Vietnamese fishers wearing traditional conical hats go about their daily business along the country's Halong Bay waterfront.
Halong Bay is one of 67 international sites—12 of which are presented here—selected for the World Monuments Fund's (WMF) 2012 World Monuments Watch. The list, issued every two years, calls attention to cultural-heritage sites around the globe that are deemed at risk due to natural, social, political, and economic change.
In Halong Bay, unique floating fishing villages that date to the early 19th century are at risk from tourism development and changes in the fishing industry as well as from climate change issues that are affecting the ecology of the bay, said Erica Avrami, WMF's research and education director.
"For us, [Halong Bay] is emblematic of that inextricable link between people and places," Avrami said, "which is really what heritage is all about." (See readers' pictures of Vietnam.)