A Journey down H? Long Bay

H? Long Bay is known as a territoy of outstanding universal value, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.  The bay is located near Ha Long city in Vietnam, and can be found in the Golf of Tonkin. It is famous for its stunning scenic ocean karst topography, and the meaning of the name H? Long translates into ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’ conveying the mysterious beauty of the structure of the bay’s 1,969 islands and islets.

The karst in H? Long Bay is a result of 20 millions years of formation and was created by factors such as a variety of limestone layers, from thick, pale grey to strong, the hot and moist climate and the gradual tectonic process. The bay has a variety of karst formations, from the groups of hills associated with fengcong karst to the steep separate towers of fenglin karst. There are also a myriad of lakes that lie between the stunning limestone islands. Ha Long Bay has created a fascinating formation that various cruise ships now meander through, guiding visitors through the enchanting geography that has spanned centuries. The bay is also full of biological diversity with many ecosystems and a plethora of plant and animal species, with quite a few endemic flora and fauna. In addition, Ha Long Bay is very important in Vietnamese cultural history, and has helped shield North Vietnam from Chinese invasions.

Junks are popular cruise options for those exploring H? Long Bay. These gorgeous ships originated in China around the 10th century during the Song Dynasty, and are still widely used today due to their adeptness and captivating aesthetic. The construction and suppleness of Junk sails make the ships fast and easily controlled, and the gentle movement of the sail allows the ship to sail into the wind whilst the expansive rudder of the Junk takes the place of a keel. These magnificent vessels sailed Indian and Indonesian waters by the Middle Ages, due to the naval strength of the Song Dynasty. The effective Junks become the backbone of the Yuan dynasty, catalysing the Mongol invasions of places like Japan and Java.   

Today Junks has become comfortable luxurious cruise vessels that explore areas all over the Far East. Journey to H? Long Bay and take a journey on one of the luxurious Junks. Enjoy kayaking, fishing, diving and excellent cuisine, and embark on itineraries where you can discover the magnificent ancient caves and the quaint charm of local life.