People in Cha Day village in Pa Co commune, Mai Chau district of Hoa Binh province, have been taking advantage of natural conditions and traditional cultural values to develop community-based tourism which has helped improve their quality of life.

 


 Tourists join in picking tea leaves with local people in Cha Day village.

In the past, Mong people in Pa Co commune mostly earned their living by growing corn, paddy and raising cattle and poultry. Six years ago, Phang A Pao, a local resident, was the first person to start community-based tourism model in the commune. Pao, who is now head of a group of farmers who provide Mong homestay service, said that since he started his tourism business, he has learnt many things. He understood that preserving the natural landscape and cultural identity can help people from ethnic groups to develop, and escape from poverty.

So far, ten families in the village have joined in developing community-based tourism in association with preserving and promoting tangible and intangible cultural values.

In the village, the homestay service providers have still preserved traditional houses made of natural materials and decorated in the style of Mong people. New tourism products have been exploited such as cultural space of the Mong people, traditional night market, and camping combined with cloud watching in the mountains, which helped attract domestic and international visitors.

Anline, a visitor from France, said that she was impressed when she visited "Mong Space" and was told interesting stories about traditional costumes, patterns on fabric, and long preserved items. She was also guided to make paper, paint with beeswax and relax with herbal bath.

After 6 years of implementing the community-based tourism models, Cha Day village has become one of the popular destinations for domestic and international tourists. While running tourism business, households in the village are highly aware of the importance of preserving local culture, particularly traditional costumes, cuisine, and festivals.

Up to now, the "Homestay Mong and experience Pa Co agriculture" has gathered 35 members with six homestays. Houses that provide homestay service got an average annual income of 100 million VND (4,000 USD).

 


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