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5 Dong Thai Str, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: (84-4) 9282311
Fax: (84-4) 9263116
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HaLong Bay

Halong Bay is our most popular side trip from Hanoi. It was regconized a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. Made up of over 3000 karst islands and limestone grottos that soar out of calm, emerald waters, Halong Bay inspirational beauty is mystical and romantic. To the north lies Bai Tu Long Bay, every bit as beautiful as Halong Bay, this virtually unexplored area offers white sandy beaches, beautiful coral and clear warm waters.
So where did the name Ha Long Bay originate? A legend has it that a long time ago, in the first foundings days, the Viet were attacked by Chinese aggressors. The Jade Emperor sent the Mother Drogon and a herd of Baby Dragons to help the Viet fight the invadors. While the enemy vessels were launching massive attacks against the mainland, the dragons descended in flocks from the sky. They spat out innumerable pearls, which, in a moment, were changed into innumerable jade stone islands linked together into firm citadels that checked the enemy advance and smashed their vessels into pieces. The Viet won at last.

After the invaders were driven out, Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons did not return to Heaven but stayed on earth, right at the place where the battle occurred. The spot where the Mother Dragon landed was Ha Long, and where the Child Dragons came down was Bai Tu Long. The place where their tails violently wagged was called Long Vi, the present-day Tra Co Peninsula with its soft sandy beach stretching dozens of kilometers.

This myth is in line with the Vietnamese myth of their origin Con Rong Chau Tien. This myth describes the union between a king (representing the dragon) and his bride (representing a goddess) giving birth to 100 children which are the ancestors of the Vietnamese people. The Ha Long myth illustrate the Vietnamese belief of their origin and the fact that throughout their history, they are aided by their ancestors, the dragon and the gods, in the defense of their land. (APT)
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