The unique and colorful Tam Thanh mural village is the live gallery of Vietnamese and Korean artists. The fishing village was very poor and isolated so the artists spent weeks here and converted the place beautifully into a village gallery. There are about a hundred murals on houses, walls and streets. This is the major street art attraction in Vietnam that is visited by thousands of tourists every year. After enjoying and amazing day trip of exploring the beautiful murals in this fishing village you will realize how important are these murals for the village and how they represent the lifestyles of Tam Thanh Mural village natives. This was the joint effort of the Government of Quang Nam province and Korean community art exchange program. They initiated it a decade ago and projects like this started in different villages of South Korea to revitalize the rural areas and big city slums. After the success of increasing tourism and economic benefits, they started it in Tam Thanh to support it.
Where is Tam Thanh Mural Village?
The village is located in the south of Hoi an so you can plan a day trip easily. It is a small community with almost thirty houses (when it was unexplored), located near the beach that started getting attention a few years ago. Mostly people find this place very calm and they visit this place to run away from the crowded streets of Hoi an.
How to get to Tam Thanh Mural Village
It is very easy to reach from Hoi an because it takes only one hour to be there. The best way to enjoy the scooter ride is this trip. You can rent or hire a scooter but never forget about negotiating the amount first or you will end up paying a lot. Scooter costs lesser than taxi or car. You can also get a taxi to reach there but never forget to secure the ride back. There are not much ways of transportation available so hire the taxi round trip with the waiting time included in the rent.
Tour from Hoi an
There are different companies providing half day tours to the Tam Thanh mural village. You can book one for exploration it is detailed and guided. The tour usually starts at 1pm until 5:30pm. There are some other attraction visits included in the trip. Booking a trip is a very good option especially if you are travelling solo. The charges are fixed and you have no hassle of negotiating with the taxi.
Places to visit on the way
There is an amazing country side while going to the village. You can stop a little bit to enjoy the surroundings. Some other things are
Vietnamese Heroic mother nature statue
This site is the mark of the heroic contribution to the nation. It was dedicated to the mothers of the children lost their lives in the Vietnamese battle. It was inaugurated on the 40th anniversary of liberation (1975- 2015). The statue covers 15 hectares of the Cam mountain and it is 120 meters wide and 18.6meters high. The construction cost of this statue was US$19 million that was contributed by the local authorities and beneficiaries of the country. The statue is very well detailed carved in granite and has a museum inside it that displays the memories of the volunteers who devoted their life for the country.
When to visit Tam Thanh mural village?
The major attraction of this place are the murals that you can only see clearly in the day time. If you are visiting during summers than the best time to visit is the morning. You can explore every corner conveniently and observe every detail of the murals. The natives are friendly and welcome the tourists. Two years ago, the village was unknown to the world but now the economy is becoming better quickly. You will see a lot of tourists exploring the place. You can enjoy a very good time if you visit in the day light.
Story of Tam Thanh Mural Village
The village is the master piece created by the Korean artists and the Quang Nam province authorities. It is a very successful project because it has not only improved the economy but brought opportunities to the natives for a better future. The development is increasing day by day along with the tourism. The murals tell the story of the lives of locals. The way they do fishing, the values, activities, the way they look etc. You will feel like every mural is telling a different story. The main art works were painted in only 20 days that you will not believe because they are impressively detailed.;
Philosophy behind creating the murals
The main thing comes to mind that why was this village chosen to be the main attraction of murals. It was a big step because it was already very isolated and making something and spending time and efforts on that was a big risk. Nobody was sure that it will improve the things for the village or remain unseen. It was selected because it was located near Hoi an where huge tourist crowds keep coming.
The authorities of project thought that the Tam Thanh will start getting visitors because it is easily accessible and it will bring improvement in the economy. However, nobody imagined that it will grow rapidly and the economy will boost up very quickly according to the income from normal tourism of other villages of Vietnam. The beautiful village has a cluster of houses near the seaside with a very simple layout. After visiting this place, the artists gathered and stayed for several days to make this place one of the biggest attractions.
The village and imagery
Village has basically the crowd of people from some families which lived together for generations and survived the sea. They worked for their survival and therefore lost the opportunity to work for the improvement of their economy. These 20 to 30 houses cluster is attached with each other tightly due to that it appeared as the huge canvas for the art. The murals are mostly of the people belonging to the village, their culture, lifestyle, nature and family setups. The colors are found on every wall of the houses that infuses the surroundings with energy. The narrow streets and alleyways make the travelers to explore the strange world by wandering into it.
The social impact of Art
The biggest social impact can be seen from the transformation of the professions of people. once they used to do fishing and plan their survival. However, now they have a lot of local shops, small cafes, eating places that are expanding. The impressive murals give energy to the environment of the village and income to the locals. They are also getting better opportunities to their children like interacting with other cities, better education and improved lifestyles.
Explanation of some images
Walking through the streets you will find a lot of images related to the people living in the house. You can buy things from them with the assurance that the money is going direct to the community to support them.
- Tailor and his family
There is an image of the tailor stitching on the sewing machine and the images of his family. The mural has beautiful details. The story behind this mural is that the family started selling tote bags and they were decorated by their daughter. You can even buy one bag from them to keep as a memory.
- Paper planes image
One mural is of the boy playing with the paper planes. It is painted with bright colors and details. You will feel like he is sitting on one window and the plains are falling on the other window and some are in the air.
- Aquatic theme
There are many murals of sea side, beach, waters, fishes and other aquatic creatures. They are painted to show the role of sea in the lives of people.
- Art on other things
The paintings are not limited to the walls only but they are made on many other things that you can easily spot. There is a grassy field area where the paintings are made on bamboo made objects. They are in the shape of boats. The objects are places at different spots in the field like the painted boats are scattered and turned upside down.
- Sellers paintings
There are a lot of paintings of local fish sellers and which are sitting with their baskets having fish and selling it. Some are of women selling fruits and vegetables along with fish.
The paintings are like are the research work showed in images on the Tam Thanh Mural village. The biggest part of the life of the village people. You can get into the streets and click the photos by avoiding the people doing their daily household chores. Do not click the images of people without permission.
What to Expect
When you get there keep in mind that most of the people do not understand or speak English. Locals are nice and friendly but you cannot interact with them easily. There is a collection of around 100 murals and are located closely in the cluster of houses. There is another village near the Tam Thanh that is also isolated but you can visit it. There are some painted houses there as well which are perfect for beach photos.
Things to Pack for Tam Thanh Mural village
- If you are visiting in summers, then get your sunglasses and sunblock. There is a little shade but most of the area becomes hot and sunny. There are some shops in the town that do not have a lot of things.
- You have to get your snacks and drinks. In case if you do not bring your things then you would be having fish and warm beer. Most of the shops do not have refrigerators and the beverages they sell are not chilled.
- Do not forget bringing your tripod if you are travelling solo. It will be your photoshoot buddy because the people do not know how to click photos. There are a lot of places which are perfect for photos.
- There is a beautiful and long coastline so in case if you get a chance for a swim then keep a towel and swimsuit. Especially in summers the dip makes you feel pleasant in scorching heat.
After the success and completion of the Tam Thanh mural village some other projects also started. However, they are designed to raise awareness about their social problems. The two new villages were painted to teach people about the importance to environmental protection because the main problem among them is the trash. The garbage is eventually destroying the surroundings of the villages so the young artists are creating awareness and warning them about the climate change.
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