Ha Long Bay Cruise Day 2 – Fishing Village Tour

Travel Period: 21 Sep – 28 Sep 2014

{PREVIOUS: Ha Long Bay Cruise Day 1 – Cooking Demonstration }

Hanoi Day 6 Itinerary –

  • Visit the Fishing Village (Vung Vieng) / Cat Ba Island / Our First Kayaking Experience / BBQ Buffet Dinner

Early Morning Ha Long Bay Scenery

Stepping out into the balcony of our room, this misty morning scenery greeted me… So dreamy…


We were up for activities very early in the morning (6 plus am). Breakfast was served at 7 am and we would be going to the Fishing Village, Vung Vieng, at 9 am for an one hour tour.

The buffet consists of Western and Vietnamese food but we ate western food since we had already tried Vietnamese food in Hanoi for a few days before the trip. Read about the food we ate on the Au Co with more detailed pictures here

After breakfast, we sat at the middle deck, reluctant to go back to our room again. While waiting for the announcement to board the small boat to our activity, we had a peaceful moment, watching the scenery. If only the weather wasn’t so hot, and there was no wind, it would be perfect.

Towards the Fishing Village

The announcement came for us to board the boat towards the village. We always have to put on life jackets when we board and they have child size suitable for Dar. Some fishermen passed us by in a traditional boat, so we did the touristy thing and quickly took pictures.

A map of the area, where Vung Vieng is located

Reaching the boarding area of the Village, we were shown the map of the area we would be touring and the route. At first, I thought we would be getting off at some points to visit the show rooms but disappointingly, we did the whole tour on boat.

Boarding the traditional boat

Soon, we were ushered into the traditional boats rowed by a fisherman. We took the last boat after waiting for others to take them and sat in front of an Australian couple. 

Dar was a little worried about stepping into the boat which was quite rocky when there were movements. He seemed to be afraid of sitting inside, mulling over the possibility of tipping into the water. Frankly, I was quite nervous at first too, because we had never sat in a boat before with just one thin border and the water level so close to us. Any slight movement by one of us and the boat seemed to sway a lot. Therefore, we didn’t dare to move much. Even though we knew how to swim and had life jackets on, falling into the water and getting all wet would be quite embarrassing…After a while, with the expertise of the boatman, we all got used to the movements and could relax more.

As we moved along, the Australia couple passed us the traditional hats of Vietnam, the Nón Lá . They had found it in the back of the boat. I was reluctant to wear it at first since we were already wearing our own hats. However, Vin thought it would be nicer to wear it for photo-taking. Hence, we wore it and asked the couple to help us take a family photo. It was not easy as we had to stand up a little in the rocky boat to change direction and face them. In turn, we helped them to take one too. Then, we started chatting as our boatman rowed us towards the houses of the fishermen. 

I was surprised that we just passed by the houses of the fishermen from afar and didn’t interact with them. The cruise staff say it was to respect their privacy so we would not be able to photograph so directly.  Still, Vin took some on the way back when we passed nearer to their houses. A person was sitting in the hammock smiling at us. A granny with her little grandson looked curiously at us. Compared to their little houses on stilts in the water, our apartment is a luxury. We are glad to show this to our 6-year-old, so he could appreciate what he has in his life more.

As the sun bore down on us, I started feeling glad about the Nón Lá conical hat I wore. Because it was made of palm leaf, it really helped to cool down our head under the hot weather! We felt cool even though the rest of our body felt hot with the life jackets.

Circle Cave

Approaching the Circle Cave, a natural formation and the gate of Vung Vieng fishing village, my love for nature surfaces again. Both of us enjoy looking at such landscape so we sat quietly and observed the work of nature after millions of years.

Soon, it was back to the main area, passing by the houses and picturesque landscape. It got a little boring on the way back since the surrounding scenery was more or less the same. We were afraid to talk much since it was such a peaceful ride and there were other people on the boat with us. By now, I was quite amazed at the ability of our boatman to row so many people on board for an hour. Our boat was not packed to the full as we had only 4 adults but the rest of the boats were carrying 6 adults with the boatman’s own weight. How tiring it must be to row all the way in the hot weather!

Back on Board

Going back on board, we went to shower to change out of our sweaty clothes and waited for the cruise ship engine tour to start. Dar didn’t want to stay in the room and love to walk around to explore the ship.

At a glass cabinet which displayed souvenirs for purchase, I saw this cute little tin Vietnamese Fisherman. Noting that it wasn’t too expensive, I bought it to remember the trip.

 We had a great lunch thereafter and would be touring Cat Ba Island next.

{ Next Post: Touring Cat Ba Island }

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