After we finished our breakfast, our tour guide Smiley told us to get ready to meet up on the upper deck before we started our second day in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, with a visit to one of the floating villages in the bay. There are four floating villages in Ha Long Bay area, with a population of around 1,600 people total living there. Most are fishermen and their families. The villages are located in sheltered coves at the base of mountainous islands. The islands provide a natural protection from bad weather condition especially during the typhoon season. These communities have been inhabiting the area for quite a long time. They still live mainly from fishing, selling their catch to the nearby Ha Long City where they also get their supplies. Now with the increasing popularity of tourism in the area, the villages are also opening up for visits from tourists. Some even provided special events for tourists who come to visit.
I didn’t have much expectation about what we would experience through this visit. One thing I was interested in finding out was the comparison between these floating villages to the ones we saw in Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. Obvious difference was that one was in fresh water lake while the other is in a bay close to open sea. Both live on fishing, but other thand that, I guess we would find out.
I took the photo below when we were about to enter the village. You could see here two of the tourists on a row boat, and the row of houses that made up one side of the floating village.