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27/05/2019 - 06:45

Preserving and exploiting the potential of Hue garden house tourism

The project "Supporting the protection and promotion of typical Hue garden house (THGH) values" was and is being implemented by the City People's Committee in order to achieve the target of 25 - 40% of THGHs restored in the 2015-2020 period according to the Resolution of the Provincial People's Council.

Foreign students visited a Hue garden. Photo: VDN

Being the garden house that fully meets the criteria of THGH, it is over 200 years old, with an area of ​​17,000 m2; in 2018, Mr. Ho Xuan Doanh in Group 13, Thuy Bieu Ward was supported with VND 700 million to repair and upgrade the garden house. With the supported amount together with the supervision and technical counseling from the consultancy and design units, the family invested in upgrading and repairing the entire system of house, including paving the floor with flowered bricks, replacing tile roofs, painting the house, improving the garden, and planting green trees.

Mr. Doanh said that after the house was repaired with the provincial capital, the number of tourists visiting and enjoying the services is on the rise. In early 2019, the family decided to invest extra VND 500 million to build an additional Hue standard nhà rường (a traditional Vietnamese house type without main columns) to develop some tourist services and meet the demand when the number of tourists visiting and enjoying cuisine is great. Currently, the family improves the garden, plants new fruit trees and green vegetables to serve tourists.

Foreign tourists experienced making sesame candy in the garden house space. Photo: VDN

In Kim Long Ward, in the two years of 2017-2018, 4 garden houses received the support from the project and implemented repair, including the garden houses of Mr. Hoang Xuan Step, Le Luong, Ho Van Binh and Doan Kim Khanh. These garden houses meet the THGH criteria, but has been degraded and damaged over time, thus needing to be upgraded.

The owner of the Hoang Xuan Bac garden house, Mr. Hoang Xuan Tiep said that after being invested in upgrading, the house is much more spacious, beautiful and cleaner than before, so the number of tourists visiting and enjoying the cuisine services is on the increase. With VND 500 million supported by the project, the family invested additional VND 200 million in building a food court in combination with garden visit.

Along with the restoration and repair, Hue City People's Committee cooperates with the Provincial Information Technology Center to develop a website about Hue garden houses (HGH) in order to provide and exchange information to serve tourists and people who desire to learn about THGH. Concurrently, the Committee coordinates with the Fine Art Advertising and Design Company, Ltd. to design the HGH logo and slogan to fully reflect the value of architecture, history and culture, to identify the HGH brand and develop ecotourism services in the localities.

Hue City currently has 25 garden houses joining in the support project; up to now, it has been supporting the repair of 9 houses with a total investment of nearly VND 6 billion. Among them, 6 garden houses were handed over and put into use, including the garden houses of Mr. Hoang Xuan Bac, Le Luong, Ho Van Binh and Doan Kim Khanh (Kim Long), Mr. Ho Xuan Doanh's house (Thuy Bieu), and Princess Ngoc Son Temple (Phu Hiep). The remaining 3 garden houses are the Ton That House of Ancestral Worship, the Ton That Phuong Garden House (Thuy Bieu); Mr. Nguyen Huu Thong's house ( Duc Ward ) is prepared for repair and is expected to be completed in 2019.

According to Mr. Tran Quang Hao, Director of Huetourist, for HGH tourism development, especially a tour of Thuy Bieu garden houses, in addition to the policy of supporting the house restoration and repair, the province needs to accelerate the projects to widen Bui Thi Xuan Street, the section from Long Tho Bridge to Luong Quan Area, to build car parks, boat wharfs and so on.

For a long time, the company organized the tour of "Thuy Bieu in the morning, Tam Giang in the afternoon" to take tourists to Thuy Bieu garden houses for exploring craft villages such as painting, making incense, sesame candy, and pomelo jam , or for visiting the garden of safe vegetables. However, because of the inferior transport infrastructure, Long Tho Bridge does not allow 45-seat coaches to pass, so the company has to transfer the passengers to 16-seat coaches, which is very inconvenient and affects the service quality. The tourism services here are monotonous; the restaurants and accommodation services does not meet the tourists’ needs.

Head of Hue City Department of Culture - Information, Mrs. Pham Thi Quynh Dao said HGH is Hue's identity; however, to preserve and promote the value, there is the necessity of cooperation from the authorities, the garden house owners and tourism companies. After being supported for repair, some garden houses have invested funds to open more travel services such as bicycle rental service to visit garden houses, cuisine, foot soak, experiencing making jam, candy, making incense and so on. Even so, the number of tourists visiting remains small, thus creating no motivation for garden house owners to continue to expand their investment.

Ms. Dao said in 2019, the City continues to call on some large companies to invest in exploiting the value of HGH and will conduct the procedures to support the development of souvenir products on Hue nhà rường as Hue’s typical souvenirs, to form and develop the tours associated with THGH. Besides, the City will assist the people to preserve the traditional cultural identity, contribute to exploiting and promoting the economic efficiency of the values ​​from THGH.

By Thanh Huong

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