The Captivating Culture of Haiphong: A Summer Festival Celebrating the Heritage of Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago

The UNESCO recognition is a testament to the universal admiration for Vietnam's rich heritage and the nation's unwavering commitment to its preservation.

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The Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago, a stunning natural wonder in Vietnam’s northern provinces of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong, has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site. This prestigious designation was celebrated with a certificate presentation ceremony on the evening of May 11, 2024, as part of the Haiphong Red Poinciana Festival.

Jonathan Baker, UNESCO Chief Representative in Vietnam, commended the local governments and communities for their commitment to balanced and sustainable development, which led to this global recognition. He highlighted the inter-provincial collaboration between Hai Phong and Quang Ninh, a first for Vietnam, in their joint efforts to protect and promote the site.



Jonathan Wallace Baker, UNESCO Chief Representative in Vietnam, addresses the ceremony. Photo: Hai Phong Newspaper

Nguyen Van Tung, Chairman of the Haiphong City People’s Committee, spoke at the ceremony, highlighting the collaboration between Hai Phong and Quang Ninh in nominating the site for World Heritage status. He emphasized the unique beauty of the archipelago, with its vegetated limestone islands, breathtaking islets, and impressive karst formations.



Nguyen Van Tung, Chairman of the Haiphong City People’s Committee, at the opening ceremony of the Haiphong Red Poinciana Festival.

The Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago, spanning nearly 100,000 hectares, boasts an incredible array of limestone towers, caves, and islands. With over 1,100 islets, the region is a nature lover’s paradise and a testament to Vietnam’s rich ecological diversity.



UNESCO recognizes Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago as a World Heritage Site.

The certificate presentation was followed by a music festival featuring a thousand artists and performers, attracting thousands of locals and visitors. The festival, celebrating the 69th anniversary of the Liberation Day of Hai Phong City, included a breathtaking fireworks display that lit up the night sky.



The fireworks were a highlight of the festival, dazzling spectators.

Located about 165 kilometers from Hanoi, the Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago is now among Vietnam’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The recognition by UNESCO in 2023 highlighted the region’s outstanding aesthetic and geological values, solidifying its place as a global tourist destination and a source of national pride for Vietnam.

Ha Long Bay, with its 775 limestone islands, had previously been recognized by UNESCO in 1994 and 2000. The addition of Cat Ba Archipelago, with over 350 islands, further enhances the region’s ecological and cultural significance, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking natural beauty and cultural enrichment.



Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago: A natural wonder with over 1,100 islets. Photo: Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism