Vietnam’s Floating Fishing Village Honored By American Magazine

The famous American travel magazine Travel + Leisure announced the 16 most beautiful fishing villages in the world.


Cua Van Floating Village, in UNESCO world heritage site Ha Long Bay, has been named one of the 16 most beautiful coastal towns by readers of the U.S. magazine Travel+Leisure.


“This little village is completely composed of floating homes,” Travel+Leisure wrote. “About 700 people, traditionally fishermen, live in anchored houseboats, with kids attending a floating school.”

Located to the south of Ha Long Town, not far from Ha Long Bay, Cua Van Fishing Village is surrounded by limestone karst mountains.

Photo: @travelwithanza
Photo: @travelwithanza

The floating village has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years as visitors flock there to see this unique way of life.

A majority of villagers have moved ashore, but several have chosen to maintain their livelihood in the floating village during the daytime because the boats are their lifeline.

In 2015, the village was named the world’s most charming little town by Huffington Post, also based in the U.S.

Some of the other beautiful coastal towns featured on the Travel+Leisure list were Polperro in England, Manarola in Italy, Lunenburg in Canada, and Port Fairy in Australia.

Photo: @levertphoto
Photo: @levertphoto

For your information, Cua Van of former times used to be among the biggest floating villages in Halong Bay residential area. Despite being in the middle of the sea, Cua Van village is not disturbed by the strong wind blowing in different directions. The main reason behind that is the surrounding cluster of islands which prevents the rush of air from completely getting through, acting as an important contributing place for boats to anchor themselves when a storm hits the zone.

In 2014, the authority started resettling families and residents to the mainland in order that they could reap more benefits from the flourishing economy and tourism development. However, a minority of Cua Van’s local people chose to remain offshore in the daytime and earn a living by traditional fishing or running services for tourists.

To be honest, everyone who pays Cua Van a visit would be struck by its beauty which is almost nowhere else to be found, not to mention the grandiose scenery of Halong Bay.

Photo: @andreasalluciano
Photo: @andreasalluciano

Leave the bustle and hustle of big cities behind and find yourself here immersed in tranquility. There are over 300 households in the area, living in houseboats tightly attached to each other so that they stand fewer chances of being blown by strong winds.

One of the most original characteristics of the Cua Van floating village is a whole host of small boats and rafts anchored in front of every house, embodying the spirit of fishermen who hope to bring a brighter future to their kids and family. The native residents of Cua Van are warm, hospitable, and friendly, always trying to make people feel welcome. If you happen to meet some kids, don’t forget to wave, they’ll be all smiles and happy to show you all the village’s hidden attractions.

Cua Van floating culture center is a construction specialized for displaying and preserving traditional values of culture which originates from the long-standing fishing village.

This site introduces a whole host of educational, and cultural exchange activities, not to mention hundreds of archeological antique collections including ancient fishing tools that trace back centuries ago.

In addition, extraordinary sequences of documentaries and archival research pictures are consistently exhibited so that everyone can admire and get the gist of the village’s ancient image.

Along with Cua Van fishing village, Travel + Leisure magazine also included in the list of famous destinations including Polperro (UK), Saint George’s (Bermuda Islands), Manarola (Italy), Camden (Maine, USA), Kotor (Montenegro), Lunenburg (Canada), Sidi Bou Said (Tunisia), Cadaqués (Spain), Ilulissat (Greenland), Oia (Greece), Paternoster (South Africa), Rovinj (Croatia), Reine (Norway) ), Port Fairy (Australia) and Sausalito (California, USA).

Charlotte Pho