Ha Long Bay has an area of around 1,553km2, including 1,960 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334km2 with a high density of 775 islets.The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. The geo-diversity of the environment in the area has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea shore biosystem. Ha Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.

Historical research surveys have shown the presence of prehistorical human beings in this area tens of thousands years ago. The successive ancient cultures are the Soi Nh? culture around 18,000-7,000 BC, the Cái Bèo culture 7,000-5,000 BC and the H? Long culture 3,500-5,000 years ago. Ha Long Bay also marked important events in the history of Vietnam with many artifacts found in Bài Th? Mout, ??u G? Cave, Bãi Cháy.

500 years ago, Nguyen Trai praised the beauty of Ha Long Bay in his verse L? nh?p Vân ??n, in which he called it “rock wonder in the sky”. In 1962, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam listed Ha Long Bay in the National Relics and Landscapes publication. In 1994, the core zone of Ha Long Bay was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site according to criteria vii, and listed for a second time according to criteria viii.

History of halong bay

Soi Nh? culture (16000- 5000 BC)

Located in H? Long and Bái T? Long are archaeological sites such as Mê Cung and Thiên Long. There are remains from mounds of mountain shellfish (Cyclophorus), spring shellfish (Melania), some fresh water mollusk and some rudimentary labour tools. The main way of life of Soi Nh?’s habitants included catching fish and shellfish, collecting fruits and digging for bulbs and roots. Their living environment was a coastal area unlike other Vietnamese cultures, for example, like those found in Hoà Bình and B?c S?n.

Cái Bèo culture (5000- 3000BC)

Located in H? Long and Cát Bà island, its habitants developed to the level of sea exploitation.