Bai Tu Long and the Vung Vieng Fishing Village is off the beaten tourist track as it is not so near to the popular Cat Ba Island which has lodging, beaches and nearby caves where most of the large tour companies and boats operate. There are about 50 families; the population is between 200 and 300 residents. This includes nearly 100 children.
These families have lived in this village for generations. The language is Vietnamese. The village is a “floating village.” There are no structures built on land. The village is very poor. Traditionally income for food and potable water (imported from the mainland) came solely from fishing. Now, there is some supplemental income from tourism also.
There are 4 fishing villages in the World Heritage site: Ba Hang, Cua Van, Vong Vieng and Cap La. Vung Vieng is the less touristy. After disembark the mother boat, you will be transfer by rowing boats, tender boats, or doing kayaking to enter Vung Vieng fishing village. After enter the village gate (see the picture), you have a chance to experience the villagers’ daily life as well as the traditional culture and customs of the fishermen, who live in the World Heritage Area of Halong Bay.
Their floating houses look spacious and clean. The well-off families even have tiled roof houses with radios, television sets, tables and chairs, etc. There is one community house here where villagers come to have meetings. Here is also the place tourists stopover to shop some traditional hand made items.
It is interesting to see the rambunctious children going to “school”. Their bustling calling and their flopping rowing liven up the atmosphere of the quite bay. Looking at the small boats driven by tiny oars going to school, and the radiant faces of the children, one feels confident in a bright future for the fishing village. Tourist can drop some notebooks, pens to the village children.