We’re spending an evening in the Hung Long Harbour Hotel on Cat Ba Island which has a perfect view out over the bay.
For thousands of years, Halong Bay has been populated by small local communities living on floating villages tucked away in between the dramatic karst landscapes.
The bay is home to a several floating villages with floating homes, fish farms and boats.
This one is the largest – Cua Van Floating Village with around 200 colourful boats.
Originally these villages were built as a place for returning fishermen to sell their fresh catch from the night before.
However they soon become more – thriving little floating communities with schools, shops and socialising.
However people no longer live here full time as the Vietnamese government ordered the villagers to move out several years ago due to ecological concerns.
Now they function mainly as tourist attractions and stop offs from the cruise boats.
They are still an intriguing sight to see though with the floatilla of colourful boats and homes bobbing on the water of the bay.