A fishing port at sunrise

Travel & LeisureTravel Spot

  • Author Lan Nguyen
  • Published November 25, 2011
  • Word count 696

The pace of life at the Mu Ne fish market is like the ocean wave sometimes it is busy and animated, and other times it is quiet and peaceful. Regardless, the atmosphere of this famous old fishing village is always exciting.

The juxtaposing luxury hotels along the coat have transformed the Nui Ne fishing village into a resort destination. With the golden sand dunes and green glossy coconut tress thee surround the glittering sea, people sometimes wonder if the fishing village still even exits. That is until they get to the end of the asphalt road, when they can see the ocean stretched out before them and the old fishing village as it’s always been.

Although the village was supposed have been moved to make way for tourism projects, it has still remained the traditional fishing village it’s always been-providing income for local people, preserving their culture, and boosting the area’s economy. The combination if high-end resorts and the hustle and bustle of a fishing port seem an old combination. However, the combination is the secret to the town’s success, attracting both foreign and Vietnamese tourists who come to stay in the nice resorts white wandering around the seaport learning about local culture and customs.

Off the beaten path and hidden by the fishing port is a sandy trail where you will find yourself amongst a coconut grove beside the ocean. The locals have longed believed that the people who claimed the land and settled their used it as the path to the port and fishing enterprises. Today, the Phan Thiet and Mui Ne fishing ports are both known all over the central southern region villages and towns. Normally, only a small of seafood from the market is sold directly to small traders, while the rest is sent to wholesalers or Seafood Corporations who buy the seafood from the vessels and then distribute it to dealers and traders.

For tourist, the market’s exciting atmosphere stars at dawn when the vessels reach the coast after fishing when the fishermen start bringing in the fresh seafood to the market. As the seafood is distributed, the flurry of activity begins with the endless sea of conical hats that line the port. People carrying baskets, pulling ox-carts, and riding delivery bicycles all eagerly arrive waiting for first catch of the day. The market is filled with children some stand watching all the activities, while others actually work in the market alongside their parents, leaning any fish that drops unexpectedly in the sand. On a lucky day, they may find a heavy one that weighs five to seven kilograms, which can be sold for $5-$10.

Like other villages, the Mui Ne fishing market is typically most crowded in the early morning as hundreds of people unload the seafood to distribute to neighboring regions. Though the sub has not yet risen, the port is busy and noisy as traders exchange products for cash and trolleys weave their way through the market. The activity continues from dawn to dusk.

Historically, people earned their living by fishing, seafood production and shipbuilding. Nowadays, few young adults in the village care about the traditional profession of fishing. Instead they study and work in the resorts or in the tourist service industry. Mostly middle-aged or younger children are now working in the industry. Somehow, these rustic and laborious innate characters have stayed the same from generation to generation. If it were not for them, the Mui Ne fishing village and port would have disappeared and transferred into some western style environment a long time ago.

For many locals the fishing port way of life is like the ocean. The market opens with a buzz of activity, like the ocean waves during a storm. However, after the market closes, the port turns back to its tranquil self, where you can see women looking after their children while weaving nets, eyes occasionally looking up at the distant bobbing fishing baskets out at sea, thinking about tomorrows catch. Neither romantic nor clean, but definitely a draw card for the countless visitors who come to watch the daily life people working at Mui Ne fishing villages.

This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel.

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