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On the northern coast of Vietnam is an otherworldly area known as Halong Bay. Halong Bay is nearly 930 square miles in size and features somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 limestone islands and outcroppings (it can be hard to count all of them, let alone remember which ones have been counted!).

Halong literally means “descending dragon,” and there’s a local legend that says that when the Vietnamese were fighting foreign invaders long ago, the gods sent a family of fighting dragons to help them defend the land. As the dragons descended upon the area, they spit jewels and gems, and when these hit the water, they turned into little islands, which today dot the bay.