Travel & Life - April 13, 2018 | 11:05 pm PT

5 fishing villages that encapsulate Vietnam's untouched beauty

These fishing villages have remained unchanged despite overheated tourism development, so check them out while you can.

Ham Ninh

A hidden pearl in Vietnam’s 'Maldives'

Photo by Quang Le

Sitting at the foot of Duong Dong Mountain, little has changed in Ham Ninh since the tourism boom. Local villagers still live in the same thatched houses and catch the same shrimp, fish, pearls and sea cucumbers to earn a living.

Just 20 kilometers to the south of Duong Dong Town, the capital of Phu Quoc, it is no exaggeration to call the ancient village a priceless jewel with pristine charm and beauty that has yet to be ruined by the tourist trap on Vietnam’s largest island.

No one knows exactly when the ancient village was born, but it has become a must-see spot for tourists when they touch down on the glamorous island off the southwestern coast of Kien Giang.

Sunrise is the best time to see the village, as the sandy beach and mossy rocks are slowly exposed to the naked day. The seafood, especially the  crab, is a must if you don’t want your trip to be a waste of time.

Mui Ne

A multifold painting on the south central coast

Photo by tonilbeck on Instagram

Once a sleepy fishing village, Mui Ne still manages to preserve some of its old-school charm.

Just 23 kilometers from downtown Phan Thiet City, Mui Ne enchants with its magnificent natural landscape and boisterous but simple melodies of coastal life.

Pretend to be a fisherman for a day for a truly unforgettable experience.

Lang Co

A shy girl between heaven and earth

Photo by VnExpress

Lang Co is nestled in its namesake bay. It was catapulted to global fame after being recognized as the world’s most beautiful bay by World Bays in 2009, an international association founded in Berlin in 1997.

The village has retained its primitive charms over more than two centuries, which has sparked interest among domestic and foreign tourists alike.

Only 62 kilometers from the former imperial city Hue and around 38 kilometers from Da Nang, Lang Co is worth a visit for curious travelers before tourism fever takes hold, evidenced by the multitude of luxury resorts and restaurants that are springing up here.

Cai Beo

A dreamy, ancient floating village

Photo by Vietnam News Agency

One of the oldest fishing villages in Vietnam, which can trace its heritage back thousands of years, is still an overlooked treasure on Cat Ba Island, which is about 45 kilometers to the east of Hai Phong City.

Cai Beo fishing village, with around 300 households living on catching and fish farming, comes out like a watercolor painting with dozens of floating houses rising above the green clear water under the glistening rocky mountains and the blue sky.

Hop on a boat ride and see first-hand how local fisherman are struggling to cling to the unstable-income job but full of risks and challenges.

Cua Van

A towering paradise in a world heritage site

Photo by Huong Chi

If Ha Long Bay is described as a garden of heavenly castles on Earth, this fishing village looks like a one-of-a-kind wonder that nature has bestowed on Quang Ninh.

Lying in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay, the small village is home to more than 170 households whose subsistence livelihoods mainly depend on fishing.

Once you’re here, don't miss the chance to admire limestone karst islands rising up from turquoise waters, take photos of the floating fishing village with colorful raft houses and gain hands-on experience from the fishermen.

Last year, Cua Van made it onto the list of the top 30 travel destinations around the globe, voted for by readers of the U.S.-based Travel + Leisure magazine.

In 2015, the village was dubbed the world’s most charming little town by U.S. online newspaper the Huffington Post, and garnered widespread attention from domestic and international tourists for its colorful floating houses, magnificent limestone hills and winding streets.

Nguyen Quy