“If you have not seen the Halong bay – you have not seen Vietnam” – it is such a leit-motif from nearly all reports of travelers visiting there. And it is true, this is the one of sign places not only in Vietnam but also in all South-east Asia.
The film scholars must remember the Halong bay by one of the Bond film series – it appeared in a film “Tomorrow Never Dies”. Moreover, if you type “Vietnam” into a search engine, certainly on most pictures there will be famous toy-ships with sails with the Halong bay islands in the background.
However, “bay”, is probably not quite exact word for denotation of this surprising place. In fact Halong – not simply inundating, and enormous collection of islands (there are more than two thousands of them and each is covered by a wild vegetation), and also rocks, cliffs and caves.
Interestingly, that the name “Halong” translates as “the place where dragon got down to earth”. Such a romantic name came as a result of one beautiful ancient legend. The locals tell that long time ago there was a dragon which lived in the Halong mountains. Once it decided to look over its possessions and broke the numerous valleys with its tail accidently. And when a dragon got down to the bay, water filled all the close places leaving on a surface only some small islands.
A Halong bay is located in 170 kilometers from the Hanoi – capital of Vietnam. Tourists mostly order tours to Halong directly by arrival. It is always possible to buy it in one of local street tourist agencies.