There is good news for those wanting to visit or revisit one of the top natural wonders of the world – Ha Long Bay in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh – it is now accessible by an airport just an hour’s drive away.
Natural wonders are almost unbelievable in their scale and depth of their beauty, whether it is 3,160 tons of water cascading per second at the Niagra Falls, the incredible salt flat in Bolivia, the Grand Canyon in Arizona or the Avatar-inspiring Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China.
Among 40 such wonders that should be part of one’s travel bucket list, selected by travel magazine Insider in a recent photo feature, is Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay.
“Vietnam's Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with good reason. The bay is dotted with approximately 1,600 islands and inlets, including many massive greenery-covered limestone pillars,” the caption reads.
The list includes Verdon Gorge in France, Peyto Lake in Canada Stromboli in Italy, Mount Bromo in Indonesia, Sagano Bamboo Forest in Japan and the Valley of Flowers National Park in India.
Around four hours drive to the west of Hanoi, Ha Long Bay was recognized as world heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO, and voted among the world’s seven new natural wonders by Swiss organization New Open World in 2011.
Recent events that have heightened the bay’s attraction is the filming of “Kong: Skull Island”, a Hollywood blockbuster last year.
In 2015, the bay was hailed by the US travel guide site Smarter Travel as one of the best ecological spots in the world, while Business Insider said that an overnight Ha Long cruise trip is a "must-try" travel experience in Asia.
UK-based travel site Rough Guides has also listed the Vietnamese bay top ten UNESCO heritage sites in Asia.