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ha long bay - vietnam

Halong Bay is a body of water of approximately 1,500 square kilometres in north Vietnam with a 120 kilometre coastline, in the Gulf of Tonkin near the border with China, and 170 kilometres east of Hanoi. Halong Bay means "Bay of the Descending Dragon" in the Vietnamese language.

 

The bay consists of a dense cluster of 1,969 limestone monolithic islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, which rise spectacularly from the ocean. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves.

 

Halong Bay has been the setting for local naval battles against Vietnam's coastal neighbours. On three occasions in the labyrinth of channels between the islands the Vietnamese army stopped the Chinese from landing. In 1288 General Tran Hung Dao stopped Mongol ships from sailing up the nearby Bach Dang River by placing steel-tipped wooden stakes at high tide, sinking the Mongol Dubhai Khan's fleet.

 

During the Vietnam War, many of the channels between the islands were heavily mined by the navy of the United States, some of which pose a threat to shipping to this day.

 

The surrounding land region of Halong City is rich with high grade coal deposits, and is operated by the Vietnamese government

 

A UNESCO World Heritage site.

(text from Wikipedia : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halong_Bay)

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Taken on October 22, 2005