Duy Hai, Vietnam

When Anita and I visited Hoi An, Vietnam, we joined a sunrise photographic tour to Duy Hai, a small fishing village nearby. We were picked up before daybreak, and were on a ferry just about the time the sun came over the horizon. The boat ride, on a boat like this one, was smooth and short.

Duy Hai is a village of about 2,000 people at the mouth of the Thu Bon River. Villagers’ livelihoods are based on catching and processing fish for shipment to China. We spent several hours in the village, wandering along the shoreline as the catch was being brought in from the fishing fleet. We tried not to get in the way of the spirited buying and selling all around us.

 Fishing boats and coracles

Selling starts before the fish are offloaded from the boat
Traditional coracles are the fastest way to and from shore for the fishing fleet.
Flip-flop paddling gets the job done!

Rigorous bargaining is the name of the game

Fishing yields ever diminishing results along the central coast of Vietnam. These were among the larger fish caught when we were there.
Tallying up a record of sales for the morning’s catch
Sales are good this morning.

Teamwork and camaraderie

Women in Duy Hai, Vietnam carry baskets of tiny fish from the boats just docked. The fish will be boiled and air-dried for the Chinese market.
Two vendors taking a time-out on the shore.

Helmets and hats

Tradition meets modern-day practicality: two hats and a scarf.
Protected from the elements: morning chill, a beating sun and a motorcycle ride to market.

The (fishing) day is done

Larger boats anchored offshore, time to bring in the coracles.
The catch is in, coracles ready for another day.
Motorbike loaded, a vendor heads off to market with fish from the day’s catch

If you go

Etienne is a good leader. On our tour, he gave instruction to those who asked for it, and had his assistant David lead the rest of us to the most promising areas around the village for photography.  I highly recommend Hoi An Photo Tours for an atmospheric day out from Hoi An with a camera.

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This post is excerpted from Tom’s Travels, a blog I wrote while living and working in Southeast Asia in 2010-2011.

Related post: Something fishy in Vietnam

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