Last Updated: 7th Jun 2012
The almost surreal landscapes created by the limestone tors and islands that rise out of Halong Bay in the North East of Vietnam have drawn travellers, photographers and adventures to the region for hundreds of years.
Now one of the most visited destinations in Vietnam, the region has a distinctly Chinese feel about it; however the name of the bay is drawn from a legend associated with defending the land against the Chinese. ‘Halong’ means ‘Bay of the Descending Dragons’ and local myths state that when the Chinese once tried to invade the land, the Gods sent a family of dragons to help protect the locals. The dragons created the islands that now rise up out of the South China Sea and even up until the 1800’s, sailors reported seeing ‘dragons’ in the seas around the bay.
Contiki Tours that travel to Halong Bay stay overnight on a Junk boat cruising amongst the picturesque islands.