An ancient well in Son Tra district (Source: baodanang.vn)

Da Nang (VNA) – Son Tra district in the central city of Da Nang has almost completed research and preparations for a project to bring community arts into living space and preserve ancient coastal villages.

The project has its origin in the idea of local famous photographer Nguyen Van My, also known as My Dung, a member of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists.

After receiving permission of the municipal People’s Committee, the district began studying and surveying the target area, which covers An Tan and An Don coastal villages in the district’s An Hai Bac ward with a combined area of 5.2ha.

Based on the proposal of photographer Nguyen Van My, the project is seeking an appropriate solution to preserve the status quo of the two villages besides the Han river, where the special architectural characteristics of traditional Vietnamese villages are still kept almost intact.

Such interesting features include communal houses, old wells, small alleys, banyan trees, temples, and hundreds-year-old houses. 

Vo Thi Phuong, head of the Son Tra District Culture and Information Office, said the execution of the project will be divided into two stages, with the emphasis on ensuring the harmonious combination between the essence of the traditional culture and modernity.

She remarked the preservation work will help preserve the traditional Vietnamese coastal culture, diversify local tourism products, and enhance the living conditions and livelihoods of residents living there as well.

Appreciating this idea, Tran Chi Cuong, Deputy Director of the municipal Tourism Department, stated that the villages will become part of a chain of tourism products, and connecting Tran Hung Dao and Ngo Quyen streets to form a walking route linking with Bach Dang street.

While supporting the project, 60-year-old Hoang Thi The, a local inhabitant in An Don village, said she hopes it will also help local residents get better incomes besides providing a new attractions for both residents and visitors.

To realise the initiative, Son Tra district authorities have coordinated with photographer Nguyen Van My and authorised offices to devise plans, survey existing houses, cultural and historical relic sites in the villages, as well as the distinctive cultural identities and the lifestyles of villagers.

The Son Tra District Culture and Information Office said that it had basically completed the collection of locals’ opinions.

This year, the district plans to build 800m of roads in the villages and seek investors to carry out the project.

Once completed, the project is expected to lure more tourists from both inside and outside the country to Son Tra district in particular and Da Nang city in general.

Da Nang is a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam. The online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb announced a list of the world’s top 10 destinations for the 2018, in which Da Nang ranked fifth in booking surges of up to 255 percent.

According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the number of visitors to the central coastal city is increasing at annual average rate of 20.06 percent in the 2013-2017 period.

In 2017, the city welcomed 6.6 million tourists, 2.1 times higher than the figure in 2013. The tourism industry generated 186,770 jobs in 2017 and grossed over 19.5 trillion VND (854.1 million USD) in revenues, 2.5-fold increase from 2013.

This year, the city was ranked second in the list of the 10 most popular destinations among solo or couple travelers, according to the Republic of Korea’s Ticket Monster Inc.

The website said people who plan to travel abroad with family members chose Da Nang as the most popular destination.

The city is also the second-most popular destination among couple of travelers, followed by Bangkok (Thailand) and Guam (the US), it said.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Da Nang was said to be the best place to live in Vietnam with many world-recognised records.

The US’s New York Times listed Da Nang among 52 places to go in 2015. The city was recognised as one of the world’s 20 low-carbon cities at the 44th APEC Meeting on Energy in the US in 2012.

In addition, Da Nang International Airport was ranked third among the best airports in the world in 2014, according to a survey by Dragon Air.-VNA