Residents of the central Vietnamese fishing village of Tam Thanh, which has gained popularity since a 2016 makeover that turned the entire locale into a giant canvas for mural paintings, are now running homestay service to host visitors.
The service is part of a community tourism project initiated by the administration of Tam Ky City, the capital of Quang Nam Province, where the village is located.
South Korean artists on an exchange program last year took part in a makeover project at Tam Thanh Village that lasted between June 10 and 28, during which the small fishing village was transformed into a giant fresco featuring around 100 houses repainted with pictures of cartoon characters, portraits of homeowners, and Vietnam’s nature and people.
The program was the first of its kind in Vietnam, co-organized by the Korea Foundation (KF), the United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-Habitat), and the People’s Committee of Tam Ky City.
A fresco painting on a house's wall overlooking the ocean in Tam Thanh Village, Tam Ky City, Quang Nam Provine. Photo: Tuoi Tre
According to the Tam Ky administration, the community tourism project will include the opening of attractions such as a communal arts village, a ‘village of a thousand flowers’, and a garbage-free village.
The highlight of the project will be a 3.7-kilometer seaside walkway decorated with coracles, indigenous Vietnamese seafaring boats shaped like half-circles.
The road is expected to be finished in May to welcome Quang Nam’s 2017 Heritage Festival, which will feature traditional fishing tools and equipment used by Vietnamese fishermen.
The community tourism project, which was launched in September 2016, is centered around preserving the essence of the local culture while improving the living conditions and livelihoods of locals, according to Le Dieu Anh, the project’s director.
“What makes community tourism at Tam Thanh Village stand out is the harmonious blend between arts and the living space, and the active participation of locals in the realization of the project” Anh said.
According to Nguyen Minh Nam, deputy chairman of the Tam Ky People’s Committee, since the completion of the mural paintings, Tam Thanh has welcomed about 1,000 visitors a day on average, with even higher numbers reported during holiday seasons.
Visitors who opt for the homestay service provided by Tam Thanh villagers will get to experience the daily life of Vietnamese fishermen, which involves such activities as making fish sauce and ‘knitting’ fishing nets, as well as visit breathtaking, primitive attractions known only to locals, Nam said.
A Tam Thanh villager decorates a coracle to prepare for the opening of a coracle road in May. Photo: Tuoi Tre