Floating Cua Van Fishing Village attracts visitors

Nestled among majestic limestone mountains, the Cua Van Fishing Village creates a picture perfect scene, with its colorful houseboats bobbing on the emerald green waters of Ha Long Bay.


Hang Nga from the Ha Long Bay Management Board met us at Ben Doan (the Doan landing station) in Ha Long City and took us by canoe to the Cua Van Fishing Village cultural center. On the short ride, she regaled us with historical and cultural stories about the unusual floating village.

floating cua van fishing village attracts visitors
Cua Van Fishing Village cultural center, an attractive destination for foreign visitors

We reached Cua Van after some 20 minutes and were welcomed by the head of the Hang Trai and Dau Be Cave Management Team, Nguyen Minh Nghia. Nghia told us that the Cua Van Fishing Village cultural center, Tien Ong Cave and Ba Ham Lake were among the top five tourist routes on Ha Long Bay. This route attracts the largest number of visitors in October, November and December annually, up to 400 guests per day, mainly groups of visitors from the US and Europe.

The Cua Van Fishing Village cultural center is much bigger than I had imagined. It contains more than 1,200 documents, images and vivid artifacts attesting to the material and spiritual lives of fishermen on Ha Long Bay nowadays and in the past.

We were lucky to have Nguyen Thi Minh introducing us to the cultural center. She was born and grew up in Cua Van Fishing Village, and has worked at the center since it opened in 2006. The center is part of the Ha Long Ecological Museum Project, the first ecological museum in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

floating cua van fishing village attracts visitors
Cua Van Fishing Village impresses visitors with its peaceful, unique beauty

“In 2014, like residents in other fishing villages on the bay, all citizens of Cua Van Fishing Village were resettled on the mainland. Young people like us are happy to help the fishing villages’ preservation by implementing different activities, including cultural exchanges between locals and visitors, and introduction of the bay-based fishing villages and the first floating cultural center model for fishermen in Vietnam,” Minh said.

We were not the only ones impressed. Foreign visitors to Cua Van were also engrossed by the images and stories of life on the water.

Nguyen Van Trong from the Ha Long Bay Management Board said that according to archaeologists, Cua Van is still very mysterious and has much to be explored. “We are still working with relevant authorities to detect, preserve, and introduce Cua Van to visitors, hoping to make it an attractive, valuable and must-see destination in Ha Long Bay,” Trong said.

We enjoyed our time in the green, beautiful and well-preserved Cua Van and understood why more and more foreign tourists choose to go there.

Hoang Mai