Tourists are instructed to harvest vegetables or grapes, make their own knitted goods, mould animals out of clay, and weave brocade products in traditional craft villages of the Cham people.
Trinh Thuy Lan, a young business woman in HCMC, likes travelling to relieve stress. After a recent 3 day-2 night tour of a number of villages in Ninh Thuan, Lan said she felt more relaxed, and that her work pressure seemed to disappear. Through the trip, she explored cultural heritage sites, learned traditional dances of the Cham ethnic group, cultivated vegetables, and harvested apples and grapes. All these activities are ones Lan and her colleagues in the city had never done before.
Lan said "The 3-day tour in Phan Rang is useful. It helped me relax because of the fresh, cool air. I did a lot of walking in one day without much rest but still felt strong. Staying there helped me get rid of my pressure from work and my daily worries."
The experience tour has been offered widely by travel agents. Tourists find the culture of Cham family traditions, dances, and cuisine very interesting.
Lam Thong Thai, a tour guide of the Viet Travel Company, said “I have taken tourists to Bau Truc pottery village where they can mould pottery products by themselves, to My Nghiep brocade weaving village to practice weaving fabric, and to vineyards to pick grapes to eat or bring home. Tourists love to do this type of work because they may find the old feeling through something that sounds new. That is the hands-on experience they seek."
Cham village homestay and tours are currently conducted by “Bi Travel” Company which was founded in 2014 by Van Quang Vy, a local resident.
Vy said since the establishment, his company has run dozens of experience tours for foreign tourists.
This type of tour covers Bau Truc pottery village, My Nghiep brocade weaving village, Tuan Tu safe vegetable village, Nam Cuong Dune, and vineyards in Thai An commune, Ninh Hai district.
Vy said he has decided to change the company direction by offering either cultural or ecotourism tours or by combining tourism and agricultural development. This will be different from the available tours on the market.