Unique community based tourism in Hoi An

Curated by BuffaloTripMay 16, 2016 Viewed: 489

By introducing traditional customs to visitors with simple activities, the community based tour in Hoi An, Fish & Chip is a new charming attraction in the ancient town.

See more Hoi An travel guide at here.

Text and photos: Quoc Hai

“Mr. Doan Tan’s career”

A fisherman, who has worked on the sea for more than 50 years, Mr. Doan Tan in Cam An ward, Hoi An has turned to navigating a wooden barge with visitors on the river to share his joy of the water. He is taking a team of European guests from Thu Bon river to Cua Dai.

Visitors will first travel by bike to Tra Que, a traditional village in Cam Ha. He said: “Even after a short visit to the village the aroma of its many cinnamon trees lingers in our noses. Visitors will observe traditional fishing activities such as fishing with nets.

After helping visitors into the boat, Mr Tan points to the square fishing net that he is raising nearby and throwing into the river to catch fish. The barge rocks lightly, but enough to worry the guests. As a safety precaution he requires them to wear life-jackets as he instructs them on how to fish with nets.

A guest, Connie Francis bursts out laughing when throwing the net. He said: “This is the first time in my life that I have tried this. It seems that thousands of years ago, my ancestors lived on fishing. It is really a fantastic experience”.

One day on the river

That was an impressive start to a new day in Hoi An. Connie Francis and other visitors continue on to visit Bay Mau coconut forest. The boat stops and guests climb down into coracles. With the assistance of 8 local people in Cam Thanh, they explore every corner of the coconut forest.

In this location, Mr. Tran Van Manh, a local person in Thanh Chau, Cam Thanh said about his ancestors: “They lived in the water coconut forests where they fished and harvested birds’ nests in Cham islet for their livelihood. We now fish with fishing robs!”

Travelers are interested in the fiddler crabs creeping on coconut palms or along the sea. “I caught a small crab with red nippers. I’m so excited to go fishing in these great waters!” said Barry Mann, a traveler from Norway.

While returning to the fishing boat, the river is noisy with the 8 coracles racing to the boat. After returning, they learn how to make mirrors, watches and grasshoppers with pineapple leaves.

While instructing guests to make traditional products, Tran Van Manh sings folk songs of the water region. He shared: “I often sing for guests. I may not sing very well, but they seem to like listening to my voice.”

A new Hoi An

The tour named “Fish & Chip” has been offered by Hoi An Travel for about half a year. It is a tourism product built on the traditional culture of Hoi An.

In our effort to improve our products, “Fish & Chip” was introduced as a wonderful way to discover and experience the daily life of local people.

Mr. Nguyen Trong Tuan – General director of Hoi An Travel said: “Previously, we provided a one day tour of life in the Old Town. However, in our effort to improve our products, “Fish & Chip” was introduced as a wonderful way to discover and experience more closely the daily life of local people.

Actually, while offering this program to guests, including the singing of folk songs and playing traditional games, Hoi An Travel tested the psychology of each type of traveler. “Finding a new product for Hoi An is really difficult. However, the attempt to revitalize products was highly appreciated”, said Ms. Dinh Thi Thu Thuy, the manager of Trade and Service department of Hoi An Travel.


See more Hoi An travel guide at here.