Ha Long Bay listed world’s top 10 stunning natural wonders

Monday, 07/11/2022 15:39
Renowned science website Live Science has listed Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO-recognised World Heritage site, among its list of 10 stunning natural wonders travelers should visit during their holiday.
Ha Long Bay is named among world’s top 10 stunning natural wonders. (Photo: VGP) 

According to details published on the website, there are roughly 1,600 islands nestled throughout this 580-square-mile, equal to 1,500 square kilometres, bay in the Gulf of Tonkin.

It noted that a layer of limestone had slowly developed over the course of 500 million years, meaning that by the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago it was 3,280 feet, equal to 1,000 metres, thick.

“The hunk of rock was then weathered by the sea, but really took a beating in the last ice age. The slab broke apart, and the fragments are the islands we see today,” says Live Science.

Other destinations on the list include the Jurassic Coast of the UK, Komodo Island of Indonesia, Pamukkale of Turkey, Peyto Lake of Canada, Perito Moreno Glacier of Argentina, Salar de Uyuni of Bolivia, the Maldives of the Indian Ocean, Victoria Falls in southern Africa, and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

Ha Long Bay (Photo: quangninh.gov.vn) 

This comes after Ha Long Bay was also named among the 10 most beautiful destinations for 2022, as selected by Canadian newswire The Travel.

Furthermore, 2018 saw Ha Long Bay make the top 15 most Instagrammed global cruise destinations, based on a survey featuring 1.8 million posts tagged on various ships and ports by travel cruise site SeaHub.

Moreover, in 2019 the bay was listed by British travel magazine Rough Guides as one of the 10 best UNESCO sites throughout all of Asia.

242 tourists arrive in Phu Quoc on direct flight from Poland

Phu Quoc island in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang on November 6 welcomed a total of 242 Polish tourists aboard a charter flight operated by LOT Polish Airlines.


The tourists are scheduled to stay in Phu Quoc for between seven and 10 days.

Most notably, by March, 2023, there will be up to 31 direct flights from Poland to Phu Quoc.

Furthermore, the number of foreign arrivals to Phu Quoc is forecast to reach more than three million by the end of the year, with a rise of between 20% and 25% anticipated over the coming years.

Recently the southern island welcomed many flights carrying foreign tourists from Thailand, India, and the United States.

On November 1 Phu Quoc received its first flight from Uzbekistan after the COVID-19 pandemic, with 180 tourists making the journey.

Phu Quoc is renowned for being a pearl island. It was voted by readers of Condé Nast Traveler in sixth place among the top 10 resort islands in Asia for 2022. It was also selected as one of the 25 best islands in the world by readers of US magazine Travel+Leisure.

Vietnam attends 39th World Social Security Forum

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) delegation led by Dao Viet Anh, deputy director general, recently participated in the 39th World Social Security Forum in Morocco.


The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) delegation works with Morocco's competent agencies during the 39th World Social Security Forum. (Photo: Baohiemxahoi.gov.vn)

The event is organised by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) every three years and involves the gathering of over 1,000 participants from 140 countries and territories from all over the world.

Delegates used the platform to discuss key topics, including improving the overall management of social security organisations, pushing greater coverage for social security, meeting the needs of an ageing population, and social security responses relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member of the ISSA, Vietnam joined a vote on November 1 to elect the Council of the association.

Dr Mohammed Azman bin Aziz Mohammed from Malaysia was duly selected as president of the association for the 2022 to 2028 term.

During the 39th World Social Security Forum in Morocco taking place from October 24 to November 3, the VSS delegation held a working session alongside Morocco’s National Social Security Fund (CNSS), with the goal of expanding future relations.

The ISSA is an international organisation which brings together various national social security administrations and agencies.

Originally founded in 1927 under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the ISSA has more than 330 member organisations across 158 countries, with its headquarter located in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2015 the VSS joined the ISSA and is currently the only official Vietnamese representative at this important multilateral forum.

Pessimistic outlook for maritime transport firms amid weak demand

Container shipping firms are coming under great pressure from weak demand as maritime trade has begun to lose steam in recent months.

A container ship at Lach Huyen Seaport. (Photo: VNA) 

According to SSI Securities, exports to large trade partners, including the US and EU, continued to decline in September at Cai Mep Seaport and Lach Huyen Seaport.

Experts forecast that maritime trade would not reach the figures seen in previous years even in peak seasons because of retailers' high inventory levels.

For container-shipping firms, the situation is expected to worsen in late months of the year due to falling freight rates, which have slipped by roughly 20% domestically since early 2022.

Analyst Pham Minh Quang, BIDV Securities, estimated that international freight rates would continue to drop by around 12% towards Q1/2023, caused by high inventory levels and high inflation. Domestic freight rates would follow suit with a drop of about 5% amid a slow recovery of vessel supply.

Analyst Nguyen Quynh Hoa from MB Securities, shared this view, forecasting that maritime trade carried by containers would slow down in short term on grounds of weak demand.

However, the outlook for the industry would be optimistic in long term thanks to the improvement of global geopolitical conflicts, the easing of COVID-19 preventive measures, and the rebound of container supply.

Imports and exports are projected to pick up in the coming years as a result of the fully implementation of Free Trade Agreements and the lowering of trade barriers ensuing.

For the time being, many maritime transport firms are running at a profit.

Vietnam Ocean Shipping JSC (HOSE: VOS) made an after-tax profit of 154.1 billion VND in Q3, down 17% against Q3/2021.

The firm said freight rates remained at good levels in the first nine month of 2022 despite a volatile market. It won several contracts to transport dry commodities at high freight rates during the period.

"Oil-powered vessels turned high profits from late Q2, contributing greatly to our total profits," said a VOS representative.

Apart from the profits generated by its own vessels, the firm also had extra earnings from two oil-powered vessels, Dai An and Dai Phu, chartered since late 2021.

Vietnam Tanker JSC (HOSE: VTO) raked in 23.8 billion VND after tax in Q3, tenfold as large as the figure last year.

A VTO representative attributed the boom in profits to "the increase in time charter rates and in coastal vessel activities compared to Q3/2021".

Remarkably, higher time charter rates contributed nearly 100 billion VND to its revenues and 25 billion VND to its after-tax profits.

Vinafco JS Corporation (UPCoM: VFC), likewise, saw its after-tax profits increase by roughly 51% during the period. The firm said its profitability came from its better performance in transport and financial activities.

Vinaship JSC (UPCoM: VNA) also operated profitably with an after-tax profit of 63.7 billion VND, down 7% year-by-year.

It is worth noting that several firms are stepping up seaport development to cater for higher maritime trade in the long term.

Germadept Corporation (HOSE: GMD) is in process of completing necessary procedures to begin the construction of Gemanlink Port phase 2 this year. The port, with an estimated capacity of 1.5 million TEU, is expected to begin in 2024.

Meanwhile, 50% of the construction works in Nam Dinh Vu Port phase 2 has been completed. The port have an estimated capacity of between 0.6 million and 1.2 million TEU.

VOS stocks ended the November 4 session at 9,500 VND, VTO at 7,200 VND, and GMD at 48,700 VND./.

Compiled by BTA