Halong bay is among Asiaai??i??s top island paradises

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Stuart McDonald, founder and editor of Asian travel website http://www.travelfish.org, told CNN that Ha Long Bay is one of the most stunning boating destinations anywhere in the world.

ai???Comprising a vast coastal waterway of roughly 2,000 islands spread over an area of 1,500 square kilometers, carving out your own sailing space shouldnai??i??t be too much of a problem. While tranquil waters year round ensure that going for a swim is always a pleasure,ai??? he said on CNNai??i??s website.

The mysterious limestone caves on Ha Long Bayai??i??s bigger islands and the incredible sunsets meanwhile are two sights not to be missed. Tranquil waters year round made swimming always a pleasure, McDonald said.

The other places on the list include Anambas in Indonesia, Koh Chang and Similan in Thailand and Langkawi in Malaysia.

Ha Long Bay has been recognised twice by UNESCO as Worldai??i??s Heritage for its landscape and geographical values. Last November, Ha Long Bay was named one of the worldai??i??s seven new wonders of nature, according to the global pollai??i??s provisional results announced by the New 7 Wonders Foundation.

The 1,553-sq.km bay is dotted with 1,969 islands, which collectively offer an exquisite example of karst formation in tropical and humid conditions. One distinctive feature of Ha Long Bay is its abundant cave system formed between 11,000 to two million years ago. The long evolution and erosion of the bay has produced pyramid-shaped karst towers that gave the bay its unique beauty. The bay accommodates temperate ecosystems suitable for many species of marine animals, in addition to its great cultural and historical value.