What did old Vietnamese villages look like?
The floating villages of Ha Long Bay
A film by Joanna Michna
Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam looks particularly mystical in February. Large, bizarrely shaped rocks protrude from the water between wafts of mist. Legend has it that a giant dragon once defended the people from intruders here. In the fight, he divided the land with his tail, which was then washed by the water. About 2000 small islands emerged - almost all of them uninhabited and uninhabitable. Nevertheless, around 1,600 people have settled here. They live in small floating villages on and off the water of the sea.
When the lights go on in the evening three hours away from the mainland in the middle of Ha Long Bay, a deafening roar roars over the water - electricity is only available here from diesel generators. When it gets dark, many people in the floating village of Vong Vieng turn on the television. Then they see things that come from a world that is strange to them: cities with streets and cars or animals like pigs and cows.
A short evening excursion into unfamiliar worlds. Then the familiar lapping of waves crashing against houses and boats regains the upper hand. The generators are switched off because diesel is expensive - like everything that does not come from the water. That often means hardship. But people are attached to the way they live: "If I lived on the mainland, I would miss fishing very much. I couldn't live without it." says Khuyen Van Vu.
He learned the trade of fisherman from his father and his twenty-one year old son Luu also makes a living from fishing. Luu has just bought a house for himself, his wife Mai and his little son. But the joy is clouded: the catch has been bad lately and the last installment has not yet been paid. If the small family does not get more money quickly, they will lose the new home again. Mai already has a plan, she wants to sell goods with a bamboo boat on the water and thus earn additional money. However, this will not be easy: She still has no start-up capital and a stable boat and goods are only available on the mainland, which is foreign and distant to her.
"360 ° - GEO Reportage" accompanies a young couple who want to build their own home and existence in the bay.
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