Paperwork is being prepared for Ha Long Bay’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to be extended to the Cat Ba Archipelago, part of Hai Phong city.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has directed relevant authorities to prepare the necessary documents for submission to UNESCO.

The Hai Phong City People’s Committee was directed to organize and cooperate with Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee and related authorities in preparing documents for nominating Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago as a World Heritage Site in accordance with the 1972 World Heritage Convention.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will guide Hai Phong in preparing the documents.

Ha Long Bay is a national heritage site of Vietnam and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site twice due to its aesthetic values, geology and caves.

Vietnam has eighteen World Heritage Sites and World Cultural Heritages. Of the latter, eight are intangible cultural heritages of humanity and therefore receive international safeguarding.

Ha Long Bay was ranked third on the list of the 29 Best Places to Visit in Southeast Asia by Touropia, an international travel website featuring the most amazing sights around the world divided into various “Best of” lists.

“Located in northeastern Vietnam, Ha Long Bay resembles a scene from a fantasy story with its thousands of limestone karst islands of different shapes and sizes,” the website explained. “Some of the islands contain lakes while some are hollow, with a colorful fairyland of grottoes inside.”

Quang Ninh province, home of Ha Long Bay, has recently provided three new experiences for tourists. In June it opened a cable car line 2.2 km in length, from Bai Chay Beach to Ba Deo Mountain. The cable car has two cabins and can transport about 2,000 people an hour. It was certified by Guinness World Records as the largest in the world, with one cabin holding up to 230 people, and for having the world’s highest pillar, at 188.88 meters above the ground.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the number of international tourists coming to Vietnam in August was estimated at 899,738, up 6.3 per cent compared to July and 34.4 per cent year-on-year. Some 6.45 million international tourists visited Vietnam in the first eight months of the year, up 25.4 per cent year-on-year.