Gulf of Tonkin
The Gulf of Tonkin, while economically important to Vietnam, is the location of the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay and its famous karst landscape.
Gulf of Tonkin is located in the Southeast Asia Sea, an important economic gateway for merchant ships.
The gulf is 500 kilometres long, 250 kilometres wide and up to 70 metres deep in places. The Red River flows into the gulf, and the main ports in Vietnam include Ben Thuy and Hai Phong are situated there.
As well as being the location for many infamous conflicts, Gulf of Tonkin is also the location of spectacular Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay.
Located 170km east of Hanoi, Halong Bay and covers an area of around 1553km2 in the Gulf. It belongs to Halong City administration in the Quang Ninh province, in the north-west. Bai Tu Long Bay lies to the north-east and Lan Ha Bay are in the south-west.
The UNESCO World Heritage inscribed site of Halong Bay was first recognised in 1994 and again in 2000. Famous for its stunning seascape of 1969 majestic limestone pillars, islands and islets, Halong Bay also houses mysterious caves, caverns and grottoes, all waiting to be explored by travellers to the area.
A few of our favourite things
Cruising the Bays should be on the “to do” list for visitors to the Gulf of Tonkin, and there are many things to do on your cruise, including:
The Bays’ islands and islets hide mysterious caves, caverns and grottoes. Descend into the subterranean coolness and discover a magical world formed by limestone and water. Spot interesting animal and human formations in the stalactites and stalagmites. Listen to the legends of love and betrayal that have been woven into Halong cave mythology.
Vietnam is famous for its food: fresh, healthy and full of flavour, and a Paradise cruise will delight even the fussiest diner. Choose from grilled, steamed or stir-fried fish and shellfish, garden fresh fruit and vegetables, moist and tender beef, chicken and pork, and an endless variety of tasty rice and noodle dishes, and delectable desserts.
History and culture
Halong Bay is still inhabited by indigenous people living a traditional life. Visitors can explore the rich tradition of ancient Viet culture found in the area, with the Soi Nhu culture being the oldest culture, followed by Cai Beo, then Halong, the remnants of which still exist in the floating fishing villages of Halong Bay.