Community-based cultural tourism village in Ha Giang

(VOVWORLD) - Ha Giang province has developed community-based cultural tourism villages to preserve the culture of local ethnic groups, including the village of the Tay ethnic people in Lam Dong commune. The village, which offers accommodation and meals for domestic and international visitors, enables them to explore the lifestyle of local ethnic people.
Community-based cultural tourism village in Ha Giang - ảnh 1

Tourists visit the showroom displaying Lam Dong commune’s specialties (Photo:

Lam Dong commune, home to the Tay ethnic minority, is located in the north of Ha Giang City. Their stilt houses are clustered between terraced rice fields and rows of old trees.

Walking on the sealed roads leading to the commune’s center, visitors can hear Then melodies, the traditional singing being an indispensable part of local Tay people’s lives. Each commune has a Then singing club, charged with preserving the art form, passing the knowledge to future generations and introducing their culture to visitors.

Villager Nguyen Thai Hoc said: “I love Then melodies and the sound of Tính musical instruments very much. I learned how to sing and play the traditional instruments from my grandparent. Now, I’m the head of a Then singing club with 16 elder members and am involved in teaching traditional singing to the younger generation.”

In 2014, Lam Dong village started to develop community-based cultural tourism. The locals first built sealed cement roads that connect the highway to the cultural house and the lanes leading to other households. Next on the list, was ensuring the preservation of traditionally built stilt houses, traditional customs and folk singing melodies. After almost 3 years, Lam Dong was recognized as a community-based cultural tourism village early last October.

According to Mai Thanh Nam, an official of Lam Dong village, “It’s necessary to preserve and uphold traditional customs if you want to attract more tourists. We have set up an art troupe to serve the visitors who stay overnightt and they enjoy the performances very much. Tourists can also experience the lifestyle of locals, not only by eating and living with us, but by working with the people as well. Many visitors, especially foreigners, have registered to join these tours.”

Fourteen of over 200 households in Lam Dong commune have registered to do community tourism. Ten of them have regularly welcomed visitors to stay overnight.

Dam Duc Xiem has invested more than 44,000 USD in repairing his stilt house and buying essential items to serve tourists.

Xiem said that with beautiful natural landscapes and a fresh, quiet environment, the village offers foreign visitors a place to relax and discover the culture of the Tay ethnic minority.

He told VOV: “They like to have meals with my family and explore the Tay’s lifestyle through community activities. Community-based cultural tourism serves to conservee the cultural traditions for future generations and helps entice greater tourism, thus increasing income for my family.”

Dam Quoc Hoi, the commune’s chief, told VOV that the villagers who are involved in community-based tourism are well aware of the importance of protecting the natural environment, in addition to preserving and maintaining traditional cultural identities. 

“We are restoring some heritages of the Tay ethnic group including water wheels and traditional stilt houses. Foreign tourists enjoy experiencing daily activities under the instruction of villagers such as grinding rice, cultivating rice, and plowing,” Hoi said.