Web Gallery of Fine Art Photography in Black-and-White – Vietnam 2018

halong_01A taste of Ha Long Bay

Towering limestone pillars and tiny islets topped by forest rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Designated a World Heritage site in 1994, Halong Bay’s scatter of islands, dotted with wind- and wave-eroded grottoes, is a vision of ethereal beauty and, unsurprisingly, northern Vietnam’s number one tourism hub.

The name Ha Long means “descending dragon”.

Before 19th century, the name Ha Long Bay had not been recorded in the old books of the country. It has been called An Bang, Luc Thuy, Van Don… Late 19th century, the name Ha Long Bay has appeared on the Maritime map of France. “Hai Phong News” published in French, has reported: ” Dragon appears on Ha Long Bay”.

According to local legend, when Vietnam had just started to develop into a country, they had to fight against invaders. To assist the Vietnamese in defending their country, the gods sent a family of dragons as protectors. This family of dragons began spitting out jewels and jade. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, linking together to form a great wall against the invaders. Under magics, numerous rock mountains abruptly appeared on the sea, ahead of invaders’ ships; the forward ships struck the rocks and each other. After winning the battle, the dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth, and then decided to live in this bay. The place where the mother dragon descended was named Ha Long, the place where the dragon’s children attended upon their mother was called Bai Tu Long island (Bai: attend upon, Tu: children, Long: dragon), and the place where the dragon’s children wriggled their tails violently was called Bach Long Vy island (Bach: white-color of the foam made when Dragon’s children wriggled, Long: dragon, Vy: tail), present day Tra Co peninsula, Mong Cai.

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TIFF and JPEG high resolution images are available on request and for specific purposes only. Copyright: Pierre-Michel Virot

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