Ha Long Bay is important for several reasons. Firstly, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its outstanding natural beauty and unique geological features. The bay is home to around 1,600 limestone islands and islets, creating a breathtaking landscape that attracts millions of tourists each year. Additionally, Ha Long Bay holds significant cultural and historical value, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years. It is also an important ecological site, supporting a diverse range of plant and animal species, some of which are endangered. Preserving and protecting Ha Long Bay is crucial for its environmental, cultural, and economic significance.
why is ha long bay important
Ha Long, which translates to “descending dragon,” holds great significance in Vietnamese culture. Dragons hold a prominent place in Vietnamese folklore, and a well-known legend tells the story of a dragon and her offspring descending from the heavens to protect the Vietnamese people from invaders. These majestic creatures were said to breathe fire and emit emeralds or jade as they defended the land.
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How old is Halong Bay?
Halong Bay, a magnificent natural wonder, was formed over 500 million years ago. The ancient marine limestone rocks that once stood at over 1000 meters tall have been eroded over millions of years to their present size.
Respected geologists and researchers suggest that the Halong Bay we see today was formed approximately 8000 years ago during a period called The Middle Holocene Transgression. This period marked a marine transgression when the sea rose to higher levels, causing flooding and raising the shorelines.
The area surrounding Halong Bay is predominantly composed of thick limestone, similar to the famous limestone karsts seen throughout the bay’s waters. This limestone began forming around 340 million years ago during the Carboniferous period. The Earth was warmer and wetter during this time, leading to the movement of carbonate sediment from large swamps into the oceans. Over millions of years, this sediment hardened and thickened, resulting in the formation of the 1200-meter-thick limestone karsts that are now iconic in Halong Bay.
The millions of years of erosion from rain and the sea have also created unique valleys and an intricate network of caves in Halong Bay. The oldest caves, known as Phreatic Caves, are typically found at higher levels. One of the most famous and impressive caves in Halong Bay is the Sung Sot cave, aptly named as it translates to “Surprise cave.” Sung Sot cave is one of the largest and most magnificent caves in the area.
Is Halong Bay a wonder of the world?
Over the past few decades, people from all over the country and international visitors have been drawn to Quang Ninh province to visit the Yen Tu historical site, where King Tran Nhan Tong became a monk, and to experience the beauty of Ha Long Bay. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ha Long Bay continues to captivate with its natural splendor, thanks to the ingenuity of the Vietnamese people.
Ha Long Bay’s core area has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site not once, but twice, in 1994 and 2000, due to its unique geological features. In addition, on November 12, 2011, Ha Long Bay was named one of the seven new natural wonders of the world by the New Open World Organization.
For poet Tran Nhuan Minh, Ha Long Bay holds a special place in his heart, as he has been connected to this heritage site for 60 years. He vividly remembers the day when Ha Long Bay was crowned as one of the seven new natural wonders of the world for the third time. The mountains and forests of the bay seemed to come alive, bathed in the golden light of the sunset, creating a breathtaking scene that could only be described as the most beautiful on the planet.
Are all 7 Wonders of the World still standing?
Author Aaron Millar selects seven new wonders every year, highlighting the most awe-inspiring places on the planet for stargazing, wildlife spotting, and astonishing panoramas. The original Seven Wonders of the World have faded into dust and memory, with only the Great Pyramids of Giza remaining. However, these seven new wonders for our time can be seen firsthand, making them the Acropolis and Stonehenge of our day. The real magic of wonder lies not only in the thing itself but also in the fact that the more we seek wonder in the world, the more it becomes a part of us.
Wonder is a nourishment for the soul, setting us apart as human beings. It moves us to tears by a sunset, marvels at the stars, and instills awe and humility in us for the achievements of our past. Socrates believed that wisdom begins in wonder, and studies show that experiencing awe leads to deeper cognitive processing, boosts empathy, and helps us connect with the world in meaningful ways. Wonder is not just a good feeling; it is a seed from which our greatest treasures grow.
So, explore, dream, and nourish your spirit well with these seven new wonders of the world for 2023:
1. Mont Saint-Michel, France: This stunning island commune is a marvel of medieval architecture, rising majestically from the sea. Its abbey, narrow streets, and breathtaking views make it a must-visit wonder.
2. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia: Dive into the world’s largest coral reef system, teeming with vibrant marine life and stunning underwater landscapes. It is a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers alike.
3. The Northern Lights, Iceland: Witness the ethereal dance of colors in the night sky as the Aurora Borealis illuminates the darkness. This natural phenomenon is a mesmerizing spectacle that will leave you in awe.
4. The Serengeti Migration, Tanzania: Experience the awe-inspiring sight of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other wildlife as they embark on their annual migration across the vast plains of the Serengeti.
5. The Grand Canyon, USA: Marvel at the sheer size and beauty of this iconic natural wonder. Carved by the Colorado River over millions of years, the Grand Canyon offers breathtaking vistas and hiking opportunities.
6. The Great Wall of China, China: Walk along the ancient fortification that stretches for thousands of miles, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and a glimpse into China’s rich history.
7. The Taj Mahal, India: Be captivated by the timeless beauty of this white marble mausoleum, built as a symbol of love. Its intricate architecture and serene surroundings make it a true wonder of the world.
These seven wonders of the world for 2023 are not just destinations to visit; they are invitations to embrace wonder, connect with the world, and nourish our souls.
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