Ha Long Bay
Where Is It?
Why is it a popular tourist destination?
To minimize these impacts, they have regulations on operation of tourist boats, land filling, fisherman and floating house management. The people in control of Ha Long Bay's management also provide an education and promote to the community about awareness of heritage values and their protection.
Ha Long Bay's History
"It is said that when the Chinese were fighting with the Vietnamese, the Gods sent dragons to help the Vietnamese warriors. Trying to make a barrier, the dragons split precious stones that turned into islands. These islands created a wall that protected the Vietnamese people. The dragons liked the islands and so decided to stay after the war." The people named the place Ha-Long, which means, "a place where the dragon descended into the sea." It wasn't called Ha Long Bay until the late 19th century when crew of a ship reported seeing a huge sea snake in Ha Long Bay. What if this sighting was the reason for the area's name?
Whether the appearance of a strange animal representing a dragon resulted in the name of the bay, is not known.
Why Is The Environment The Way It Is?
Ha Long Bay is also home to great biodiversity with eco-systems like mangrove forests, coral and tropical forests. It is also home to many plants and animals of numerous species, for example shrimp, fish and squid. Some species are particularly rare and can be found no where else, being home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic animal species.
How has a World Heritage listing affected the economy?
What if the tourists destroy the bay though? Well, although an increase in tourism provides the area with a supply of money, the environment is also being disrupted by this. Local government and businesses are aware of the problems though and many measures have been taken to minimize tourism affects to the environment for sustainable economic growth.