Halong Bay, Vietnam • 360° Aerial Panorama
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Halong Bay (or Ha Long Bay) in Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking places on the planet. In 1994 it was added to the list of UNESCO Heritage Sites. In 2011 the magnificent landmark of Vietnam was declared one of the "New Seven Natural Wonders of The World" beating serious "competitors" like Vesuvius Volcano in Italy, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and even Baikal, the deepest lake in the world.
Local people have a very colorful story about creation of the bay. It is told that once upon a time, when ancestors fought with the Chinese, Gods sent dragons to help Vietnamese warriors. Trying to make a barrier, these fearsome creatures spitted precious stones that turned into islands. These islands created a wall that protected Vietnamese people from their aggressors. Dragons liked the rocky islands and decided to leave them behind after the war. Vietnamese named the place, where Mother Dragon landed, Ha-Long, which means "a place where the dragon descended into the sea".
Halong Bay area is not just the bay, but also 120 kilometers of a shoreline, as well as over 3 thousand islands bathing in the emerald water. Over a thousand islands have their own names.
Almost all islands of Halong Bay are rocky, and there is a countless number of caves and grottos of all sizes and shapes, filled with small waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites. Some of the caves became a tourist attraction. Lit up with colorful lights, they look like fairy tale underground castles.
This peculiar shape of the mountains is caused by rainwater working its way through the limestone. Year after year heavy tropical rains washed out limestone, carving magical shapes and creating caves and grottos. Geologists call this phenomenon a tower karst. There are other tower karst formations around the world, such as in Madagascar and in China near Guilin city. However, unlike any other place, land formations of Halong Bay are standing in the water, and ocean waves continue carving the shoreline, deepening caves, and changing face of cliffs and grottos.
Hang Dau Go cave is one of the most famous sites of Halong Bay. Exactly 90 steps make a stairway to the cave entrance, where one can find numerous rocks of most peculiar shapes. A narrow wall divides the cave, creating 2 chambers. At the end of the cave, there is a well with a drinking water surrounded by ancient walls. Khai Din, the penult emperor of Vietnam, visited this place in 1917 and left his autograph on one of the walls.
Another cave called Kuang Han sets a new record in depth - it is 1300 meters deep. No wonder that it is called "the tunnel cave"...
One of the grottos is famous for its acoustic phenomenon: when the wind is blowing through numerous stalactites and stalagmites, one can hear distant drums from the inside of the cave. What if it's the echo of the ancient war between Chinese, Vietnamese and the dragons?
Stanislav Sedov will tell you a few words about the photo shoot.
It is impossible to photograph Halong Bay from the shore. This is why my colleague Dima hired a boat tour in advance. One of my childhood dreams was to sail away in a junk, so here we were - making my dream come true.
There are several travel agencies who offer boat tours in the bay. Halong Bay and the islands are "privatized" by these companies. Depending on the length of your trip (one or more nights) and a boat company of your choice, you end up going to different parts of the bay.
The boats vary in size and occupancy. The smallest one (they are really not that small) can take only 2 passengers and a crew. A larger boat can take 20 to 140 people. What a "cruise ship"! We didn't want a crowd, so Dima was looking for a small boat for two. Those type of vessels are usually reserved for newly weds, so it was very hard to find accommodation with separate beds. Well, Dima found it :)
After a short preparation, we finally sailed out of Hon Gai port and set our course to the Halong Bay. I was slightly disappointed by the fact that famous scarlet sails of all junks were a fake. However, every time we needed the bright spot in our photo, our captain asked nearby boats to open the sails and they did.
A two-day boat trip includes caves, sea kayaking, visit to the floating village and romantic dinner for two on the uninhabited island. Highly recommended! You won't be disappointed.
However, the main attraction of this trip was a sight of thousands rocks of all shapes and sizes, emerging from crystal clear ocean water hundreds of meters high.
We invite you to fly with us over this natural wonder!
It goes without saying that Halong Bay is main and most beautiful landmark of Vietnam. To tell you the truth, there is a story or a legend about every corner of Halong Bay. This is why it's time to stop reading and turn our eyes to the legendary Dragon legacy, famous natural wonder of Vietnam from a bird's eye view.
"Beautiful job:-) what is the title of the amazing asian music playing in the background?? Thank You for sharing this !"
A K, Poland
"HaLong đẹp nhất lа vаo giữa mщa thu hoặc vаo đкm trăng sбng cuối mщa Hи. Hмnh ảnh trong trang nаy bị mờ vм sương , hay do tбc giả muốn cảnh hiện ra như trong mơ chăng ?"
Binh Minh, Vietnam
"maravilhosooooooo!Deus foi generoso com esse lugar!!!"
ana lucia santos, Brazil
"Brilliant Halong Cruises, Brilliant Halong Photos, Brilliant Halong landscapes, i am wondering how you were so brilliant with incedible photos ? did you use fly-cam?"
Anna Hatton, United Kingdom
"HaLong Bay is so beautiful and majestic. According to legend, thousands of years ago when Heaven and Earth are One, fairies and celestrial animals such as dragons ascended from heaven and lived at HaLong Bay."
My McDonald, USA
"One of the most beautiful places I've travelled! It really takes your breath away...Been there this February. Thanx to you I'm there again!!!"
Sotiris Alexiou, Greece
"hi . tnx a lot for usefull site ... i have a suggest pls put on ur site download link (direct) for download amazing music in site ... this musics is memorial ... cuz for first time is that i see this pics ... and listen this musics with images ... this is memorial ... and wanna have this musics with best quality .. pls give me to my emails :) and sorry for my bad english "
RAMTIN MAHMOOD, Iran
"Thank you very much for your post. I would like to download your unique photos. Can you help me? Please inform how to download."
Vu Van Nam, Vietnam
Alina, AirPano: Dear Mr. Vu, our panoramas are not available for downloading.
"We found this page so useful, and we booked our trip to Halong Bay for two days. If was wisely amazing and great experiences"
David Moore, Australia
"Simple beautiful. Many Thanks."
Fred Feuerstein, Germany
"Beautiful need I say more."
liz seager, Australia
"Amazing stuff of dreams!! Please inform how to download . Million thanks !"
Susan D, India
"Dit wordt mijn volgende reis: zeer mooi en rustgevend!"
jeannine schraeyen, Belgium
"I've had the good fortune to visit Halong Bay and while seeing its beauty from the water, the perspective you have provided has added to my joy of seeing this wonderful heritage area. Thank you to the team for all their hard work."
Coral Callaway, Australia
"Thanks Airpano for beautiful images and wonderful music."
Vitor almeida, Portugal
"Thank you so much for have shared all these beauty around the world! Really an extraordinary work. Made me feel more connected with all humanity."
Isaura Mashiko, Japan
"Este lugar й simplemente fabuloso... obrigada por nos darem a conhecer estes lugares maravilhosos... muitas pessoas nгo tem possibilidade de viajar, com o vosso site й como se estivessem a viajar constantemente:) Parabйns pelo vosso magnifico trabalho... continuem a fazer-nos sonhar..."
Paula Cardoso, Portugal
saizayyar tun, Myanmar
"great work.only very few can do this.thank you for showing the beauty of this world's beautiful places.thanks again,marykutty"
marykutty thomas, USA
"Great Job, seeing the wonders of world without travelling, keep it up and best of Luck. Mayotte Island is also beautiful and should be part of your views"
Maimoun Mohammed, Mayotte
Alina, AirPano: Maimoun, please, add Mayotte Island there http://www.airpano.com/voting.php
"So peacfull,so lovely to look and listen at same time. I traveled a lot in my young days (82now) unfortunately am unable to walk. USA also has beautyful sites and good tavel possibility. God bless all who contributed to this lovely composition.Thank U much Irena K."
Irena Kilius, Lithuania
Alina, AirPano: Irena, now you are able to fly! Keep flying with us! And thanks for the message.
"grazie per queste stupende immagini, ho volato per tutto il tempo anche io."
nicoletta rezzonico, Italy
"fantastic,but I think China's Guilin is more beautiful than Halong bay"
Junlin Luo, China
Alina, AirPano: Junlin, we are going to China in 2013.
"What a wonderful and mystic place. I Love Mother Nature."
Ivo Marques, Portugal
"Es un lugar increiblemente maravilloso!!!!"
Jesica Cabaсas, Mexico
"This is an incredible, awesome way to make different pictures. How do you make them, are you hovering with a helicopter and scanning the area or?..."
Rasmus Шster, Denmark
Alina, AirPano: Many thanks! Here you can watch how we create panoramas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRpi9wNDkpE&feature=player_embedded (and http://www.airpano.com/FAQ.php)
"Amazing Work. I have no words to thank you. And I wonder why the rating is limited to 5? I wish I could rate 101/100. Superb."
Amit Kulkarni, India
Alina, AirPano: Your 5 means 110 rate for us!
"I love it."
zhang jiayi, China
"Absolutely Amazing! I'm fixated on this! Spend hours watching this. Thank you so much for your contribution and your technology to share with the world! Thousand Thanks!"
Soon Ja Tice, New Zealand
"Exquisite photography of a beautiful part of our world"
Gayle Levy, South Africa
"Absolutely lovely! I was a chaplain in Vienam in 1968-69 in I Corps [Quang Tri, Phu Bai, Hue, etc]. I returned in the late 1990s with my wife who is improving the quality of nursing care and education in Vietnam. We visited Ha Long Bay and were just breathless...the spiritual quality of such natural beauty cannot be matched. Thank you for your exquisite photography! We recommend everyone to make Ha Long Bay the first priority on your trip to Vietnam...then go to Hue and Nha Trang."
CHAPLAIN [LTC] JAMES C. BERBIGLIA, USA
"This does not look like the VietNam that I visited in 1968 and 1969. What part of VietNam is this? Considering that when I was there I was in 1V corps. Better known as the Mekong Delta. I have often thought of returning but for some reason have not.So much for time healing all wounds."
mike thompson, USA
"Great work..Thanks for sharing.."
Dev Hanu, India
jarka noskova, Czech Republic
"What an excellent job of capturing the amazing images of the world we live! Thanks for sharing."
Tom Soon, USA
"I had been in Halong Bay. It's simply amazing. Thanks to AirPano for this beautiful presentation Faisal, Bangladesh"
Amir Faisal, Bangladesh
"un souvenir pour toi ,ma grosse tante chinoise"
petit robert grosse tante, Belgium
"excillent very good job so keepet up"
jeet kumar, India
"Terrific images by Stanislav Sedov and Dmitriy Moiseenko!It seems few music comes from mainland..balala~"
david tsui, China
"Breathtaking views, great photo work as well. This is the next place to visit in my list"
Anachal Rajkumar, Bahrain
"The images were interesting and attractive .Please keep Iran from producing these images interesting and beautiful place we have here"
saeed m, Iran
"We just ret'd. from Viet Nam and did the junk trip on HALONG BAY. Due to severe fog, we were limited to time on the bay. I did get some wonderful photos in the fog.. They look surreal. These are so much more colorful..Thanks"
Kay Preston, USA
"Simply marvelous. Just back from Hanoi and Halong Bay last week. Your videos captures the 2000 islands in the best of angles and timing of the day. There is only so much we can captures the pix from the Junk. Thank you for bringing us the Best."
Edmund Chan, Singapore
Anna, AirPano: Many thanks!
"'A THING OF BEAUTY IS A JOY FOREVER',ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING VISUALS.THANK YOU PLANET EARTH FOR SHARING YOUR BEAUTY WITH THE "INSATIABLE BEAST "MAN".IT IS MAGNIFICENT.MUSIC SOOTHES THE SOUL TOO"
christian ravi, India
"What an amazing place and wonderful photography. This one will go on my bucket list!"
alison bass, Australia
"Breathtaking; you should receive support from the entire world for your project. I had no idea these places were so beautiful. Thank you so much."
Doris Pavelich, Canada
"Absolutely breathtaking. The music was a perfect selection, Hoa Tau Dan Nhi. Thank you so much."
Dori Naerbo, Norway
"very nice photos"
krishna murthy, India