Travel Travel

20/04/2018 - 11:11

Tourism boost in phuoc tich as a follow-up of the fest “Huong xua lang co”

Phuoc Tich ancient village is located in Phong Hoa commune, Phong Dien district, about 45 kilometers northwest of Hue city center. There are 117 households with more than 300 inhabitants. The over-500-year-old village has been chosen be the venue for the fest “Huong xua lang co” (The ancient village scents) within Hue Festival.

Instructing visitors to make pottery. Photo by Thanh Huong

Local people on benefits

Phuoc Tich has 26 nha ruong (ancient pillared houses) dating back more than 100 years. They are associated with historical and cultural relics such as Cay Thi shrine, Doi shrine and Quang Te shrine. Le Trong Dao, the owner of an ancient pillared house in Phuoc Tich, said that his house was built in Hue architectural style for pillared houses over 100 years ago.

Not until the organization of the fest “Huong xua lang co” (The ancient village scents) in Hue Festival did visitors know about his pillared house as well as Phuoc Tich ancient village. After each festival, the number of visitors to Phuoc Tich increases.

In 2013, he had a rented accommodation built on the financial support of the district authorities, as well as the management board of ancient village, to welcome guests staying at the price of VND 120,000 per person per night (which is now increased to VND 160,000). In addition to accommodating guests, his family also welcome guests to visit the garden home at the prescribed fee. Thanks to this, his family income has increased to help stabilize their life.

Five out of twenty-six pillared houses have provided homestay service, which was put into use in 2009 and 2013. There are about 100 tourist arrivals a month, on average, visiting the ancient village. Many of these visitors enjoy homestay service.

The Ancient Village Management Board has established a gastronomy team in order to serve tourists. The team consist of 16 women in the village, divided into four service groups. Once ordered, they will prepare dishes that are specialties of the village, depending on the number of guests and their expense. This helps local women have an extra income.

Visitors can also experience pottery making and buying ceramic products as gifts. Luong Thanh Hien said he together with two other people started a pottery workshop in 2006. They have developed pottery in the village since then, and improved skills in new technology after attending training courses.

His ceramic products have been popular and widely consumed on the market so far. He earns about VND 60 – 70 million every Hue Festival or Craft Village Festival. He said whether pottery making would survive or not depended on the makers’ devotion. Nevertheless, the shortage of capital, human resources and showroom, as well as the limited number of products, has prevented Phuoc Tich villagers from promoting their strengths in pottery making.

Visitors to Phuoc Tich ancient village

Tourism boost

Phuoc Tich ancient village has been widely known after seven fests of “Huong xua lang co” (The ancient village scents) within Hue Festival. Statistics show that thousands of arrivals at Phuoc Tich ancient village every year. In 2017, there were around 3,000 visitors booking with the Ancient Village Management Board, not to mention free visitors going on their own. However, the number of visitors staying in the village was approximately 100 persons per year on average.

The Director of the Management Board of Phuoc Tich Monument of Artistic Architecture, Nguyen Hong Thang, said the provincial and district authorities had an ancient pillared house renovated in 2013 and three others in 2017 with a view to preserving and promoting the values of the ancient village thanks to the central government sponsorship.

In 2018, the Management Board is preparing the dossiers to the competent authorities for examination and consideration of the renovation to eight ancient pillared houses. It has also submitted a proposal to promote the values of the ancient village in quarter 2, including fishing ponds and entertainment services. In addition, the management will collaborate with the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry to grow more flowers and indigenous trees. This is to create beautiful landscapes along the river, enhancing the values of Phuoc Tich ancient village.

The Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Phong Dien district, Nguyen Van Binh, affirmed that the district authorities will continue to propagate and promote the ancient village through various forms of media with diverse contents and images in order to boost the tourist activities in Phuoc Tich ancient village, creating job opportunities and increasing income for local people.

Furthermore, the connection of tours is being effectuated, making up a route between Phuoc Tich ancient village and tourist destinations in the area, such as Thanh Tan hot spring (in Phong Son), Hoa My former battlefield and A Don fall (in Phong My), Hien Luong blacksmith village (in Phong Hien), My Xuyen carpentry village (in Phong Hoa), Dien Loc beach, stilt huts on Tam Giang lagoon, and other places in the northeast of the district.

Phong Dien District has a master plan for Phuoc Tich village, which includes appeal for investment, renovation of ancient pillared houses, improvement of the quality of tourism services and products, a call for investors in the craft villages, a search for market for pottery products, banh tien vua (‘cake for Kings’), and banh phu the (literally ‘husband and wife cake’). At the same time, some forms of entertainment, food and drink services, and some other products will be developed in the hope of preserving and promoting the values of Phuoc Tich ancient village in the future.

Story and photo: Hai Hue