US News has added Ha Long Bay to its list of world’s 30 most famous landmarks to visit at least once in a lifetime.
It says that alongside the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York, the UNESCO heritage site of Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh should also be part of one’s lifetime experience.
Spanning an area of 1,553 square kilometers, the bay features thousands of limestone karsts formed over 500 million years and 2,000 islets that come in all shapes and sizes.
US News says that at sunrise, the limestone karsts rising majestically out of the bay turns the natural wonder into a great honeymoon holiday heaven for many couples.
Around four hours drive to the west of Hanoi, Ha Long Bay was recognized as world heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO, and voted among the world’s seven new natural wonders by Swiss organization New Open World in 2011.
Ti Top Islet is much loved by many foreign tourists during a trip to Ha Long Bay. Photo by VnExpress/Meo Gia
Recent events that have heightened the bay’s attraction include the filming of "Kong: Skull Island", a Hollywood blockbuster, in 2017; and the launch of Vietnam's first private airport Van Don International Airport late last year, providing foreign tourists with easier access.
UK-based travel site Rough Guides recently included the Vietnamese bay in the top ten UNESCO heritage sites in Asia.
In 2015, the bay was hailed by the U.S. travel guide site Smarter Travel as one of the best ecological spots in the world, while Business Insider said that an overnight Ha Long cruise trip is a "must-try" travel experience in Asia.
Other famous landmarks in Asia on the US News list include the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal in India, Angkor Temple in Cambodia and the Grand Palace in Thailand.
US News also urges tourists to visit the Great Pyramid in Egypt, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Sydney Opera House in Australia, Buckingham Palace in London and The Colosseum in Rome.