Visit the proud Dao minority, work with them in the fields and avoid the Sapa crowds…
What to experience?
Footprint Viet Nam Travel has taken the Sapa tourism boom the next step and offers a total ‘village experience’ in Taphin, home of a Community Based Tourism (CBT) project established by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 2002.
Footprint leads small, low-impact groups on a traditional trek and homestay to Taphin, but veers away from the camera-lens view of the resident Dao people. The main attraction is a shared experience among the hosts, visitors and the tour guide, during which everyone engages in a cultural exchange.
The Dao ethnic minority are extremely proud of their culture and traditions, and sharing their lifestyle is an integral and active part of all visits. Tourists are encouraged to wake early to work with the locals in the fields, and the children are constantly teaching visitors Dao words. Footprint’s always chat with the elders to learn something new for future tours.
How does it help?
Taphin Village was selected for funding by CIDA as a CBT project to reduce poverty. During the five-year programme, villagers have taken part in capacity-building training in homestay development, food safety, first aid and English.
Footprint Viet Nam has been working with CIDA and Taphin Village leaders to create a tourism product that adheres to the notion of responsible travel. Great care has been placed in equally sharing the economic benefits of the CBT project. A rotation plan has been implemented in which home stays and meals are provided by families on an alternating basis.
Footprint Viet Nam plays a role in a CBT project in the Quan Ba District of Ha Giang, which is partially funded by Caritas, to build sustainable livelihoods for the poorest people and the poorest communities. Footprint Viet Nam is also a sponsor for KOTO, Cat Ba National Parks, Cuc Phuong Rescue Centre and the Sapa and Ha Giang Community Funds.
All of Footprint Viet Nam’s tour guides have been trained in sustainable tourism at the Hanoi Open University, and are highly committed to protect and promote the importance the environment and cultural diversity. Footprint continually embraces grassroots CBT and has plans to become involved in more community efforts.