Google Celebrates Ha Long Bay as World Natural Heritage

To celebrate the 29th anniversary of Ha Long Bay's recognition as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Vietnamese homepage of Google, the tech giant, showcased a doodle of this breathtaking natural wonder on December 17. This doodle served as a tribute to the cultural and scientific significance of Ha Long Bay, highlighting its well-deserved status as a global treasure.

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Ha Long Bay in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh was twice recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage in 1994 and 2000.

On September 16, 2023, Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago (Hai Phong City) was recognized as a World Natural Heritage by UNESCO.

With its scenic beauty, Ha Long Bay attracts millions of domestic and foreign visitors each year.

Google Doodle of Ha Long Bay

According to Google Doodle, this wonder is situated in the Gulf of Tonkin in Quang Ninh province and is believed to have formed roughly 3 million years ago. Today, Ha Long Bay consists of roughly 2,000 islands and islets.

With its scenic beauty, Ha Long Bay attracts millions of domestic and foreign visitors each year. Photo: Vinpearl

“Its limestone pillars and emerald green waters attract millions of bucket-list visitors each year, making it one of Vietnam’s national treasures,” read a description by Google Doodle.

It suggests experiences not to be missed when visiting Ha Long Bay such as Sung Sot Cave, the largest cave in the bay, or nautical adventures like fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Ha Long Bay is also an important site for scientists as it helped them study and understand the movement of geologic plates and the Earth’s history of climate change over the years.

On November 11, 2011, Ha Long Bay was recognized by the New7Wonders. Other six new natural wonders of the world include the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, Jeju Island in the Republic of Korea, Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Philippines, Komodo Island (National Park) in Indonesia, and Table Mountain (National Park) in South Africa.

Ha Long Bay is not just a UNESCO-listed site, it’s also home to several fishing communities that have lived on the water for centuries. Photo: Simply Philippines

For many, the seascape of Ha Long Bay is synonymous with Vietnam. Cruises sail emerald green waters among thousands of rugged islands and islets, stopping at spectacular caves through which visitors can wander, viewing impressive, centuries-old formations. Ha Long Bay’s mystical beauty has made it a bucket list attraction within the country, but it’s still possible to find secluded corners to call your own.

• Cruise the bay

Nothing beats spending watching the sun set over the calm waters of Ha Long Bay, and waking up to a serene morning surrounded by karsts. Relaxing on a sun deck surrounded by magnificent panoramas is the highlight of many a trip.

• Explore a floating village

Ha Long Bay is not just a UNESCO-listed site, it’s also home to several fishing communities that have lived on the water for centuries. Take a boat tour around a floating village for a glimpse of this rare and beautiful way of life.

• Paddle out in a kayak

Even if you’re not an experienced kayaker, you can’t miss the chance to navigate your way around Ha Long’s gorgeous seascape. Just before sunset is an ideal time to kayak to see quiet lagoons and fishing boats up close.

• Clamber into a cave

Beneath their rocks and jungled exteriors, many of Ha Long’s ancient karsts have been carved out by rain and water currents. Take a look inside these geological wonders on foot — some are a squeeze while others are enormous.

• Try rock climbing

There are countless routes in the bay to keep climbing junkies entertained. Deep water soloing is becoming increasingly popular in beautiful Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay, especially on Butterfly Island.

What’s Ha Long weather like?

Ha Long Bay’s climate can be cool with clear skies from September to November. Photo: GetYourGuide

Ha Long Bay’s climate can be cool with clear skies from September to November. Mist drifts in from December to March making the bay look all the more mysterious. April and May offer sunshine and a refreshing breeze, while the monsoon season can make visits unpredictable from June to August.

Charlotte Pho