Journey from drug addict village to ASEAN Community Tourism Award of Sin Suoi Ho village

In the years 1980 – 1990, under the peak of Son Bac May in Sin Suoi Ho commune, Phong Tho district, there was a Mong village named Sin Suoi Ho covered with mountain mist and opium smoke all year round.

The whole village is a “sustainable” poor household, all year round they only rely on the single rice crop, and at the end of the season, they go to the forest to pick cardamom, look for orchids, cymbidiums, etc. In the house, outside in the alley, livestock and poultry roam freely everywhere. Children are not allowed to go to school and must get early married.

In the garden and on the fields, poppy plants are grown everywhere, from the old to the young, both boys and girls are addicted to smoking. Life therefore revolves around hunger, poverty, disease, and evils. At that time, people in the village shared the road with buffaloes and pigs, so the road was knee-deep in mud, and not a single stranger stepped foot all year.

Seeing people becoming increasingly poor due to drugs and vices, the young man Hang A Xa, who was only 20 years old at that time, worked with the village chief, Vang A Chinh, in conjunction with Vang A Tru and Chang A Hang to find a way to cure people’s addiction.

And it took 10 years (1995 – 2005) for people in Sin Suoi Ho village to quit opium, tobacco and alcohol. In the next 5 years (2005 – 2010), the people of Sin Suoi Ho village changed their thinking. Because the Mong people think that if people do not have thinking, no matter how healthy and wealthy they are, it will be difficult to lead a more civilized and developed life.

By 2010, after changing their basic thinking, Sin Suoi Ho people spent another 5 years building the site. According to Hang A Xa, a road must be build to connect Sin Suoi Ho village to the outside, as well as let outsiders’ light of civilization to the village.

After that, a spacious concrete road was completed in Sin Suoi Ho village. Next, the villagers work together to clean the environment. Move the chicken coop and pig coop to a hygienic location, repair and renovate the house and propagate life skills to each other.

Thanks to tireless efforts over more than two decades, in 2015, Sin Suoi Ho village was recognized by Lai Chau province as a community tourism site.

Immediately after that, the whole Sin Suoi Ho village met again, they agreed to use the next 5 years (2015 – 2020) to train human resources to serve tourism.

They sent out 10 groups, each group of 12 people to learn how to drive a car, learn to be a tour guide, learn to cook European dishes, learn to cook Asian dishes, learn reception, housekeeping, learn bartending, learn English, learn culture art… at intermediate schools. In 2019, after interning at 4-5 star hotels and completing their studies, these groups returned to the village to develop tourism.

On 18 November 2020, Sin Suoi Ho village was honored by the Vietnam Tourism Association as “Typical Community Tourism Village of 2019”.

Within the framework of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2023 in Indonesia, Sin Suoi Ho community tourism site was also honored to receive ASEAN Community Tourism Award.

Sharing about this, the head of village Mr. Vang A Chinh said: To receive this award, my people and I have made a lot of efforts in developing and promoting the image of Sin Suoi Ho community tourism to visitors, received positive feedback.

According to Hang A Xa and Vang A Chinh, the direction of Sin Suoi Ho in the coming years is to develop agricultural tourism, both tourism and agriculture. Doing tourism in a way that closely follows the nation’s cultural identity.

Sin Suoi Ho is located at an altitude of 1,500 m above sea level in Sin Suoi Ho commune, Phong Tho district, Lai Chau province. The climate is always cool all year round. Coming here, visitors will be immersed in the unique cultural and artistic space of the Mong people, admire the magnificence of terraced fields, Love Waterfall, and Heart Waterfall. .. In particular, there are restaurants, community homestays, bird nests house and convenient cafes to serve tourists.

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