"Peach Fruit" Island on Ha Long Bay
Mont de peke
Photo: Van Phuc
postmarked within the USA with a 'Forever' stamp
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ha Long Bay (literally: "Descending Dragon Bay") is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quảng Ninh province, Vietnam.
The bay consists of a dense cluster of over 3,000 limestone monolithic islands (although locals claim there are only 1,969). Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves. Hang Đầu Gỗ (Wooden stakes cave) is the largest grotto in the Ha Long area. French tourists visited in the late 19th century, and named the cave Grotte des Merveilles. Its three large chambers contain large numerous stalactites and stalagmites.
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 Nhụ culture around 18,000-7,000 BC, the Cái Bèo culture 7,000-5,000 BC and the Hạ Long culture 3,500-5,000 years ago.