If France is renowned for the enchanting town of Annecy, Italy celebrated for the picturesque Vernazza along its Southwest coast, and Portugal known for the medieval charm of Marvao, then Vietnam proudly presents the Cua Van Fishing Village – hailed as the world’s most beautiful floating village. Situated in the majestic Halong Bay, Cua Van stands out as one of the ”16 Fairy Tale Villages Around the World”, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Have you had the chance to explore this extraordinary village, a hidden gem nestled in one of Vietnam’s most iconic landscapes?

Overview of Cua Van fishing village

Overview of Cua Van fishing village
Overview of Cua Van fishing village

Cua Van Floating Village, once one of Halong Bay’s largest, is nestled 20km from Tuan Chau Island, reachable by a 2-hour boat ride. This village, part of Halong Bay’s tourism program, is near attractions like Ba Ham Lake and Tieng Ong Cave. Despite its mid-ocean location, Cua Van is shielded from strong winds by surrounding islands, making it a safe haven for boats during storms.

In 2014, authorities initiated a resettlement program, moving residents to the mainland to benefit from economic and tourism growth. Yet, some locals chose to stay, continuing traditional fishing and offering tourist services during the day.

The best time to visit Cua Van fishing village

The optimal time to visit Cua Van Fishing Village is from October to September of the following year
The optimal time to visit Cua Van Fishing Village is from October to September of the following year

The optimal time to visit Cua Van Fishing Village is from October to September of the following year. It’s advised to avoid July and August due to the high likelihood of tropical cyclones, depressions, and rough sea conditions in Vietnam during these months.

This year-long period is further split into two peak seasons: one for domestic tourists and another for foreign tourists. The peak season for foreign visitors in Halong Bay, including Cua Van, spans from October to April of the next year. This coincides with the winter vacation and New Year holidays in many foreign countries, where people often seek destinations with warmer climates and affordable costs, making Cua Van an attractive choice.

Highlights of Cua Van village

Cua Van Floating Village has gained immense popularity among both domestic and foreign tourists for several compelling reasons:

Unique Scenic Beauty

The special charming beauty of Cua Van fishing village
The special charming beauty of Cua Van fishing village

Visitors are captivated by Cua Van’s distinctive charm, enhanced by the majestic landscape of Halong Bay. This setting is unparalleled, offering a visual feast that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Tranquil Escape

The village provides a serene getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Its tranquility is a stark contrast to the noise and fast pace of cities, offering a peaceful retreat.

Tightly-Knit Community

Over 300 households reside in houseboats closely connected to each other, creating a resilient community structure that withstands strong winds. This close-knit arrangement also reflects the solidarity and mutual support among residents.

Vibrant Local Culture

The village is characterized by an array of small boats and rafts, symbolizing the fishing lifestyle and the hopes of the villagers for a prosperous future. This aspect of their culture is deeply ingrained and visible in everyday life.

Warm Hospitality

The local residents are known for their warmth and friendliness. They go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome, adding a personal touch to the travel experience.

Engaging Activities

The village offers a range of cultural activities. Tourists can enjoy local cuisines prepared by residents, participate in traditional boating and singing, and even join in night-time cuttlefish catching. These activities provide an authentic insight into the villagers’ way of life.

Marine Barbecue Experience

A highlight for many visitors is the unique experience of enjoying freshly cooked seafood barbecues on the open sea. This ‘marine barbecue’ offers not just delicious food but also an unforgettable dining setting.

The combination of these elements makes Cua Van a must-visit destination, offering a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and unique experiences.

What to see and do in Cua Van Fishing Village?

A typical recommendation for exploring Cua Van Fishing Village is to allocate about 1 day and 1 night, which allows for a comprehensive and memorable experience. The village, being one of the farthest points in Halong Bay, often serves as the final stop in many Halong Bay tours. Here’s how a typical visit might unfold:

  1. Day One – Journey Through Halong Bay: You start your day with a boat or cruise tour to view the magnificent Halong Bay. This journey not only showcases the bay’s breathtaking scenery but also sets the stage for your arrival at Cua Van.
  2. Evening Arrival at Cua Van: As the day progresses, your tour will culminate at Cua Van Fishing Village. This timing is perfect for experiencing the village’s tranquil atmosphere as it shifts from dusk to evening.
  3. Night at Cua Van: Spending the night in the village allows you to immerse yourself in its unique nighttime ambiance. This might include enjoying local cuisines, participating in cultural activities, or simply relaxing and taking in the serene environment.
  4. Next Day – Village Exploration: The following day can be spent exploring the village more thoroughly. This could involve interacting with the locals, learning about their way of life, participating in fishing activities, or discovering hidden spots within the village.

This itinerary ensures that visitors have ample time to engage with and appreciate the distinctive culture and beauty of Cua Van, making for an enriching and unforgettable experience.

Cua Van fishing cultural center

The Cua Van fishing Culture Center is a unique and innovative establishment dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich cultural heritage of a traditional fishing village. At the heart of its mission, the center focuses on displaying the traditional values that have been inherent in the village life for generations. It’s not just a museum; it’s a vibrant hub of educational and cultural exchange activities. Visitors can engage in various programs designed to deepen their understanding of the village’s history and customs.

One of the center’s most remarkable features is its extensive collection of archaeological antiques. This collection includes ancient fishing tools, some of which date back several centuries, offering a tangible connection to the past. These artifacts provide a rare glimpse into the historical fishing practices and everyday life of the village’s ancestors.

In addition to physical exhibits, the Cua Van fishing Culture Center is also home to an impressive array of documentaries and archival research pictures. These are regularly exhibited and provide an extraordinary visual journey through the village’s history. They allow visitors to not only learn about but also visually experience the ancient image and evolution of the village.

Overall, the Cua Van fishing Culture Center is more than just a preservation site; it’s a living, breathing testament to the enduring legacy and cultural richness of the fishing village. It stands as an invaluable resource for both education and cultural appreciation, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a world that bridges the past with the present.

Daily Life of Local Fishermen

Daily life of local fishermen
Daily life of local fishermen

In Cua Van, despite most residents moving to the mainland, some families continue to live there during the day. For these fishermen, the sea is their homeland and their boats, a safe haven. This deep bond is evident in their children, who learn to swim, sail, and navigate maritime risks from an early age. Interestingly, the village also holds unique beliefs, such as a custom that prevents women from boarding boats before a sea voyage, reflecting their rich cultural traditions and spiritual practices.


In addition to fishing, the residents of Cua Van have diversified their income sources by offering services like kayak rentals and guided tours. These local guides possess intimate knowledge of the village, ensuring tourists can navigate the waters safely and efficiently. Kayak sailing, in particular, has become extremely popular among foreign tourists. The unique scenery of the village provides a stunning backdrop, making it an ideal activity for those looking to capture incredible and unique photographs.

The service fees are quite reasonable:

  • Hiring a kayak costs 100,000 VND per hour.
  • Hiring a local tour guide is priced at 60,000 VND per hour.

These services not only provide a source of income for the locals but also offer tourists an authentic experience of the village’s natural beauty and cultural charm.

How to get to Cua Van fishing village?

Cua Van Fishing Village, located dozens of kilometers away from the coastline, requires a significant boat trip to reach. There are various options for cruising boats, including those included in full-package tours offered by large tourism corporations. However, for foreign guests, the two most preferred ways to visit are:

  1. One-Day Visit: For those looking to spend just a day at Cua Van Fishing Village, there’s the flexibility of purchasing boat tickets. These can be acquired directly at the wharf, over the phone, or through online platforms associated with the service providers. This option is ideal for visitors who want a quick and straightforward trip to the village without the need for extensive planning.
  2. Longer Trip (2-3 Days): For a more immersive experience, planning a 2-3 day trip is advisable. It requires detailed planning, including precise information on time, locations, and transportation. Many tourists opt for a full-package cruising tour that lasts 3 days and 2 nights. This option is considered more economical and convenient as it often includes various services and is organized by travel agencies, eliminating the hassle of self-planning every detail of the trip.

Both options offer unique experiences of Cua Van’s scenic beauty and cultural richness, catering to different preferences and time constraints of visitors.

Additional tips

When visiting Cua Van Fishing Village and its surrounding areas, it’s essential to come prepared for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  1. Power Supply: Since electricity in the village is generated by generators, it’s wise to bring a power bank and other everyday-carry tools to keep your phone charged. A flashlight is also a must-have, especially for navigating the village at night.
  2. Understand Additional Fees: When booking a full-package tour, be mindful of additional fees. Some tours might charge extra for meals and drinks, so it’s important to clarify these details beforehand to avoid unexpected expenses.
  3. Explore Nearby Attractions: Maximize your trip by visiting nearby attractions like Vung Vieng Floating Village, just a 20-minute boat trip from Cua Van. This village is renowned for its clear ocean waters, offering a memorable experience. Also, consider a visit to Ham Rong Mountain for its scenic beauty.
  4. Health and Comfort: Bring along mosquito repellent, anti-motion sickness medicine, cold medicine, and other common medications. Medical facilities might be far away, especially in case of emergencies during the night.
  5. Responsible Interaction with Locals: Avoid giving money or candy to local children, as this can discourage them from attending school. Instead, if you wish to contribute, consider bringing educational materials like notebooks and pencils, which are more beneficial for their education.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Cua Van fishing village, a gem hidden amidst the stunning rivers and mountains of Ha Long. This idyllic spot captivates tourists with its serene charm and picturesque scenery. If Ha Long is on your travel agenda and you’re in search of a perfectly curated experience, delve into the bespoke tours offered by San Travel. Discover their array of Ha Long adventures at santravel.vn, or dial +84.91297.2222 for a direct conversation with the San Travel team, who are ready to equip you with tailored advice and exclusive insights. Begin your journey to this majestic locale with expert guidance and make your Ha Long visit truly unforgettable.

>>> Read more: Top 4 Must-Visit Floating Villages in Halong Bay