Tuesday, August 4, 2020

History of the name”Halong” Of Halong bay

Ha Long Bay, situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and relatively unaffected by human influence. The name Ha Long is literally translated as “Descending Dragons”.

Prior to the 19th century, this name was not recorded in any documents or archives. When mentioning the present-day Ha Long Bay, old historical books often referred to them as the seas of Giao Chau, Luc Chau, Luc Thuy, Van Don, Hai Dong or An Bang. Not until the late 19th century did the name Ha Long Bay appear on the Bac Bo Gulf (Tonkin Gulf) chart of the French.
So when did the name Ha Long Bay originate? A legend has been handed down in the local area relating to the name Ha Long Bay, which says:
“Long ago, in the first founding days, the Viet people were attacked by foreign aggressors. The Jade Emperor sent the Mother Dragon and a herd of Child Dragons to help the Viet fight the invaders. While the enemy vessels were launching massive attacks against the mainland, the dragons descended in flocks from the sky. They spat out innumerable pearls which, in a moment, were changed into innumerable stone islands linked together into a firm citadel that checked the enemy’s advance and smashed their vessels into pieces.
After the invaders were driven out, Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons did not return to Heaven but stayed on earth, right at the place where the battle occurred. The spot where the Mother Dragon landed was Ha Long, and where the Child Dragons came down was Bai Tu Long. The place where their tails violently wagged was called Long Vi( present Tra Co peninsula).
The Legend glued to the orgination of children of the Fairy and the Dragon. Dragon and fairy symbilized to the traditional strength of fatherland and the poetic name of this area , which named by the local people. Nowadays, many names of islands and islets on Halong Bay contains Dragon(Rong) like: Dau Rong(Dragon head), Mat Rong(Dragon eyes), Hon Rong(Dragon Islets), Cai Rong anf faraway Long Chau, Bach Long Vi(White Dragon tail).

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