Many farmers in Hoi An have earned incomes of nearly VND100 million ($5,000) a year by providing buffaloes to serve tourists.
Recognizing that foreign tourists might have an interest in being “farmers for a day”, Mr. Le Viet Nhien, a farmer in Cam Chau Ward, bought 12 buffaloes in 2010. His intention was to use them for both agricultural production and tourism.
“Thanks to this service, my family earns an additional VND80 million ($4,000) per year. More and more tourists in Hoi An want to experience this tour, so at present five families in my ward breed buffaloes to serve tourism. Each family has 5-6 buffaloes on average,” Nhien says.
Mr. Pham Ho in Cam Thanh commune has three buffaloes for tourism. “This is the 3rd year my family has bred buffaloes to serve tourists. This profession earns an income that is 20 times higher than growing rice. During the summer, we serve up to five groups of tourists a day. We take them to the rice fields and to the Tra Que vegetable village to guide them in plowing, harrowing, sowing, harvesting rice and riding buffalo. On average, my family earns at least VND7 million ($350) [per month?] from buffaloes for tourism,” he says.
Sensing the interest of foreign travelers in learning the culture of Vietnamese wet rice, Mr. Tran Van Khoa, Director of the Khoa Tran Hoi An ECOTOUR Travel Company invested VND340 million ($12,000) in designing buffalo tours in Cam Thanh Commune in 2010. The company has encouraged local farmers to provide services for this tour.
After years offering this tour, Khoa has not only contributed to promoting the image of Vietnam’s countryside to international friends, but can also feel proud to have created significant income for farmers in Hoi An.
Currently Khoa’s company offers two buffalo tours a day, at 7.30am and 3pm.
Australian kids sit on buffaloes to see the rice fields of Cam Thanh commune.
Foreign tourists take photographs for family members on buffaloes.
Many visitors also enjoy “working” as real farmers.
An Australian kid follows a buffalo on the field of Cam Thanh commune.