Situated in the North-East region of Viet Nam, Ha Long Bay is a bay in the Gulf of Tonkin comprised of regions of Ha Long City, the township of Cam Pha, and a part of the island district of Van Don. Ha Long Bay borders Cat Ba Island in the southwest, the East Sea in the’ east, and the mainland, creating a 120 km coastline. Ha Long Bay is made up of 1,969 islands of various sizes, 989 of which have been given names.
There are two kinds of islands, limestone and schist, which are concentrated in two main zones: the southeast (belonging to Bai Tu Long Bay), and the southwest (belonging to Ha Long Bay). The average geological age of the islands is between 250 and 280 million years old
This densely concentrated zone of stone islands, world famous for its spectacular scenery of grottoes and caves, forms the central zone of Ha Long Bay, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bay it self has an area of 43,400 ha, consists of 775 islands, and forms a triangle with the island of Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto) to the west, the lake of Ba Ham (Three Shelter Lake) to the south, and the island of Cong Tay to the east. Viewed from above, Ha Long Bay resembles a geographic work of art. While exploring the bay, you feel lost in a legendary world of stone islands. There is Man’s Head Island, which resembles a man standing and looking towards the mainland. The regions immediately surrounding the area were classified as a national site by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1962.