In Halong Bay, fishermen and fishing families live in small floating houses anchored in sheltered coves at the bases of tall mountainous islands, thus deriving some natural protection from Mother Nature’s wrath during typhoon season. Cua Van is the largest of several fishing villages extant in the Bay, with about 130 floating houses and a population of 600 people. It is the only floating village with a primary school and clinic. Generations of fishing families grow up and grow old within this unique community without ever leaving it. Children learn to swim before they can walk, and they row watercrafts that resemble bamboo baskets to navigate the waters on their own, as early as five- or six-years-old. Those who visit are captivated by the extraordinary community and its distinctive way of life.
BA HAM (THREE TUNNELS) LAKE