Junk in front of limestone formation at sunset, Halong Bay, Vietnam, Asia

Ha Long Bay at Its Most Beautiful

One of Vietnam's top destinations, Ha Long Bay's limestone islands shine in any light

Rock formation with green reflection in Halong Bay Marie Hickman

In the Mist

Like a scene created for a "Lord of the Rings" sequel, the limestone pillars of Ha Long Bay rise from the sea with equal degrees of beauty and menace. Nearly 1,600 of the rocky islands sprout from the emerald-green Gulf of Tonkin, some hiding caves, some topped-off with tiny jungles, all of them dramatic.

Vietnam, Ha Long Bay at sunset, (UNESCO World Heritage) Daniele Schneider

Golden Hours

Ha Long Bay reveals the kind of otherworldly landscape that looks strikingly different throughout the day, at sunset and sunrise, and in the rain and mist. Which is why most tourists explore the bay, it's outcroppings and hidden grottoes, by way of captained boats. Typically, one spends at least a night on the sea, in the shadow of the stone towers.

Fisherman Mark Keelan

Quiet Mornings

Some 1,600 people live on floating houses in four small villages which, for the most part, are sustained through fishing.

Ha Long Bay Bruno De Hogues

The Rising

In 1994, Ha Long Bay was designated as a World Heritage site. It was about time: The limestone towers had been sculpted over 500 million years by wind, sea, and rain.

Ha Long Bay Mark Keelan

Drifting and Dreaming

Dragon Bay Istvan Kadar

Yellow Sky

Sun and mist descend on Ha Long Bay, fittingly, perhaps, as Ha Long means "descending dragon" in Vietnamese.

Vietnam: Junk in Halong Bay and lime stone rocks Per-Andre Hoffmann

Open Sea

A lonely junk afloat on Vietnam's Gulf of Tonkin.

Ha Long Bay Kristine T Pham

Serene Sunrise

Vietnam, Halong Bay, fishing junk, sunset Daryl Benson

Vietnam Blues