South of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, in the Gulf of Tonking, there is a large bay with more than 1,600 islands, the Bay of Ha Long.
The rich vegetation that covers the rocks acts as both a shelter and a home for a great variety of wildlife, including 40 species of bird and 8 varieties of reptile. The strangely formed islands attract biologists from all over the world. The latest Stone Age discoveries date back more than 8,000 years and it is believed that the region was inhabited around 25,000 years ago.
The region’s bizarrely formed rocks fired the imagination of those who lived here in ancient times and several of the islands have colorful names, most of which were inspired by the animal kingdom, such as 'Camel Island', 'Turtle Island' and the historic 'Driftwood Grotto'.
The 1,500 square kilometres of the Bay of Ha Long are one of the most impressive locations in the whole of South East Asia, a place of total beauty and one of the world’s great natural wonders.