After spending some time riding our row boats through the Cong Dam floating village, we continued on to one corner of the inlet to see some of the nearby rock formations. Then we heard our tour guide Smiley calling out from a distance. He was already at one of the house boats, accompanied by a couple of gentlemen.
We all moved towards the house boat and one by one our row boats docked there and we got on the platform. Once everyone assembled there, Smiley introduced us to one of the gentlemen who turned out to be the village mayor. He didn’t speak English, but Smiley translated for him and he welcomed us to his village.
It was a nice visit as the mayor showed us some hospitality and shared with us a little bit about life in the village. But a lot of it seemed to be a little too formal (if not staged), so I wonder how much of that would be the same had we come to the village not as a part of a tourist group like this. It was difficult to tell as I didn’t understand what he said in Vietnamese, and while we went through this, the ladies from the village who rowed our boats sat around at one corner talking with each other, seemed uninterested to having yet another tourist group coming to visit.
On the photo below, you can see Smiley waving at out group. The gentleman on the right was the village mayor who came and meet us.