Ha Long Bay


Information about Ha Long Bay:

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Quang Ninh Province (in the north-east of Vietnam). It was considered a World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its "geographical and geomorphological values". As well as being known for its beautiful limestone pillars formed by the process of erosion, it is also home to biodiversity with eco-systems like mangrove forest, tropical forest and coral (housing many rare creatures) and the range of activities that one can do there such as visiting its myriad grottoes and caves such as the Thein Cung (Heavenly Palace Grotto) and Tam Cung (Three Palace Grotto) or just to simply enjoy the beautiful landscape, making it a popular tourist destination in Vietnam.


Since Ha Long Bay is a World Heritage site, it generates a lot of tourism because of its status. This tourism has affected the local people of the Ha Long Bay region in positive ways such as improving employment opportunities and quality of life, creating new business opportunities, increase of quality in the public transport, goods and services and attracting new investments to Ha Long Bay; and in negative ways such as raising the prices of goods, services and real estate prices.


  1. How has the government improved Ha Long Bay?
  2. Why did the tourism increase the prices of goods and services in Ha Long Bay?
  3. Why did the tourism increase the prices of real estate in Ha Long Bay?
  4. What if there was little tourism in Ha Long Bay?
  5. What if the local people of Ha Long Bay didn't enjoy the tourism that happens?
  6. What if the government stop trying to improve Ha Long Bay?


There are over 2000 islets (which are mostly limestone) in Ha Long Bay (having an average geological age of 250 and 280 million years old) having an area of approximately 1,550 km2. The limestones in the Bay have gone through almost 500 million years of formation in varied conditions and environments. In the past 1000 years, Ha Long Bay had experienced numerous geological events that contributed to the Bay's history, such as the raising of the bay area and strong erosion, forming coral and pure blue, salty water. The area is also home to biodiversity, including a tropical, oceanic and sea shore bio systems, which houses over 14 floral species and 60 fauna species.


  1. How has the environment impacted the tourism in Ha Long Bay?
  2. How did Ha Long Bay look like 500 million years ago?
  3. Why was the formation of pure blue, salty water important in Ha Long Bay?
  4. What if the limestones couldn't take any more of the erosion?
  5. What if the government does nothing to perserve the environmental value of Ha Long Bay?
  6. What if all the floral and fauna species die out in Ha long Bay?


Historical research in the Ha Long Bay area shows the existence of pre-historical human beings in the area approximately 20,000 years ago. The ancient cultures that existed in Ha Long Bay were the Soi Nhụ culture (18,000–7000 BC), the Cái Bèo culture (7000–5000 BC) and the Hạ Long culture (5,000–3,500 years ago).

History also shows that Ha Long Bay was the location for many naval battles against Vietnam's neighbours and that back in the Vietnam War, many of the channels in the Bay were heavily mined by the US navy, still posing a threat to shipping.


  1. How has the existence of the pre-historical humans influenced Ha Long Bay?
  2. Why did the US Navy heavily mine the channels in Ha Long Bay?
  3. How did the ancient cultures die out?
  4. What if there were some survivors from the ancient cultures?
  5. What if a mine went off in Ha Long Bay's channels and took lives?
  6. What if Ha Long Bay was to become a location for naval battles again?


Because of Ha Long Bay's World Heritage title, it has become one of Vietnam's most important sites economically since it made Vietnam a tourist destination. Ha Long Bay attracts almost 4 million annual visitors, increasing every year, generating money for Vietnam's economy.

The local economy in Ha Long Bay has also been effected, both positively and negatively. Positive effects have been an increase in employment, a higher standard of living and economic growth while negative effects have been economical instability and increase in prices for goods and services and tax burdens.


  1. How has the tourism money coming from Ha Long Bay helped Vietnam's economy?
  2. Why has the prices of goods and services increased in Ha Long Bay?
  3. How stable is Vietnam's economy?
  4. What if Ha Long Bay wasn't a World Heritage site? Would Vietnam still generate tourism?
  5. What if the government didn't spend any money on improving the Ha Long Bay area?
  6. What if Vietnam didn't have the sufficient public transport to support the tourists that want to visit Ha Long Bay?


In conclusion, I have learnt that because of Ha Long Bay's World Heritage status, it generates an immense amount of tourism for Vietnam's economy. The things that I found fascinating about Ha Long Bay are the limestone islands that survived almost 500 million years and the numerous bio-systems that live and exist in the Bay. One thing that I found confronting was how there were still mines from the Vietnam War, and how they're still a threat to the shipping in Ha Long Bay.

Reflecting back, I've learnt how elaborate and detailed a place can be when the SHEEPT factors are used to research, and I've learnt more about Ha Long Bay.

Pictures of Ha Long Bay

Map of Ha Long Bay

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Ha Long Bay (UNESCO/TBS)