Ha Long Bay is a beautiful natural wonder in northern Vietnam, near the Chinese border. The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500 sq km. This extraordinary area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Most of the islands and the karst limestone pillars in the bay are uninhabited and unaffected by human activity. For many travellers, this place is like something right out of a movie. The fact is that Ha Long Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has served as the magical backdrop of various scenes in numerous feature films.

The best way to get to the city of Ha Long – the starting point to exploring the bay – is by car, minibus or bus from Hanoi. The Vietnamese capital is an approximate 170 km drive away. You can take in the stunning beauty of the bay on various tours. If budget is not a problem, an hour-long helicopter transfer is also available. The most common and popular is by junk boat as well as by joining a sea kayaking expedition. Cruising by the islands and pillars lets you admire their otherworldy features from a closer distance.

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