Bai Tu Long Bay is a beautiful bay of the Gulf of Tonkin, in the northeastern Vietnam. It belongs to the territory of Quang Ninh Province and about 200 kilometers far from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.
Legend said it that in the early era of Vietnam, the country had to fight against powerful invaders. To help Vietnamese people save their country, a family of dragons was ordered by the god to assist them. Dragons spitted out various jewels and jades to form a long and solid citadel. Therefore, the invaders had to give up their invasion plot and sailed their ships back. After the war, the family of dragons stayed on the Earth as beautiful and peaceful scenery there. The bay, where the mother dragon descended, was named Halong bay (Dragon Descending Bay). And the bay where the dragon’s children descended was called Bai Tu Long Bay. Nowadays, variety of islets on Halong Bay is said to be petrified jewels and jades that the dragons spitting out. The island range of Bach Long Vi is considered as the trail of dragon’s tail on the sea.
Bai Tu Long Bay comprises hundreds of islands in both big and small sizes. They belong to two types: lime-stone islands and schist islands. The islands of Bai Tu Long are the result of tectonic process over 300 million years. Many of them are well-known tourism islands such as Quan Lan Island, Minh Chau Island, Ngoc Vung Island, and The Vang Island. Karst corrosion process and weathering created several amazing caves, especially Quan Cave (Navy Cave).
Bai Tu Long Bay has a rich biodiversity with typical ecosystems: mangrove ecosystem, coral reef ecosystem, ecosystem of tropical forests. It is home to various species of flora and fauna. There are 780 species of flora in Bai Tu Long Bay and 21 species among them are included in the list of Vietnam’s Red Data Book. Scientists also found 931 species of aquatic animals there. In 2001, Bai Tu Long National Park was established with the area of 14 ha in order to preserve biodiversity in this region.
Bai Tu Long Bay has the total population of 30.000 people whose livelihoods depend mainly on farming and fishing. On Bai Tu Long, there remain many archaeological relics of Halong Culture (dating around 3.000 – 2.000 BC) and historical trails of the ancient Van Don commercial port (in 13th century).