THE LEGEND OF HALONG BAY

While many have arrived to learn of Halong Bay’s majestic beauty, not many know about the legend and mystery behind its namesake. People may hear the bay is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, and which has been declared among the world's new wonders.

They may even know it’s located in the northern province of QuangNinh, approximately 140 km from the capital of Hanoi, and that attracts millions of visitors each year.

THE LEGEND OF HALONG BAY

Those who flock here know that they will be treated to a cinematic-esque experience of Halong Bay, which is comprised of nearly 2,000 islets, caves and thousands of limestone karsts. It’s quite possible people may even know the limestone in this bay have gone through 500 million years of transformation.

However what most people do not know is the intriguing legend behind Ha Long Bay, the legend of dragons. The name "Ha Long" is derived from Sino-Vietnamese meaning “descending dragon” and has its root in the formation of the country. Local legend has it that during the early history of the country, the Vietnamese were in an epic battle with invaders. In an effort to protect the country, the Jade emperor sent a family of dragons who descended from the heaven to help assist the ancient Vietnamese people in their battle.

THE LEGEND OF HALONG BAY

The mother dragon and her children incinerated the enemies with their divine fire and emeralds, which scattered around the sea, creating an indestructible defense sinking enemy battle fleets. Finally the northern invaders were repelled, helped by the dragons, and peace was brought back to the country. Upon the end of the battle, the mother dragon and her children stayed on in the mortal world to assist the Vietnamese people.

The mother dragon would form what is known as Ha Long Bay while her children created the adjacent Bai Tu Long bay. The emeralds which once protected the seas would rise and become the islands and limestone karst.

THE LEGEND OF HALONG BAY

If you look close enough and use a bit of imagination you can make see dragons in Halong Bay. On misty days, when the haze slightly alters your vision, you can make them out twisting and turning along the bay. If you’re up close, you can see how the ragged edges of the limestone resemble the rigid scales of a dragon. Many people who have travelled here have said the limestone karsts connect with one another forming what looks like the curving body of a dragon.

THE LEGEND OF HALONG BAY

Folklore and legends are an integral part of Vietnamese culture, similar to many countries around the world. For history buffs or curious visitors in general, this folklore passed down from generation to generation gives us a glimpse into an ancient world that once was and how it has shaped the world today. Vietnam is full of intriguing legends, from the majestic Halong Bay to the Lake of Returned Sword in Hanoi's center, home to a tale of a turtle which surfaced and equipped the King Le Loi with a sword to defeat the enemies.

THE LEGEND OF HALONG BAY

Don’t just take others' advice for it! Come visit and hear about the folklore and legends that surround Vietnam. Whether you choose to believe or not cannot be determined until you have visited and feel the magic for yourself.

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