History of Halong Bay
Halong Bay has a long history of forming and developing from ancient time to these days. The place has witnessed archaic civilizations, Feudalism from Northern invaders, colonialism from Western invaders…, thus promotes some fascinating history of Vietnam from establishment stage.
Halong Bay has experienced at least 500 million years in various geological states of orogeny, marine transgression and marine regression. During the Ordovician and Silurian periods (500-410 million years ago), Halong Bay was deep sea. During the Carboniferous and Permian periods (340-250 million years ago), it was at shallow sea level. The present landscape of sea-islands was formed around 7 or 8 thousand years ago by the sea invasion during Holocene transgression.
Particularly about 11,000 years ago, Cat Ba - Halong area has began to develop ancient cultures such as the Soi Nhu and Halong cultures. Many artifacts and antiques have been found such as rock tools, stone jewelries, ceramic products, harvesting and hunting kit, fishing tools, copper arrows etc – all dated from different periods in ancient time.
Going forward to more recent time; the name Halong Bay is attached with some important historical milestones well-known among Vietnamese.
The economy of Halong flourished during 12th century as Van Don Port became the first trading port of Vietnam. For the span of three dynasties Ly – Tran – Hau Le, Van Don Port was the busiest port in Vietnam trading commercial goods and specialties with many countries in the world.
In 1288, Dau Go Cave witnessed the triumph of Tran Dynasty fighting against Mongol invaders in the historical Bach Dang River battle in 1288. Here battleships of Northern enemy have been burnt and sunken by taking advantage of the tide.
Inside the city, Bai Tho Mountain is a famous destination for preserving a hand-written poem engraved on a cliff at the top of King Le Thanh Tong in 1468 and Lord Trinh Cuong in 1729.
The historical events combined with great imagination of Vietnamese people have created many interesting folklores, myths and legends of Halong Bay known until today. Currently, the newly builtQuang Ninh Museum show all the artifacts and vestiges found in different era of Halong with interesting historical facts about this beautiful coastal city. The Museum presents a modern design and opens for all tourists free of charge.