Did you know that around 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water? These incredible floating destinations are a testament to the world’s magnificent water-based lifestyles and many of them have been around for longer than you’d think!
This unique destination in Ha Long Bay is one of the world’s best known floating villages and it’s a great place to indulge in the fascinating culture of Vietnam. Surrounded by amazing limestone cliffs, the village rises and falls with each tide, meaning it truly does float! Many of the village’s natives have also dwelled here for several generations and most rely on fishing to make their living.
Situated in the Caribbean, just off the coast of beautiful Colombia, Santa Cruz del Islote is so crammed it has gained a reputation as the world’s most densely populated island. Residents have their homes on this floating town and travel to neighbouring islands or the Colombian mainland to participate in work, recreation and schooling.
Lake Titicaca in Peru is home to this unique floating town, which is inhabited by the native Uros people. Unlike some other floating destinations, the Uros Floating Islands are entirely man-made, constructed by locals from the dried reeds of Lake Titicaca. Since the reeds rot in the water, residents must work to replace them every couple of weeks – given the beautiful surroundings, though, it doesn’t sound like a bad chore at all!
The floating town of Ganvie can be found on Lake Nokoué in the African country of Benin. Often called the “Venice of Africa”, this floating town includes residents’ homes, as well as shops, schools and restaurants. Ganvie holds around 20,000 people and is an attractive tourist destination if you are travelling in the West African region.
Step back in time with the water-based town of Zhouzhang, which is located in the Jiangsu province of China. Known as ‘Wuzhen Water Township’, this floating gem is believed to have been built thousands of years ago and still sports many ancient homes, bridges, towers and temples.
Naarden is a man-made, star-shaped floating town in the northern area of the Netherlands and is actually a fortress town that was built sometime in the 12th or 13th Centuries. The surrounding moat means that boat tours are popular in Naarden, as are visits to the various historical sites and monuments that make up the fortress.
The Bajau are an Indigenous group of people dwelling purely on the Maritime Southeast Asian ocean, near the Mayalsian state of Sabah. The Bajau Floating Village is their native home. Known as “sea gypsies”, the Bajau live almost wholly on the sea. They consider the water to be of religious importance and their houses hover above the water on stilts.
Venice is one of the most sought-after attractions in Europe and the gorgeous canals and ancient architecture of this World Heritage Site draw millions from all over the world each year. Visitors and locals can tour the town by walking or driving – but travelling by boat or gondola is often the most popular. Although many of Venice’s buildings sit directly in water, the residents here only live on the first floor upwards to avoid getting wet!
Photo credits: Bertknot , globalcitizen01 , azwegers , alihau , erikkristensen , cynthialawsonjaramillo , equanimity , blackrockphoto