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Fishing Villages in Lan Ha Bay

VIETNAM | Saturday, 17 February 2018 | Views [442] | Comments [1]

What is the most different type of lifestyle you can imagine? I'm guessing that many people reading this post have a home in a city, either go to school or to work from 9 to 5, and buy their food in a grocery store. I know that until January 2018, I certainly fit the bill. Sure, every now and then I bought food at a farmer's market and at one point had three part-time jobs with odd hours, but I'd call it a pretty typical way of life (at least in Canada). Even as a decently-travelled person, I had typical travel experiences: trips to Mexico or Cuba or the Dominican for 7-10 days, trips to Europe with family or backpacking with a friend, trips to various destinations in the USA.

This past month, my boyfriend and I have been working our way through Vietnam, and it must have been the most interesting travel of my life until this point. We have crossed mountains, clambered through caves and climbed waterfalls. We have risked our lives (or so I felt) crossing the busy roads of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and racing around the highlands on a motorbike. We've sat on tiny red plastic chairs drinking keg beer on the side of the road for ~20 cents CAD, had clothing and leather goods tailored for us in the old town of Hoi An, and we've even hung out in a bar called the Bomb Crater Bar (named for obvious reasons once you climb down into the place). Even so, one of the most interesting experiences came near the end of our time in Vietnam.

 Cat Ba Island is a really cool spot by Ha Long Bay. You know the place: remnants of the world's once-largest mountains still jutting up out of the turquoise ocean, with stark stone walls and tangled jungle towering above the seascape. We were lucky enough to find an outdoor adventure tour company called Asia Outdoors that took us rock climbing and kayaking on and around the islands in Lan Ha Bay, (beside Ha Long Bay but with fewer tourists). The kayaking was beautiful and the rock climbing was fun, but for me, the most interesting part of this trip (and maybe the whole month?) was observing the fishing villages in Lan Ha Bay.

 There are people living in permanent homes built on styrofoam rafts, forming semi-mobile villages in the water of Lan Ha Bay. They used to live in Ha Long Bay, but there was so much water traffic and tourism that they picked up and relocated to the intricately winding, calmer waters of Lan Ha Bay. Their homes are surrounded by repeating wooden squares approximately 2.5 m by 2.5 m containing nets of fish, and each home has two or three guard dogs that spend their lives running about these narrow wooden squares and on the rafts, barking at passing boats and at each other. The people farm fish and attract squid in the evenings by shining lamp light over their nets. They grow some small produce, and buy the bulk of their vegetables from a woman who drives a boat from the mainland. They hang their laundry from the rafts, play the radio echoing across the bay, and smile and wave pleasantly at the tourists riding by with mouths agape. It seems such a peaceful life out in the bay, although it must come with its hardships; no heating, it is very expensive for their children to go to school on the mainland, and apparently most of these people spending their lives on the water have never learned to swim.

 In my 31 years of moderate travel experience, I have never seen anything to equal it; I look forward to the rest of this Asia Adventure to continue opening my eyes!

Tags: adventure, fishing village, ha long bay, kayaking, travel, vietnam

 

Comments

1

I liked this post.Thanks for giving information about this semi mobile city.It is a new information to me about this kind of floating city.It is quiet interesting.From onlineservice it is able to get such new information.

  RonnieOneal Feb 23, 2018 6:15 PM

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