Northern Vietnam reserve named one of world's best tourism villages

By Hoang Phong   December 21, 2022 | 05:01 pm PT
Northern Vietnam reserve named one of world's best tourism villages
Traditional stilt houses inside Thai Hai Reserve Area in Thai Nguyen Province, northern Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the reserve
The Thai Hai Reserve Area of Ecological Houses-on-Stilts Village in the northern province of Thai Nguyen was named among the 32 best tourism villages by the World Tourism Organization.

The reserve was the only representative in Southeast Asia to make it on to the list that recognizes rural destinations for preserving and promoting community-based values and products.

Just a one-hour drive from Hanoi, the reserve covers an area of 70 hectares and is home to 30 traditional stilt houses of the Tay ethnic minority people.

Surrounded by green nature and tea estates, the reserve allows tourists to join eco-tourism activities and explore the traditional culture and lifestyle of the Tay people.

In addition to Vietnam's Thai Hai Reserve, other Asian tourism villages receiving global recognition were Pyeongsa-ri in South Korea, and Dazhai in China.

The villages were evaluated based on a set of criteria including cultural and natural resources, promotion and conservation of cultural resources, economic sustainability, social sustainability, environmental sustainability, tourism development and value chain integration, governance and the prioritization of tourism, infrastructure and connectivity as well as health, safety, and security.

Community-based tourism, with locals directly partaking in tourism product and service offerings, is slowly taking shape in Vietnam.

According to the Vietnam Tourism Association, the initiative helps create jobs, reduce poverty, preserve cultural identity, and boost the country's tourism landscape.

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