Nhot hamlet in Hoa Binh province develops community tourism

(VOVWORLD) -Nhot hamlet in Na Phon commune, about 4km west of Mai Chau town, Hoa Binh province, is home to Thai ethnic people. Located in the middle of a valley surrounded by vast mountains and forests, Nhot hamlet is a small, beautiful village which retains the traditional architecture and culture of the Thai group.

Nhot hamlet in Hoa Binh province develops community tourism  - ảnh 1

Villagers in Na Phon commune perform keng loong dancing. (Photo: Ngoc Anh)

Nhot hamlet connects with Lac hamlet in Chieng Chau commune and Poom Cong hamlet to form a tourist triangle in Mai Chau district. Visitors are fascinated by the green fields, gardens, and undulating mountain range.

Because the terrain is quite flat, people don’t need terraced fields like the ones you see in Sa Pa, Hoang Su Phi, or Mu Cang Chai. Their rice fields are divided into squares and rectangles.

Traditional Thai stilt houses built with large wooden pillars, bamboo walls, and roofed with bamboo or rattan leaves stand close together and look rustic and simple.

Tourists can learn Thai weaving craft, buy Thai brocade items as gifts, and enjoy the cuisine of the northwestern region, which includes pa pinh top, grilled freshwater fish, and grilled hill chicken.

Nhot hamlet in Hoa Binh province develops community tourism  - ảnh 2Na Phon villagers perform a bamboo pole dance to welcome visitors to the commune. (Photo: Ngoc Anh)

Keng loong dancing, performed at all festive events of the local Thai people, is another tourist attraction. Keng loong was recognized last October as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Loong means ‘wooden trough’ or ‘long mortar’ in the Thai language. Keng loong dancing is accompanied by a rhythm played using bamboo or wooden pestles on the edges of one of these troughs.

Ha Thi Tam, a Thai resident of Na Phong commune, said that Keng loong dancing usually performed by 8 people – 4 on each side of the loong.

“The dancing expresses a wish for a bumper crop and prosperity. Two people standing at the small end of the loong begin the dancing. When villagers receive tourists, they perform folk dances and invite the guests to dance the keng loong and the bamboo pole dance,” Tam further explained.

Visitors are invited to participate in bamboo pole dance and listen to Khap folk songs and other romantic Thai tunes.

Thai Emeritus Artist Ha Thi Bich of Na Phong commune said, “Khap folk songs are a unique Thai genre which has been handed down from generation to generation. The songs praise the countryside, the rice fields, and the beautiful hamlets of the Thai.”

Na Phong has a Khap Club with 30 talented and enthusiastic members who perform at festivals, weddings, house warming ceremonies, and ceremonies for new-born children, said Bich.

Nhot hamlet in Hoa Binh province develops community tourism  - ảnh 3An aerial view of a corner of Na Phon commune in Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province (Photo: Ngoc Anh)

Na Phon commune turning its houses, clothing, cuisine, folk songs, folk dances, and brocade items into tourism products. Na Phon now has 19 homestays, 2 resorts, and 100 brocade weaving looms.

Ha Van Ngan, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Na Phon commune, said that the locality has made service tourism a spearhead economic sector, using an ecotourism model combined with the indigenous culture.

“In the past, the commune's poverty rate was very high. In 2022, we had 183 poor households. But by the end of last year the number had fallen to just 83 households. To preserve the Thai ethnic culture, we’ve established two clubs of Thai traditional arts,” said Ngan.

Nhot hamlet attracts tourists with its beautiful landscapes, cool climate all year round, unique culture, and tasty cuisine. It is now beginning to prosper thanks to adopting community tourism.