06:00 | 01/05/2022 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - Van Ho District in the northern mountainous province of Son La is known for its cool climate, beautiful landscape and unique traditional cultures, drawing an increasing number of visitors and offering community-based tours.
Van Ho has major tourism development potential. The district is home to limestone plateaus, verdant tea hills and grasslands, the Da River Lake, Tat Nang, Chieng Khoa and Nang Tien waterfalls, and Chieng Yen hot spring. The district is home to the Dao, Thai, Muong, Kinh and Mong ethnic groups, whose unique traditional cultures have been well preserved.
With funding from the Australian government and support of local governments, organizations and inhabitants, the Action on Poverty (AOP) organization in Vietnam has implemented the Gender-Responsive Opportunities for Women (GROW) project since 2019 in four villages of Son La Province’s Moc Chau and Van Ho districts, including Na Bai and Phu Mau in Van Ho’s Chieng Yen Commune. With practical support to develop community-based tours, the Na Bai and Phu Mau community-based tourism villages officially opened in early April 2022.
Tours to Na Bai and Phu Mau allow visitors to admire traditional houses on stilts, trek through Pua Lut and Cuon valleys, and peach, plum, bitter bamboo shoot and lush galangal forests. In addition to seeing local farming, visitors can enjoy local dishes and gong and drum performances.
Dinh Thi Huong, owner of the Diep Huong Homestay in Na Bai Village, said that after receiving AOP specialists’ technical assistance, her family built a traditional-style wooden house on stilts with standard toilets and bathrooms to serve visitors. “Tourism is recovering, and we are very happy and trying to preserve the local rusticity and traditional cultures to satisfy and welcome guests,” Huong said.
According to the Van Ho District leadership, the local government attaches much importance to preserving and restoring traditional festivals, folklore activities and traditional crafts to promote community-based tourism development. The district regularly organizes bauhinia variegata and peach flower festivals while diversifying the range of tours.
Van Ho District also seeks to attract major tourism investors to the district, especially to new, potential destinations like Chieng Yen.
Van Ho District has set a target of average annual tourism growth of 10 percent and more than 300,000 visitors a year by 2025 (including 20,000 foreign visitors), with annual revenues of over VND250 billion.