In Vietnam, “Responsible Tourism” is increasingly a well-received trend. This approach deals not only with tourists, but also with suppliers, who raise awareness about culture and the environment, minimize the negative impact of tourism, and create more jobs, income for local people.
One of the projects that capture this spirit is Mekong Rustic. If you want to experience the culture and immerse yourself in the poetic beauty of people and nature in the Mekong and still make a positive contribution to the trend of “Responsible Tourism”, then join with us to discover Mekong Rustic through this blog!
What is Mekong Rustic?
Mekong Rustic is a community tourism project founded by Huong Duong Tourism Management Company Limited – Represented by Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Bich in December 2014. Mekong Rustic is built on the basis of cooperation, training and Investing in Cai Be and Tan Phong islet for households including: training in tour guide skills, products, homestay accommodation, ship services, restaurants, activities and facilities equipped on Tan Phong island. Mekong Rustic does not only bring benefits to an individual or a family, but also all households participating in the project and supporting local communities and sustainable tourism in Tan Phong, Cai Be, Tien Giang.
The goal of the project is to introduce to tourists the daily activities of the people of the Mekong River, support to create more livelihoods for local people, preserve traditional works, culture and develop sustainable tourism.
Tradition – Health – Responsibility
Not only does it save the tradition of activities that visitors participate in or experience responsibly locally, the activities we build here also bring health and happiness to all visitors when arriving in the Mekong Rustic.
How responsible is it?
Mekong Rustic has been committed to offering low-impact tours that benefit travelers and hosts alike. They work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts.
Their travel programs show our travelers how most Vietnamese actually live, far removed from tourist hot pots which dot the country and encourages all travelers to bring with them their favorite novel and donate to schools. Travelers are also highly encouraged to pen their personal thoughts inside the books. These are words of hope and form the basis of cultural exchanges between differing nations. Books could be given to our team members at registration, and the team shall consolidate them and distribute to the schools quarterly.
School children in Cai Be and Mekong Delta will benefit from this travel program. The book encourages literacy rates and hence allows the children or future leaders of the world to make informed life choices as their knowledge, imagination, and horizons broadens.
Mekong Rustic aims to make a positive impact on conservation of local life, natural and cultural heritage via its carefully chosen itineraries at various ports of calls. Travelers are able to play an important role in preserving and shaping the world’s diversity as they show the host communities how the values of learning the ethnic traditions and encourages greater understanding between differing cultures.
Travelers visit silk workshops, rice paper-making workshops, mats making workshops, and travel on local rickshaws to truly experience the local cultures. Mekong Rustic is more than a rustic holiday in the Mekong delta, it is about making informed lifestyle choices that would help preserve local dream time that would be passed down from generations to generations.
Mekong Rustic engages local guides, facilities, and services to generate greater economic benefits for the local peoples through meaningful human connections. Travelers play direct roles in building local pride and confidence, thus enhancing the local lifestyles and life chances.
Tourist activities that you can involved in Mekong Rustic experience
Mekong Rustic Cai Be situated on one of the most beautiful islands on the Mekong River, Cai Be Town, Tien Giang Province. It stands beside Cai Be floating market among fruit gardens which emphasize the beautiful but seldom visited rural areas on this side of the Mekong River. An eco-rustic homestay set in a large and well-landscaped green area with good food, pure atmosphere and nice people, typical of the Mekong Delta.
Homestay services of Mekong Rustic not only are pure accommodation suppliers but also help visitors to truly explore the culture as well as the lifestyle of people in the Mekong River Delta. The hosts there will be cookers directly and travellers will be warmly welcomed by them as their relatives. For now, Mekong Rustic has two families serving homestay and cuisine.
Mekong river boat rice
Travellers can embark on a boat to admire the simple beauty of the Mekong Delta as well as observe the daily life of local people and gain authentic experiences like a local while cruising along the river.
Cycling around Tan Phong isles
Tan Phong Isles is in the middle of Vinh Long, Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces where you can cycle on the peaceful road around the island with green trees to experience local life and meet friendly people when visiting Mekong rustic which equips over 20 bicycles.
Local cuisine experience
Visiting Mekong rustic, it will be worse if you don’t try local traditional cuisine here. Coming here and tasting local foods of Mekong specialties such as honey, elephant ear fish, rambutan, water coconut, and mango.
Mekong Rustic garden and homestay is an ideal destination for communicating with local people and learning how to garden. Especially, you will see orchards where the host shares their experience on how to take care of the garden and pick fruits as it is their daily work.
Ditch fishing hook
Visiting Mekong Delta and staying at Mekong rustic, travelers have chances to manually bailing water out of ditches to catch fish and then cooking them right away. Travellers can wear Mekong River Delta people’s folk costumes and join this exciting activity with local tour guides. Mekong Rustic also provides boots and protective clothes to keep them safe.
Jackfruit leaf cake
Jackfruit leaf cake is a signature dish of Western Vietnam originating from the countryside during wars. When enjoying, you need to separate the cake from the jackfruit leaves before putting it on a plate and filling it with coconut milk and peanuts. The sweet taste of coconut milk with the chewy taste of the cake will surely make you satisfied. Visiting Mekong rustic, you can make this local staple by yourself and bring it back as a gift for relatives.
Shop at the local farmers’ market
Each boat has one bamboo stick on the front which used to hang the product of the boat. This is a kind of advertising to show what the boat sells inside. Local people produce the farming products in the farm or in the garden and then they load them to the floating market. Some people come here to buy the products from the merchants and bring back to the markets in the mainland for selling to the customers.
Đơn ca tài tử Folksong
Before ending an eventful day, travellers can take a rest and enjoy the great Don Ca Tai Tu Folksong – one of UNESCO’s recognized intangible cultural heritage as well as listen to the intriguing stories of local people.
Rowing boat on canals.
The Mekong people’s lifestyle is associated with the river. Mekong Rustic has been building the most appropriate, primitive rowing boat trip on Tan Phong Isles for tourists.
Fishing on river
Fishing on the river is also one of the daily activities of local people. However, it has gradually vanished by getting rid of a large amount of fish before. Mekong Rustic holds fishing activities on the river with local people in Mekong Delta helping to display fishing scenery for visitors to experience one small part of the workers’ lifestyle.
Local traditional handicraft
Doing the handicraft products under the guidance of local hosts and exploring traditional handicraft.
By joining these above activities, you not only will be immersed deeply in the culture, explore the real life of local people in the Mekong area but also contribute to their income, protecting traditional works, and developing sustainable tourism.
Writers: Minh Hien and Nguyen Dieu Linh