The south-central coast province of Bin Thuan is famous for its picturesque, sandy beaches and tranquil seaside resorts.
Travelers to the region who want more than just a sunny escape can choose to venture to the humble, hospitable fishing villages scattered along the shore and experience their bustling morning activities when the fishing boats come back to port. One of such villages is Hamlet 7, Vinh Hao Township, just about 100km north of the beach city of Phan Thiet.
We arrive at the fishing Hamlet 7 by dawn. The sleeper bus drops us off by the main road, not too far from the Vinh Hao mineral water bottling plant. It takes us five minutes to walk to the village’s fishing port. In the twilight, we catch a scene of the beach already crowded by boat owners, seafood depot workers and fishmongers from small nearby markets. They are there in the early hours of the day, with all eyes toward the sea where the fishing boats are heading back for the shore.
Most of Hamlet 7’s vessels only fish overnight. They leave at noon and come back early the next morning. This means their catch, be it shrimp, fish, squid, shellfish, is always fresh and free from preservatives.
By sunrise, a huge assortment of fishing boats moor alongside the shore and bamboo basket boats rush to those vessels to carry the fresh seafood ashore. Men pass trays full of fish, squids and crabs to the beach where they are weighed and priced. Tourists can see all people there smiling, laughing and yelling.
We come and rest at the home of a fisherman’s family. The young couple does not sell out all the daily catch but keep some to treat us. After a delicious meal with seafood, our kind hosts take us for a walk around the village and show us how locals prepare for the next fishing trip.