Sa Pa community tourism makes a difference
Update: Mar 22, 2024
Being one of the 10 most attractive destinations in Southeast Asia and one of 50 most beautiful places in all of Asia, Sa Pa national tourism destination in Lao Cai Province attracts tourists for its magnificent landscapes, fresh air, and distinctive ethnic culture in combination with diverse community tourism activities.

Tourists try to embroider scarves with Red Dao women. (Photo: VOV)

Director of Ta Phin-Sa Pa Community Tourism Cooperative, Ly Ta May, wears traditional costumes of the Red Dao to welcome guests. May said that 38 households have offered community tourism service and refurbished their houses into homestays while maintaining the cultural characteristics of the Dao, including stone-paved paths, traditional stilt houses, decorated bedrooms, and brocade bedding. Tourists are especially interested in the local dishes and taking a bath with indigenous herbs.

Ly Ta May said: “The Community Tourism Cooperative upholds the principle of preserving and promoting Dao culture. We hope that people coming to Ta Phin can experience the authentic culture of this ethnic community.”

Stone garden eco-park of Ta Phin Xanh Cooperative is Lao Cai's OCOP tourism product. (Photo: VOV)

Vuon Da (Stone garden) eco-park of Ta Phin Xanh Cooperative has been recognized as a 4‑star eco-tourism cum agricultural experience product of Lao Cai’s “One Commune, One Product” program. Tourists can immerse themselves in the cultural space of the local ethnic people, experiencing the dances and melodious flute melodies of the Mong and Pao Dung folk singing of the Dao.

They can even experience working in the fields with the villagers. Tran Chi Thanh, Director of Ta Phin Xanh Cooperative, said: “Besides its natural beauty, ethnic culture is attracting tourists. We are planning to open an exhibition house. If tourists don’t have much time to experience the local culture, they can visit the exhibition house to see clothes, farm tools, and photos on display. With the tour guides assistance, visitors can better understand the ethnic culture.”

Thanks to the reasonable prices of community tourism and improved quality, Ta Phin Xanh welcomes up to 3,000 tourists annually. Chen Yin Huan, a tourist from Malaysia, said: “Sapa is an interesting place with beautiful scenery and hospitable people. It’s very safe here.”

Tran Luc a tourist from Hanoi said: "I have traveled on many lanes to visit villages and experience ethnic culture. Bathing in herbal water is refreshing.”

Foreign tourists take photos in front of their homestay. (Photo: VOV)

Sa Pa has invested in five community tourism venues at ASEAN standard and in line with the traditions of five ethnic groups – the Mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, and Xa Pho.

Do Van Tan, Vice Chairman of the Sa Pa Town People’s Committee, said: “Sa Pa has diversified its tourism products. We offer cultural experience activities in combination with community tourism, adventure tours, and eco-tours visiting herbal gardens. We are unlocking our potential of culture for tourism development.”

The model of community tourism in association with experiencing ethnic culture has helped Sa Pa become an attractive and exciting destination for domestic and international tourists, while effectively preserving and promoting indigenous cultures.

Bich Thuy - Vinh Phong

VOVWORLD - - Mar 20, 2024