Hạ Long means “descending Dragon”. The name of Halong Bay has changed through many historical periods. In the Chinese colonization period, this area was named Luc Chau, Luc Hai. In the Ly, Tran, Le dynasty, this bay was called with different names such as Hai Dong, An Bang, Van Don, Ngoc Son or Luc Thuy. The name Halong just appeared in some ancient documents and marine maps of French since the end of 19th century.
Stories behind the name of Halong bay.
Halong bay is a common place in Vietnam. However, the name behind it is still a myth.
According to French documents
On the Hai Phong news, published in French; there was an article about the existence of a dragon-like creature on the area of Halong Bay as nowadays; when the French sergeant Legderin, the captain of Avalence along with other sailors, caught up with a couple of giant sea snakes three times (in 1898, 1900 and 1902)
Probably, the Westerners have thought that this animal resembles an Asian dragon, the legendary animal worshipped in Vietnamese culture particularly and Asian cultures generally. That’s why the coastal area of Quang Ninh province was called “Ha Long Bay” by French and this name remains until now.
According to Vietnamese legends
According to Vietnamese legend, in the mind of Vietnamese people from the prehistorical time with the fork imagination and the idea about origin of dragon and fairy, some legends have indicated that when Vietnamese just newly found the country, it was invaded by the enemy. The Jade asked the Mother Dragon along with their children to support the Vietnamese defeat the enemy. When the boats of the enemy stormily entered the land, the dragon flock descended at the same time. The dragon flock flamed the boats, set it on fire; they puffed the pearls, creating the concrete towering rocky walls that the enemy’s boats got crashed when pumping into and prevented the invasion of enemy.
After the enemy got away, the dragon flock decided to stay here for they see the peaceful life, hard-working and industrious people who support each other in hard times. The place where Mother dragon descended is called “Ha Long”; where Children dragon landed is called “Bai Tu Long” and the bubbles from the tails of dragon create the destination called “Bach Long Vi” (on the Tra Co peninsula now, with the long sand)
In reality, Halong bay was formed after the geographical forming movement, happening million years ago. However, in the mind of Vietnamese, with the various imagination of the forklore, Halong Bay was originated from legends. And those legends make Halong bay more stunning and colorful than ever!
Nowadays, Halong bay is famous all around the world for the impressive seascapes and the geographical values. The number of tourists coming to Halong bay is rocketing every year. With the wide range of Halong bay cruises, along with other activities on and off-board, Halong bay is an ideal relaxing spot for you in this summer.