The name Ha Long is derived from the Sino-Vietnamese, meaning “Descending Dragon”. According to local legend, when Vietnamese had just started to develop into a country, they had to fight against invaders. To assist Vietnamese in defending their country, the gods sent a family of dragons as protectors. This family of dragons began spitting out jewels and jade. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, linking together to form a great wall against the invaders. Under magics, numerous rock mountains abruptly appeared on the sea, ahead of invaders’ ships; which struck the rocks. After winning the battle, the dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth, and then decided to live in this bay.
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Ha Long Bay features about 2,000 limestone karsts and islets in various sizes and shapes. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. [Wikipedia]
Ha Long Bay was the main reason for my travel to Vietnam this year. It was on my list in 2010 when I visited Cambodia and Thailand. But, I was unable to fit it to my schedule.
This year, I put Ha Long Bay at the top of my bucket list and on the third day of the travel I boarded Marguerite Junk operated by Vietnam Impressive Travel. I have been told that one has to be lucky to get two sunny days in a row in Vietnam in August, the most rainy month of the year, which averagely consists of 20 rainy days. And, thanks God, I got lucky! The sky didn’t drop a tear during my two days and one night trip to Ha Long Bay.