Our next destination was a fishing village, home to over 400 people. Our tender was too large to enter the sheltered waters, so we were rowed in two at a time.
Rowing to the Floating Village
The floating village was a remarkable place. We passed many of the small floating houses on the way to the centre of town, where we spent an hour looking around, talking to the locals and buying souvenirs.
As a way to become sustainable, the villagers have fish farms, large netted off areas that contain groupers, sharks and other fish they can sell and eat.
We left a different way, towards a large archway. On the way we passed a typical floating house, complete with owner and pet.
The way back
The area they live in is protected on all sides by islands, so is relatively safe from storms and cyclones. Some of the houses even have tv.
It rained on and off throughout the day, which made a nice change from the normal heat. It disrupted some of our day, but also made for some good pictures.
After lunch the rain stopped. We rested then went kayaking again. The islands in this area were really lush, and as you got close you could hear all the birds and insects living there.
We were guided to a large island with a nice sandy beach to find our boat had arrived ahead of us. I was skeptical about the quality of the beach and was told it was indeed manmade.
Kayaking Halong Bay
The island is leased by Indochina Junk and serves as a base of sorts. The cave we are to have dinner in is here and all the kayaks are kept here between cruises.
The island is manned full time by five caretakers. While relaxing on the beach a couple of local fisherman from the floating village drove by and showed us their fishing techniques
After a shower back at the boat we all dressed up and went back to the same island. We climbed a hundred steps to the top and entered a narrow opening to an amazing natural cave. As you can see the crew went all out to make the meal a special one.
We booked this cruise in particular for the Cave Dinner and we were not disappointed. It was a huge highlight of our entire Vietnam trip. It was Alycia’s birthday, timed very well, and the cook made here a delicious coconut chocolate birthday cake.
Note also the food carvings made by the kitchen team on the centre of the table.
It rained heavily on the last day, but we were fine as we had an awesome trip and a little rain wasn’t going to get us down. We cruised back to the harbour, arriving around lunchtime.
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