Taken on: 7th November, 2011. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See krismcconkey's page of Flickr

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A cruise on Ha Long Bay -- or the Bay of the Descending Dragon -- for many represents the pinnacle of their experience in Vietnam. easily one of the most popular destinations in the country, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ha Long Bay is both mystical and magnificent, an incredible feat of nature that almost never fails to impress.

Yes, it really is that good.

Last time we counted, UNESCO had picked out 830 World Heritage sites around the world, chosen for their cultural and historical importance, and also for their geological uniqueness. Ha Long Bay offers a little of all three.

It's not the cliffs themselves that make Ha Long Bay unique, but rather their sheer number. A huge bay, dotted with nearly 2,000 mostly uninhabited limestone cliffs, the breathtaking scenery is very similar to that of the Andaman coast of Thailand, Vang Vieng in Laos and Guilin in China.

Created over millions of years, tectonic forces slowly thrust the limestone above the ... Read our complete Ha Long Bay travel guide

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365.341/ Ha Long Bay Sunset IMG_5163-copy-2 365.185/ Ha Long Emotion 365.179/ Ha Long Bay 12A_00013 Halong Bay '13 - At the Break of Dawn Halong Bay '13 - A Wonder of the World 365.10/ Ha Long Bay Morning Halong-Bay-Vietnam-6898 Halong-Bay-Vietnam-6858-2 Halong-Bay-Vietnam-6851 Halong-Bay-Vietnam-6907 Halong-Bay-Vietnam-6851-2 Halong-Bay-Vietnam-6707 Halong-Bay-Vietnam-6858 Jade green water of Halong Bay. Spectacular view of Halong Bay Vietnam Awesome, rite? Ride on this The Amazing Cave The view again Great view Junks Floating village The view from our junk Floating village The bay Sunset at Halong Bay, Vietnam ... between a rock and a hard place