Floating villages are among the most special attractions of Halong Bay. There are some villages in the World Heritage Site: Ba Hang, Cua Van, Vung Vieng and Cong Dam. Among them, Vong Vieng and Cong Dam villages belong to Bai Tu Long Bay in a less touristy area.
Most of the junks and cruises would pass by one of these floating villages and would probably make a short stop at a fish farm to observe daily life or just for the visitors to have a peek into the basic living of the villagers. Among many activities in program, the one which is found to be the most enjoyable was the visit to the floating village. Some inhabitants came to pick you up with little sampan touring their village.
Each fishing village has about 30 – 50 families with the population of around 200 – 600 people. As most of the rock islands in the area are too poor to be cultivated, daily life in the village is very hard and poor. Food and water are imported from the mainland; the main income is from fishing and tourism activities.
The village is a true water world, rising and falling with the tides, sheltered amidst limestone towers. Visitors will see the floating school, where the children go. The village also survives from tourism. They have a deal with the cruise companies who bring them tourists to paddle around their homes.
The floating village is home to many generations and many of the residents never leave, but grow up and grow old in this unique world where they are born into.
Education for children here is an important matter to be concerned. When life is not easy, they need to know how to survive by learning swimming, helping their parents. The children learn to swim before they can walk. Actually, their life will be the same as their parents if nothing changes.
“For a Green Halong Bay” program, founded by Indochina Junk has contributed a little to the floating lives by helping local people protect environment and generate income through tourism activities. The project of collecting garbage, repairing Styrofoam by plastic one, raising fish clean, mangrove forestation has been launched.
Visitors here are lured in by the beautiful fishing village – little houses on the water, groups of living house tied together to defend against storms and typhoons, the simple and honest fishermen and the sunburnt faces of the innocent little children. It is all peaceful and charming.
Indochina Junk offer 2 day 1 night trip to visit Vong Vieng fishing village and 3 day 2 night trip to Cong Dam village, both makes senses in a unique path to see local life.