Ha Long Bay of the decending dragons

Ha Long Bay meaning the Descending Dragon Bay is one of the most beautiful and tranquil sights of the South East Asian country of Vietnam. Located a few hours drive north east of the capital Hanoi the area covers around 120km of coastline and some 2000 islands or rock outcrops. Just over 330 square kilometers of this is made up of a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes 775 of the islets. Local legend tells that the gods sent a family of dragons to help the Vietnamese people fight off the Chinese invaders years ago. The dragons spat out jewels and jade, as they would, and they turned into the islands and smaller islets we have today forming a great wall against the nasty invaders. The dragons are now believed to live in the area where they are joined by the dragon children overlooking the Ha Long region. The islands and rock outcrops offer great shelter and fishing for the people of the area and the biodiversity of the tropical dense forests are incredible with some incredible plant life including some very interesting endemic flowers. The forests are home to many varieties of bat and some beautiful bird life, lizards and even deer and monkeys. Most of the islands are not inhabited but the two biggest islands Tuan Chau and Cat Ba do have people living there and are home to tourist facilities including some beautiful beaches. A must for any visitor is to see the floating islands which are home and workplace to many of the fisherman of the area. People live in houses which are floating on huge barges where they farm fish in the beautiful clear warm waters.

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