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Hạ Long is the capital city and 1st-class provincial city of Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. The city was created in 1993, when the old capital, Hòn Gai, was merged with Bãi Cháy – the main tourist area. The city mainly lies on Hạ Long Bay. It is located at about 178 km east of Hanoi. The population in 2013 was 227,000.OverviewThe city's economy has recently switched from coal mining to tourism, due to the large number of visitors drawn by the Hạ Long Islets every year. At present, Hạ Long is experiencing rapid growth not only in tourism sphere, but as a place upon the main road to southern China. In 2007 Vietnam-China Business Forum, a $400 million deal was signed to build a highway linking Hạ Long, Mong Cai and Quảng Ninh.Hạ Long city is divided into two parts: East Hạ Long and West Hạ Long. The eastern part ("Hon Gai"), where most of the official buildings and industry are concentrated, is connected by bridge with the western part ("Bai Chay"), considered to be more of a tourism attraction.There are several good quality hotels in Hạ Long city and plenty of budget accommodation, two hospitals and several private medical centers.The biggest hotel in Vietnam is planned to be built on the bay, beginning from 2007.EtymologyThe name Hạ Long is derived from the Sino-Vietnamese 下龍, meaning "descending dragon". For more about the origin of this name, see Hạ Long Bay.Start your trip to Vietnam by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.
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