Halong Bay is a bay located in the Gulf of Tonkin, 170 kilometres east of Hanoi, in northern Vietnam near the border with China.
The bay has a 120 kilometers long coastline and is approximately 1,500 square kilometers in size. "Vá»‹nh Háº¡ Long" (Halong Bay) means "Bay of the Descending Dragon" in the Vietnamese language. Háº¡ means "descending" and Long means "dragon" in Sino-Vietnamese.
The bay was World Heritage listed by UNESCO at the 18th meeting of the Committee of the World Heritages of UNESCO (in Thailand on December 17th, 1994). It is one of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations.
In 1962 the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism designated Ha Long Bay a 'Renowned National Landscape Monument'.
Ha Long Bay was first listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 , in recognition of its outstanding, universal aesthetic value. In 2000 the World Heritage Committee additionally recognised Ha Long Bay for its outstanding geological and geomorphological value, and its World Heritage Listing was updated.
The New Open World Foundation has included Halong Bay on its list for nomination as one the World's 7 Natural Wonders.