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New mural village paints tourism opportunities in central Vietnam

By Vy An   June 28, 2017 | 08:53 pm GMT+7

They might not be ninja turtles, but vivid wall-paintings on an islet in Quang Ngai Province are proving a hit with tourists.

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Tam Thanh Village in Quang Nam Province has emerged as a new tourist destination after being brightened up with murals last year thanks to a joint project between Vietnam and South Korea. However, a rival mural village has just been unveiled on An Binh Islet, Ly Son District, Quang Ngai Province. Photo by Kim Dong.

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There are 18 paintings on the islet, which is fewer than Tam Thanh, but these masterpieces were painted by Vietnamese volunteers whereas those in Tam Thanh were all daubed by South Korean artists. Photo by Hong Minh.

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The murals are the result of a project themed “I love the sea and islands/Born to live wild”, co-organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Ly Son Marine Protected Area in early June. Photo by Hong Minh.

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Only 11 murals were planned at the beginning, but locals decided to try their hands and the number rose to 18. Hong Minh, a volunteer, told VnExpress that it took 10 artists 10 days to complete 10 paintings, after which volunteers stepped in and started working on railings and water jars. Photo by Kim Dong.

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Local authorities hope the paintings will change local people's attitudes towards the marine environment, especially to wild animals. The murals should also lure more tourists to Ly Son. Photo by Kim Dong.

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Sea turtles feature in many of the murals as the islet is among the few places in Vietnam they can still be found, but their numbers are falling. Photo by Minh Anh.

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Tourists enjoy having their photos taken by the colorful walls. Before the project, the islet's services were limited to swimming, diving and camping. Photo by Nganb.y275.

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According to Kim Dong, a tour operator on An Binh, the number of tourists has risen sharply. Photo by Hong Minh.

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Taking a boat out is a great way to explore the islet. Photo by Hong Minh.

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Paddling a coracle and diving are popular activities among tourists. It costs VND60,000 (over $2.6) per person for a group of three or four, including life jackets and goggles. Photo by Superzik.