Halong Bay offers spectacular views of 3000 limestone islands in the North Vietnam near Chinese border. Lately the place became known worldwide thanks to the last part of Pirates of Caribbean with Johnny Depp.
Vietnam is one of this places which remain relatively calm with low tourist inflow. Certainly the communism and shadows of Vietnam War break the inflow of Europeans or Americans. Nevertheless the country is worth to visit being one of the most interesting places in South-East Asia. Halong Bay is one of its natural treasures, a must see for everyone choosing Vietnam holidays.
Ha Long Bay literally means Descending Dragon Bay. The heart of the region is an area of 334 kms2 with near 800 islands and islets. These islands have a characteristic shape rising vertically from the sea. The core of the region is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Some more popular tourist places in Halong Bay are: Halong Fish Market, Dau Go Cave, Ti Tov Beach, Sung Sot Cave. Halong Fish Market is located in Hon Gai Town and offers different kinds of seafood. You can hire a taxi to get there via Bai Chay suspension bridge. Dau Go and Thien Cung caves with unreal rock formations are located on the same island. A visit takes about 2 hours. Ti Tov Beach near Ho Chi Minh was named after the Russian astronaut who was swimming there while Vietnam War. Finally Sung Sot Cave, the Cave of Amazement is a 200m long ceiling definitely worth visiting also.
Vietnam remains a communist country. After Vietnam War the state was in total political isolation. Some changes were made at the beginning at the century and number of visitors steadily increases over the past ten years reaching near 4 million guests yearly. Splendid beaches and Vietnamese cuisine attract people making this tourist destination an important competitor for Thailand or Philippines, the most popular in the region. The popularity of the whole country is still lower than popularity of Phuket holidays for instance. The Vietnamese economy develops rapidly lately, however without political changes the position of Thailand as a main tourist destination in the region remains not endangered.