HaLong bay – Why Called the kissing cocks islet?

HA LONG BAY – WHY CALLED THE KISSING COCKS ISLET?

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       Halong bay consists of 2,000 big and small islands and most of them have its own name. The name of Halong bay’s islands originated long time ago by fisherman or notables. Therefore, it is worthy saying that the process of learning about the name of island is also learning the historic and cultural values of Ha Long bay. According to the cultural researcher Tong Khac Hai, Ha Long bay is home of ancient residents years ago and of course, the places’ names also began to appear at that time. Moreover, there are three characteristics affected to the name of islands which first is derived from the name of pure Vietnamese, second is from the natural conditions and daily life and the final one is the name has historical and cultural significance. However, in general, all islands’ names show special characteristics of Ha Long bay in particular and Quang Ninh province in general.

If in the Southern region, locals have rivulets, isles, canals, Halong bay region is also characterized by isles, the, pair, and áng like Bè isle, Chìm isle, Bè pair, Áng Dù, Áng Cây Vông, etc. Specifically, there are some unique names like The Grandfather Gate, The Grandmother Gate, The Lim, The Tráp, etc. Although these names are very special, commonly, many islands are named after their shapes and featured things. For example, some famous names that you’ve ever heard about like the Kissing Cocks islet, Toad islet, Stone Dog islet, Man’s Head islet, Incense Burner islet, Monster Head islet and so on. Besides, some islands are gave specific names because of ecological characteristics like Apple tree islet, Star fruit tree islet, Bean islet and many others. Among numerous islands and islets of Halong bay, the Kissing Cocks islet is considered as a meaningful symbol of Ha Long as well as Vietnam’s tourism. Its shape represents the faithfulness of love which is most beautiful at dawn when the sun sheds the first shine of day and light up the cock couple.

The islands that have historic and cultural meaning accounted less than others but all are associated with the well-known historical events. For example, Driftwood cave is linked to the story told that general Tran Hung Dao hide wood piles used for Bach Dang war in 1288 or Titov islands is named after the Russian astronault G.Titov by Uncle Ho in 1962. Notably, during the occupation time in Quang Ninh province, the French have used many French names given to islands of Ha Long bay and many of them now are unkown origin, like Ngoc Vung island also called Danh Do La or Tuan Chau island known as lle aux cerfo (Deer Island). After all listing, you can see many interesting names and diversified ways to give a name for islands in Ha Long bay. It can be considered as an intangible cultural form among all cutural values of Ha Long bay.