The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Quang Nam Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched My Son Community-based Tourism Village in March, 2013. The home-stay service is expected to help improve local residents’ income and popularise the My Son Heritage Site to domestic and foreign visitors.
The village, home to 237 families, is located close to the World Cultural Heritage Site of My Son. The home-stay service is expected to open a new channel for sustainable tourism in the heritage site.
Quang Nam, My Son, home-stay service, foreign visitors
The foreign visitors visit My Son
In 2013, music teacher, Pham Phu Cuong, age 38, established a traditional music club at My Son Hamlet, Duy Phu Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam. The club performs every Saturday and Sunday evening at Cuong’s ancient house. The performances attract a large number of visitors. Cuong said, “I want merely to preserve the country’s character through the folk music and promote My Son’s culture to visitors”.
Meanwhile, painter Nguyen Thuong Hy, who has researched and painted the ancient Champa temples, towers, and Apsara statues, built a small thatched cottage on a stony hill near My Son Sanctuary to live and continue to paint pictures of My Son’s Champa temples, towers and Apsara in 2012. He also designed his cottage to resemble an ancient one. The floor is a combination of soil, straw ash, and salt. Many people have gone to his house to study this method of making the floor. When coming to My Son, many tourists have visit and stay at Hy’s house as a home-stay tour. Hy has happily welcomed and told visitors many stories about the Champa civilization, its unique architecture, and the life of the secrete monuments in My Son. The visitors also have the chance to enjoy folk games of the local people.
It appears the community tourism model brought back traditional culture. According to Tran Sau, head of My Son Hamlet, local people were encouraged to restore the traditional trades of folk music.
My Son Community-based Tourism Village promises to provide a traditional Vietnamese experience for visitor.
My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province has a lot of potential for tourism development that has yet to be tapped.
Aiming to improve local people’s income and popularise the My Son Heritage Site to visitors, the community tourism programme has benefited from the project ‘Strengthening of Inland Tourism in Quang Nam’, supported by ILO with US$1.3 million in funding.
As a pilot project, it aims to boost tourism in the village and for this reason, the ILO selected five households to train on home-stay service. The ILO contributed US$ 3,000 to each household for upgrades to ensure the effectiveness of the model. The ILO also organised training classes on tourism services, speaking English, cooking and customer service.
The home-stay service in My Son has attracted hundreds of visitors since its launch. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the life of rural people, enjoy local foods and cook with the hosts.
The travelers can also participate in dancing and singing local bai choi folk songs from the central region, as well as trying folk instruments, such as Dan nhi (two-chord fiddle), Sao truc (bamboo flute).
The visitors can also experience the field work of famers. Nguyen Duc Nha, a local person said, “The strange thing is that the foreign tourists like the field work”. He shared that after one year welcoming foreign visitors, he realised that the traditional things attract many visitors.
The 53-year-old farmer said the services not only provide him and the villagers with a good income, but they also help local people preserve their traditional rural lives.
According to Vo Van Son, team leader of community tourism in My Son, the home-stay service in the My Son project offers advantages for the Hoi An-My Son tourism corridor.
Tra Kieu travel and tour, a travel agency, is implementing tour services on the tourism corridor, such as kayaking and fishing in Thach Ban Lake; biking to La Thap pottery and Duy Chau banh trang (girdle cake) villages; visiting Thu Bon communal house and the Lady’s tomb or Duc Duc relic.
Team leader Son said that they would use the potential for tourism to attract visitors. “I believe we will succeed”, said Son.