Tay ethnic women get out of poverty

Lam Thuong - a mountainous commune - is located in Luc Yen district, Yen Bai province, about 250km from Hanoi. The commune covers an area of more than 39 km2 and has a population of more than 5,500.

Hoang Thi Sinh, born in 1968, is the first Tay ethnic woman in Lam Thuong commune, Luc Yen district, Yen Bai province to develop a community-based tourism model called Jack Ecolodge.

Like many ethnic minority families in Lam Thuong commune, Mrs. Sinh’s family is living in extremely difficult conditions. They depend mainly on agriculture for their livelihood.

Unsatisfied with her hard life, Mrs. Sinh sought ways to escape from poverty. After vising many community-based tourism areas in provinces of Son La, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, and more, she realized that community-based tourism is a tourism model in which local residents directly partake in offering tourism products and services. It benefits the locality’s economic development.

With advantages in beautiful sceneries and cuisine, including Nam Chan waterfall, Pu Lung Trang hilltop, Na Ken, Tham Duong and Tat En caves, she believes that Lam Thuong commune could promote the community-based tourism model.

Mrs. Sinh always focuses on local food to attract domestic and foreign tourists.

Together with boosting economic development, Mrs. Sinh pays more attention to popularizing the culture and cuisine of the Tay ethnic minority group to tourists. Her homestay bears a simple style, with wooden and bamboo walls, and corrugated iron roofs. All dishes served at her homestay are Lam Thuong commune’s specialties and familiar dishes, such as ducks, gobies, five-colored sticky rice, “Com Lam” (sticky rice in bamboo tube), and others.

Coming to Lam Thuong commune, tourists have chances to discover nature and enjoy original Tay songs. The community-based tourism model contributes to raising Mrs. Sinh and local residents’ awareness of environmental protection and ecosystem preservation, she added.

Meanwhile, she is learning English to communicate with foreign visitors and has joined social media sites to popularize Trang Pong village (Lam Thuong commune) to tourists at home and aboard. Also, she has helped local people to develop similar tourism models.

Handicraft products and specialties of Lam Thuong commune on display at her homestay

Local authorities stand by residents

According to Mr. Hoang Van Coi, Vice Chairman of Lam Thuong commune’s  People’s Committee, local authorities encourage people to upgrade facilities to promote the community-based tourism model in the villages of Trang Pong, Tong Pang, Kheo Leng, etc. while holding experimental tours to beautiful sceneries, including Sa Tran waterfall in Nam Chan village, Cam Duong cave in Lieu Do commune, and more. The community-based tourism helps improve the lives of local people and build a green, clean and beautiful environment.

Mrs. Nong Thu Ha, Vice Chairwoman of Luc Yen district’s  People’s Committee, affirmed that the district considers developing community-based tourism one of the key tasks in the coming time. Therefore, the district has mobilized households to operate homestay services, offering visitors exciting cultural experiences.

The natural beauty of villages leaves deep impressions on tourists’ hearts.

In addition, the district has effectively implemented supporting policies, provided supplies and equipment, freshwater for homestay households, and organized training courses on communications skills and homestay management to raise the quality of the community-based tourism model.

The district has also accelerated tourism promotion in potential communes to attract investment, contributing to increasing local people’s income and upholding cultural identities of ethnic minority groups.

At present, Luc Yen district has 23 community-based tourism sites, including 14 restaurants and hotels with 245 rooms and dozens of homestays. As reported, in the first six months of 2022, the district welcomed nearly 50,000 arrivals.

Translated by Quynh Oanh