Central Vietnam,  Vietnam

Tam Thanh Mural Village – The first of its kind in Vietnam

While I was staying at the TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An Hotel I went on bike tour to Tam Thanh Mural Village in the early morning. They offer this tour and others without extra charge to their guests. Khoi (my guide) and I met at the bike shed at 6:30 AM where they had two mountainbikes, with helmets and locks, prepared.

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The mural village is a 20 minute bike ride from the resort. On the way there we stopped at a different art installation with several painted round basket boats.

Visiting the most colourful village in Vietnam

Tam Thanh is a fishing village close to Tam Kỳ, the capital of the province Quang Nam. Hoi An is also in this province and it is the main focus of most tourists and travellers. The Vietnamese People’s Committee of Quang Nam Province and the Korean Community Art Exchange created the mural village to entice people to visit other parts of the province as well.

To compare: The Quang Nam Tourism Promotion and Information Center has many many posts about Hoi An, but only one I could find about Tam Ky. Other thoughts behind the project were making art accessible to everyone, regardless of social or economic background.

Most of the colourful artwork in the village was painted in 2016 by Korean volunteers and locals of the Quang Nam Province. In the years since then several more mural paintings and art installations have been added and older ones have been renewed. With the tropic climate the pain deteriorates quickly during the rainy season. Currently Tam Thanh is reported to have more than 100 murals and art installations.

While we walked through the village Khoi explained the project to me, as well as the meaning of several of the artworks. We met the tailor who is portrayed on one of the murals, as well as some of the fishers and other locals featured on the walls around town.

The old lady who let us park our bikes on her front yard told us in broken English that the project did bring more people to the village, which in turn brought money with them, buying from weaved mats from local artisans, visiting rice paper making workshops and eating seafood from street vendors.

The village even has some homestays now, mostly frequented by budget travellers and photographers who want to be as close to local fish markets as possible to take the perfect shots at the busiest time.

On the way back we drove along Hạ Thanh beach where fishers were unpacking their boats and selling their catch of the day. We didn’t see a single other traveller or tourist, as this beach, and many others further away from Hoi An, are still very much under the radar of foreigners.

It’s definitely worth getting up early for!

How to get to Tam Thanh Mural Village?

The village is 11km away from Tam Ky and 45km from Hoi An, so if you are staying in either city you can rent a scooter or motorbike and drive to Tam Thanh yourself. I don’t recommend taking a grab, or if you want to, hire a driver instead of booking a one way trip, since you’ll most likely be unable to find a ride back.

If you want to know more about the artworks or you don’t want to drive by yourself you can also book a tour on a platform like klook* or with a local travel company. Compare itineraries and prices so you can find the tour that fits best into your trip!

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