Geographic Enquiry

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam (Bay of Descending Dragons)

Where is it?

Ha Long Bay is located in Quang Ninh province, in Vietnam. It is 170km east of Hanoi.

Latitude: 20.960466°
Longitude: 107.024967°

Why is it a popular tourist location?

Ha Long Bay is a popular tourist location due to many factors, such as it's natural beauty, the numerous attractions such as cruises throughout the bay, and the natural island formations and cultural stories. It being a UNESCO World Heritage site also assists with tourism, as it is recognized as environmentally important.

Development of Ha Long Bay in relation to SHEEPT

Economic -
The tourism development going on around the bay have been caused due to both the captivating views of the bay and the wars that also have occurred here may have some significance to financial development/tourism.

Environmental -
Ha Long Bay dates way back to 500,000,000 BC, where the area that Ha Long Bay was located originally began to form through erosion and flood. In 68000-9000 BC, the unique caves that are located in the bay formed. Ha Long Bay also has seven endemic (unique to this location) species.

Historic -
On three occasions in this bay, the Vietnamese have held off three invasions such as the Mongol invasion in 1288, sinking a fleet using the tide and steel tipped stakes. During the Vietnam War, the US Navy placed a substantial amount of mines in the bay, and some of them can still be located in the bay and may cause problems to fishermen.

Political -
In 2009, Ha Long Bay was declared a special national landscape site, under the Cultural Heritage Law.

Questions formulated about Ha Long Bay.

Environmental -
How is the place protected from damage such as oil spills and destruction of ecosystems?
Why are certain species of animals exclusive to this area?
Why is tourism allowed in a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
What if a boat polluted the waters?
What if fishermen cause certain species of fish in the area to become extinct?
What if the environment is no longer habitable for the endemic species?

Economic -
How does tourism here affect Vietnam's economy?
Why is there development of tourism in this area?
How will consumers spend money at this location?
What if funding development is no longer allowed in this area?
What if the government funds development?
What if the market crashes?

Historic -
Why is this place of such high historical significance?
How did this place come about?
Why did the bay form?
What if the bay floods again, like it did in 500,000,000 BC?
What if Vietnam is invaded?
What if severe erosion occurs?

Political -
How is this place being protected by law?
Why is this place important to the government of Vietnam?
Why should the government fund development in Ha Long Bay?
What if the government prevents tourism?
What if a law is passed causing it to be illegal for fishing to occur?
What if the government funds projects in the bay?


What I've discovered about Ha Long Bay is how it came about, how much of an impact tourism has on the area, and some Vietnamese legends about the bay. I found it quite interesting how this place dates all the way back to 500,000,00 BC, when the bay first started to take some shape due to a flood, and that apparently Ha Long Bay is a member in the club "The Most Beautiful Bays In the World"

I've learnt that tourism is a major event that goes on around the bay, Vietnamese have a legend on how the rocks have formed involving pearls and dragons, and that it's an important environmental site in Vietnam.

SHEEPT categories picked:

- Environmental
- Economic
- Historic
- Political

By Robbie Cortese