughout a range of environments. These include changes to the sea level and the geological effects those variations bring. The main karst formation of the bay is the result of 20 million years.
Like the areas next to it, Ha Long Bay has Sino-Vietnamese composite terrain that began forming during the pre-Cambrian time. This included the separation of terrigenous, cherty-carbonate, and volcanogenic sediments in the Phanerozoic period.
Events in Time
The Bay has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. Experts have conducted historical research surveys and determined prehistoric people lived in Ha Long Bay tens of thousands of years in the past.
Geologists find the unique karst landscape of Ha Long Bay appealing as this is unlike most environments where you can find karst. The landscape is the result of millions of years of formation and erosion due to the presence of the sea.