29 September 2014; RTC’s official members arranged a site inspection trip to several community based tourism sites in Bac Can, Cao Bang and Ha Giang to inspect the readiness of the CBT communities in welcoming and accommodating travellers.

Photo taken with Indigo Dzao people and DECEN Team in front of their stilt house

Ba Be Homestay, Bac Can Province

Ba Be is the home of Tay people, has its own recognition in developing eco tourism with focus on supporting community in the area nearby the bank of the great Ba Be Lake. Ba Be authority has done a good job in developing homestay to facilitating travellers’ stay in Ba Be. Bac Kan Pro-Poor Partnership for Agro-forestry Development (3PAD) has as well established a waste management program that has been supporting environmental conservation and eco-tourism development in Ba Be National Park.

Trash bin is installed everywhere in the national nature reserve area to make sure no litter on the streets

Taking picture with the homestay owner in Bac Kan

Khuổi Khon CBT Project, Cao Bang Province

With a role as implementing actor of CBT Project in Khuổi Khon Commune, Cao Bang Province, Cao Bang Community Development Center (DECEN), the first local NGO in Cao Bang, has carried out the tasks assigned by Helvetas in strenghthen the right the rights of ethic minorities, improving their capacity for poverty alleviation and their access to information in local languages. Isolated in a rough off-road uphill, Khuổi Khon CBT Project segments itself in truly authentic Lo Lo ethnic cultures and hard adventure. The Lo Lo people don’t have access to hot water and it has been that way throughout their life. There’s a bamboo shower in the middle of town has been the community’s bathing venue disregard weather. Travellers are encouraged to be free from all civilized facilities and live 100% like a local here.

Lô Lô people not only live without Hot Water, home-direct water pipes are also in the shortage

Despite extremely low living condition, smiles are always in the sight

Sharing dinner with the Lô Lô People in CBT Khuổi Khon

Nặm Đăm CBT Project, Hà Giang Province

Nặm Đăm Commune is a home sweet home of about 60 households of the Indigo Dzao. Known for their beautiful traditional costumes and clean houses, a CBT project has been implemented by Caritas Switzerland to enhancing Dzao capacity in improving the livelihoods of the people here. With three official homestays supported by Caritas, they have well perceived how to do community based tourism to attract travelers. Indeed, standard facilities have invested such as hot water, clean toilet and comfortable bedding. Interesting interactive local dance performance is an add to their CBT Package that invites visitors to experience a part of their culture.

Meeting the Indigo Dzao in Nặm Đăm Village

September – October is a rice harvesting period in Northern Vietnam

Frequent scene of young kids happily helping family harvesting rice on the rice terraces

Kids playing widly around the village while parents busy farming

RTC Team and the Lô Lô Performing Group after entertaining us with their interactive dancing performances

CBT Communities in Hà Giang , Cao Bang  and Bac Kan have proved their efforts, hospitality and capability in welcoming travellers into their home for a truly local experience with accommodating conditions. With various recreational activities during a home stay in those local villages including trekking, cycling, textile making, music performance, each CBT community is confident in offering a full package to guarantee travellers a responsble yet memorable trip.

Lan Chi

Photo: Footprint Travel