As I embarked on my journey to Halong Bay, Viet Nam, my heart filled with excitement; I knew this was one of the best trips in my life. Being a resident in the urban corporate, fishing was something I could only read in newspapers or watch on TV. I had never indulged it before. Therefore, visiting the world’s heritage site was not only beautiful but also very appealing. On arrival, I booked a room in a port to host me for several nights while in Ha Long bay. As I slept that night, I could not hold my excitement in anticipation for the next day. I was not only going to indulge in fishing but also other activities such as boating, kayaking, adventures under the sea and staying in the fishing houses in Ha long bay.
I was in the company of several tourists who were also excited like me to go fishing. From the port, we boarded the Halong Cruise. We sailed with the other tourists to Bai Tu Long Bay ( a fishing village) from Bai Chay port. As we sailed, we came across several stone islands with different shapes on the shimmery water.
The locals notified us that they named the islands depending on their shapes hence the islands included devil’s face, islet, Teapot Island, among others. As we sailed, we met several fishers going on with their daily activities and got the chance to familiarize ourselves with the fishing tradition. What amazed us were the houses that floated on water which allegedly was the fishermen houses, how safe were these houses? This question ran through our minds.
After about 4 hours of sailing, we arrived in one of the fishing villages, Vung Vieng. This community, located in a quiet and peaceful environment was also romantic. Vung Vieng is a floating village with no house or structure built on the land. It hosts over 50 families hence a population of over 200 residents who had successfully maintained their fishing traditions.
Halong Bay being the major fish supplier in Vietnam had very hardworking fishermen who were able to sustain the increased demand for fish not only by the locals but also the fishermen. The used simple tools for fishing including the spincast reel and fishing nets. Their tradition, according to our trip advisor was what made this village a tourist attraction. These residents lived in floating houses which were painted in cheerful colors with each house appearing to have a watchdog.
We were distributed into smaller groups and given life jackets after which everyone relocated to a local fishing boat. This local boat was characterized by a traditional design with too much noise as it sailed. While in them, we were now real fishermen. We were given the conical hats by the local fishermen to guard us against the hot sun.
We cast our nets into the waters, and as we drew our fishing nets under the waters at about noon, they were full of fish. We pulled the fish out from the nets as instructed and Alas! It was the most exciting moment for all of us. Some made use of the spincast reel while others used the rods. Despite the tool used, once located strategically, everyone was able to get some catch.
Our lunch while at this village was a fresh fish recipe made by the women in Vung Vieng. After fishing, we grilled the fish and took them to the women who did us the favor of cooking. Indeed after the whole experience, happiness is what could be seen in our faces as everyone felt sad that we had to go back to our respective rooms in the port.
However, our experience was made complete by visiting Cua Van village where we went kayaking and swimming hence a chance to relax and meditate in the whole experience. We also got participated in local activities with the friendly locals. These included staying in the free houses and paddling the bamboo boats.
Based on my fishing experience in Halong Bay, I would highly recommend everyone to take a visit too and gain some fishing experience. Also, your chance to interact with the local people will give you the opportunity to know the decent side of them as well as their rich culture that has kept them together for many years. The excellence of nature will also amaze you at Halong Bay not mentioning the magnificence of the fishermen.
My name is Patterson. I have a strong understanding and passion for all things related to fishing. When I am not out wetting a line, I am sharing a range of tips and tricks on Fishing Like Boss – to help others to snag their big catch!
Copyright © 2016 Patterson Riley