When we think of travelling in the North of Vietnam, the golden triangle (Sapa, Ninh Binh and Halong Bay) comes first to mind. These destinations are famous – for good reasons. But the result of the fame – overcrowding and overpriced experiences. There is so much more beyond these that Northern Vietnam has to offer.

Northern Vietnam boasts stunning natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Think of the terraced rice fields carved into the slopes of the mountain, the lush green of the rice plants contrast against the brown soil and grey stones of the surrounding hills. Oh, how breathtaking!

Community-based tourism is on the rise in Northern Vietnam, combining rich culture and stunning views – where you could treat yourself to a getaway without the massive crowd. At Terraformers, we have been working with selected communities and supporting them to adopt regenerative tourism. Regenerative tourism differentiates their destinations and strengthen their value proposition to deliver an authentic, responsible and meaningful experience for all travellers.

The next time I am back to Vietnam, I will just hang out in the village (name omitted for members’ exclusivity). It was the best part of my trip, and the most significant experience that is also unique to Vietnam.

Herng Hwee Yee, 26

IPLC-led Regenerative Tourism

Regenerative tourism is defined by 3 main tenets.

  • Conservation – promotes active environmental and cultural stewardship through tourism
  • Resilience – non-disruptive to the local way of life
  • Equity – recognising that nature and culture are public goods shared by all

Bearing this in mind, we work with local non-profits, social enterprises or community leaders to develop and implement guidelines that supports IPLCs’ in the transition towards regenerative tourism.

  • Educating local communities to take pride in their culture and their natural environment.
  • Regulations to prevent tourism from becoming the single, primary source of income for the community.
  • Support the establishment of governance models that extends the financial and social benefits to the rest of the community.

These encourages the communities we work with to resist the urge to “urbanise” their offering, and maintain the authenticity in their experience – the unique, magical charm that draws like-minded travellers to them. The extended social benefits also brings together a very warm community, excited to exchange their culture with travellers. This depth of hospitality cannot be defined by conventional measures of service standards, and the genuineness offered is what touches a traveller’s heart.

Make your next trip count!

So how does getting off-the-beaten-path for your next Northern Vietnam trip sound? Visit one of the regenerative destinations and reward yourself with an adventure like never before.

Author avatar
Shuen Hwee Yee

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