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Republished from International Caver 2000, pp 24-31. Open link

UIS KHS Commission
Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers, 2005, Vol 3, Issue 8
Karst and caves of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Abstract:

Ha Long Bay is distinguished by the hundreds of small limestone islands that rise steeply or vertically from its shallow waters. Its dramatic and beautiful landscape is deservedly famous as one of the world’s outstanding natural sights, but it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site of international geomorphological significance (Fig. 1). The bay lies on the northeastern coast of Vietnam, immediately east of the Red River delta . It is bounded on the north by the mainland hills either side of Ha Long City (also known as Hong Gai), to the south by the open waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, to the west by Cat Ba Island, and to the east by islands of sandstone (Fig. 2). Ha Long Bay has an area of about 1500 km2, and contains nearly 2000 limestone islands.
The caves described here were all visited during an assessment of the bay’s geomorphology with respect to its position as a World Heritage Site. Records of other caves in Ha Long Bay are sparse. A British team led by Howard Limbert mapped the Hang Hanh stream cave in the mainland limestone along the north shore of the bay; and a French team led by Marc Faverjon explored caves in the islands east of the bay, and also a few in Ha Long Bay itself.
Locality names are here translated into English, except for the cave names which are left in Vietnamese. The key terms are: dao = large island; hon = small island or rocky tower; hang = tunnel or passage cave; dong = chamber cave.