Community-based tourism makes Bac Kan an idyllic getaway in Vietnam’s northeast
Update: Aug 21, 2023
In recent years, Bac Kan province has emerged as a magnet for both local and international travelers, allured by its community-based approach to tourism. Once a pivotal bastion during the August Revolution 78 years ago, Bac Kan has transitioned into a hub of cultural immersion, where homestays harmoniously blend with authentic ethnic minority villages. Amidst this vibrant tapestry, the enchanting melodies of traditional “Then Singing” and the music of the Tinh resonate, embracing visitors with a heartfelt welcome.  

Then singing and Tinh playing clubs at Ba Be Lake help preserve the traditional music of the Tay ethnic minority.

Numerous Then singing and Tinh playing clubs have sprung up around Ba Be Lake, the main hub for tourism development in Bac Kan province. Members of these clubs are mostly local farmers who share their passion for folk singing and playing traditional musical instruments.

In addition to setting up these music clubs, the local government has been working on getting everyone involved in tourism. They’re really keen on giving visitors a chance to fully experience how the locals live by arranging stays in traditional stilt houses, cooking sessions, and even weaving workshops. 

Thu Phuong, a tourist from Hanoi, said this is a lovely choice for young people or families aiming for a short getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Aside from the famous Ba Be Lake, there are also some intriguing cultural aspects waiting to be explored, she added. 

Brocade products of the Dao are introduced at a trade fair.

In addition to the tourism activities set up by the local government, those who come to Ba Be can really get into nature by joining in a bunch of community activities at the homestays and farmstays. 

Dang Van Hung, an owner of some facilities of these kinds, said, "Staying at a farmstay facility allows you to chill out and dive into hands-on programs with the locals such as fishing by the lakes, nabbing mussels, getting your hands dirty in the rice fields, or even gathering corn up on the mountains.”

Currently, a lot of those homestays run by the ethnic minorities in Bac Kan province have gotten with the times and are using apps like Booking, Agoda, and even Facebook to get the word out about themselves.

In the first half of this year, Bac Kan province welcomed over 570,000 visitors, 2.5 times more than during the same time last year. That’s hitting 74% of their yearly goal. The total cash flow from tourism has added up to 17 million USD. The province has its sights set on making tourism and the forest economy the big game changers in its upcoming development plans.

Pham Duy Hung, Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said Bac Kan province is really getting into gear with investments and exploring new avenues to make the most of its tourism potential.

"They’re all about creating a welcoming environment for traditional cultural values to thrive. Natural scenery and the rich tapestry of cultural identities are going to leave quite a mark on anyone who visits," he added. 

Local cuisine helps allure visitors to Bac Kan.

Possessing a series of regional and international landscapes along with the cultural diversity of ethnic minorities, Bac Kan province is conquering new goals in community tourism development. 

With its collection of both local and global landscapes: Ba Be National Park — an ASEAN Heritage Park; RAMSA Area — a wetland site designated to be of international importance; and Ba Be Lake — one of  the 20 largest natural freshwater lakes in the world in need of protection; and a whole mix of ethnic diversity and cultures, Bac Kan is expected to reach exciting new horizons in the realm of community tourism development.

VOVWORLD - - August 19, 2023