Ha Long Bay - Vietnam
By Chloe McDonald
Ha Long Bay
Different groups of people have lived here over time and the area has been influenced by the Chinese and the French, for example. Various spiritual beliefs and legends regarding the development of the physical landscape formed by dragons etc. Ha Long Bay formed over millions of years ago. The rise and fall of the sea water created unusual caves and grottoes that are filled with amazing limestone features. The process which created Ha Long Bay has given scientists and interesting perspective on the regions development over time, and they have found clues that have helped them to better understand the prehistoric evolution of the areas inhabitants.
A karst environment has a long geological history. Karst means karst, terrain usually characterised by barren rocky ground, caves, sinkholes, underground rivers, and the absence of the surface streams and lakes. Ha Long Bay is made of spectacular limestone pillars and is part of a mature karst environment. Karst landscapes are formed by the chemical weathering of the rocks rich in calcium carbonate and form unique weathering patterns. This karst landscape has developed during a warm and wet tropical climate. It is a World Heritage site located within an area of high tourism, marine transport, fisheries and the daily activities of people living and conducting their business on Ha Long Bay. So the management of the area applies strict regulation and control of activities in an attempt to minimise impacts on the integrity of the property.