As a result, the community-based tourism will contribute to strengthening economic development as well as raising public awareness and responsibility of preserving and promoting cultural identities of ethnic groups in the locality.
As a mountainous district in the northeast of Quang Ninh Province, more than 100 km from Ha Long City, Binh Lieu mainly features high mountainous terrain with beautiful natural waterfalls such as Khe Van, Khe Tien and Song Mooc. The terraced fields in the ripe rice season are called "golden carpets". Forests of fragrant cinnamon and anise stretch over the rolling mountains, creating the image of a charming landscape. This is also Binh Lieu's strength in developing community-based tourism to attract visitors.
With 96% of the population as ethnic minority people, Binh Lieu District has been focusing on developing models in preserving cultural values of ethnic minority groups such as Tay ethnic cultural village in Dong Thanh (Hoanh Mo Commune), Dao ethnic cultural village in Vo Ngai (Vo Ngai Commune) and Song Mooc (Dong Van Commune). Many special homestays and accommodation establishments have been formed.
Song Mooc Village, which is located at an altitude of more than 1,000 m above sea level, has mainly gathered Dao Thanh Phan ethnic minority people. The private Song Moc House homestay was built and operated with eight self-contained rooms and a collective area.
In addition, Binh Lieu District has developed seven thematic groups of tourism products, introducing tourists to interesting experiences. Visitors will have the chance to learn more about the community activities of ethnic minority people at tourist sites. Binh Lieu Flower Garden is a strange and attractive tourist product in Cao Son Village, Hoanh Mo Commune. It was invested in by the Hoa Binh flower cooperative with a scale of 2 hectares. Coming here, visitors can immerse themselves in the peaceful and hospitable life of the indigenous people, enjoy the mountainous scenery and colourful flowers, and breathe in the fresh air.
Binh Lieu District has initially made an impression on tourists thanks to its own traditional cultural values. Various annual festivals and cultural-tourism weeks including Soong Co Singing Festival, Luc Na Temple Festival, flower festivals and ripe rice festivals, have been held with lots of new experience activities and interesting folk games.
In particular, the long-standing football movement of San Chi ethnic minority women in the district has officially been put into festivals and cultural-sporting weeks. The San Chi ethnic women wear traditional skirts, socks, and headscarves to play football as real football players, creating a highlight attracting visitors to the locality.
The living and farming habits of the ethnic minorities, the blooming season of so (camellia oleifera) flowers in winter in association with the new rice festival are different features boosting the community-based and experience tourism types.
Vu Dinh Chung from Hanoi shared that coming to Binh Lieu, they not only admired the majestic and beautiful natural scenery but also joined folk games, enjoyed unique dishes of ethnic minority people, and especially cheered on the San Chi ethnic women playing football. This is really a new and unique activity.
In order to connect routes and tourist attractions in the locality, creating favourable conditions for visitors to explore Binh Lieu, the district’ authorities have proactively linked infrastructure to serve both socio-economic development and tourism and service such as the border patrol route and the road to western border marker and 1305 landmark, the Luc Ngu – Khe Tien road and the Na Ech – Khe Van road. The locality has developed a project to relocate some households from the core at the waterfall’s foot in Khe Van to the outside, towards attracting more investment into the tourist site.
Quang Ninh Province also allocated investment into the construction of new road from the district’ centre to Huc Dong Commune. Meanwhile, the road from the commune’s centre to Khe Van Waterfall has been concreted to facilitate transportation. Green trees have been planted both sides to create a clean and beautiful landscape.
Under the project of socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas for 2021-2025 period with orientation to 2030, the project on sustainable community-based tourism development, the night-economy development project for the 2020-2025 period, and the planning to preserve and promote cultural values of localities in Quang Ninh Province, Binh Lieu District is one of the localities to be prioritised with allocation of development resources.
Head of the Culture and Information Department of Binh Lieu District, Hoang Huy Trong, said that with a methodical approach, the locality’s tourism has increasingly developed. Especially, not only the authorities but also people and enterprises are very supportive of this direction. This is the foundation for sustainable tourism development, helping Binh Lieu's image reach further.