First fish-sauce museum a hit with tourists

For Tran Ngoc Dung, the traditional fish sauce of Vietnam has not received the respect it deserves.

A scene at the Fisherman Show (Photo courtesy of the museum)

 


Present in every Vietnamese home, fish sauce has been closely tied to thecountry's culinary and cultural customs for three centuries.

“I want to restore the brand name of Nuoc Mam Tin (Fish Sauce in PotteryJars),” said Dung, who grew up in Binh Hung fishing village in Phan Thiet city.

His family once made traditional fish sauce in Phan Thiet, located in thesouth-central coastal province of Binh Thuan.

Known as the cradle of fish-sauce making in the country, the city has beenproducing the amber salty liquid since the early 18th century.

To revive the old traditions, Dung has opened a fish sauce museum and an artperformance dedicated to the craft.

In the old days, the sauce was brewed in large wooden vats and then poured intopottery jars for boat transport on the local Ca Ty River to all corners of thecountry.

“Storing the fish sauce in these jars preserved the aroma and taste for a longtime and made it more delicious,” Dung said.

At that time, the fish sauce industry was so active that many producers becamerich and donated money to build streets in the city. 

After the end of the war in 1975, however, the industry began to decline.

The pottery jars were no longer available in the market and the producers'prosperous days were suddenly over .

However, today, the traditional fish sauce industry in Phan Thiet accounts for20 percent of market share of all fish sauce produced in the country.

In 2016, the Binh Thuan provincial People's Committee approved Dung's culturalproject called Old Fishing Village. Dung invested nearly 100 billion VND (4.2million USD) in the project.

Construction on the museum began the next year and was completed in May.

Returning home

In 1993, when Dung scored the highest mark on the entrance exam to Ho Chi Minh CityUniversity of Economics, he received a scholarship to study for a bachelor'sdegree in Australia. After that, he earned a doctorate in behaviour andpsychological research in France.

Then he returned to HCM City and founded a market research company. After 10years of success, he sold it and returned to Phan Thiet.

Dung said his experiences abroad exposed him to many different cultures andmuseums. During his years abroad and business trips to other countries, helearned that local cultural values and modern performances could become touristattractions.

“I visited museums and cultural shows in many countries,” he said.

However, attracting investment to cultural projects is difficult because theprofits are not high. “But my passion allowed me to be patient," he said.

For his project in Phan Thiet, he first developed the Fisherman Show, which isabout a Vietnamese Kinh fisherman and ethnic Cham woman.

The show features local customs and culture such as dances that respect theShiva God at Poshanu Tower, highlights of the Kate festival of the Cham and theGod of Whales festival with a traditional praying song at Van Thuy Tu temple.

Professional contemporary dancers perform and local musicians play traditionalinstruments and sing on a four-storey stage with water effects, flyingequipment, LED screens, flying sand dunes, oxen and carts.

To understand the stories in the show, tourists can first visit the fish saucemuseum located nearby.

An eight-minute video explains to visitors the development of Phan Thiet and Mui Ne village, a well-known beach resort in the area, and the local fishingvillage.

A painting of boats on Ca Ty River and a water tower, a symbol of the Phan Thiet,is next on the tour.

Visitors can also enjoy 14 3D interactive exhibits featuring photos and itemsfrom the city's past.

The museum, which covers 2,000 square metres, displays a small replica ofPoshanu tower, real sand, leaf-made houses, an ancient house of an aristocraticfamily whose wealth was made from fish sauce, and miniature salt fields.

Wooden vats and pottery jars used to store fish sauce are also on display aswell as information about how the sauce is made.

In a five-minute video, the Cham’s famous technique of brewing fish sauce isdemonstrated.

Stalls in the museum also offer pure traditional fish sauce, called Nuoc Mam Tin, to visitors who want to sample the old recipe.

During the project's launch ceremony, Ngo Minh Chinh, director of theprovince's Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, pointed out that Dung'sproject could help Vietnamese, particularly youth, and foreigners learn morelocal culture and traditional fish sauce.

The project has contributed to a better understanding of the 300-year historyof fish sauce, and many people like to buy it as a souvenir, according to Dung. 

Since the museum's opening, the number of visitors has increased from 200,000to 400,000. It aims to attract one million tourists by 2020 and three millionin 2025.

“If we have models of good cooperation, tourism can help trade villagesdevelop,” Dung said.- VNS

 
 

Other News

.
Hanoi launches bike tours
Hanoi launches bike tours
TRAVELicon  25/11/2021 

Joining the “VGreen’s Bike Tours”, travelers will have the chance to visit famous tourist sites and learn about the daily lives of artisans in the capital’s craft streets.

Binh Lieu in the ripe rice season
Binh Lieu in the ripe rice season
TRAVELicon  24/11/2021 

In the ripe rice season, people from hamlets in Binh Lieu District, Quang Ninh flock to the fields to harvest crops.

Tho Ha Village famed for rice paper and crackers
Tho Ha Village famed for rice paper and crackers
TRAVELicon  25/11/2021 

Located close to the peaceful Cau River, Tho Ha Village in the northern province of Bac Giang has developed a name for itself thanks to its original ancient architecture and specialty products – rice paper and crackers.

The autumnal Y Ty in the Northwest
The autumnal Y Ty in the Northwest
TRAVELicon  23/11/2021 

Y Ty is the name of a highland commune in Bat Xat District of Lao Cai, a province in the northwest of Vietnam. Autumn comes giving Y Ty a gentle and passionate beauty distinctive of this region.

Danang rice vermicelli with fish paste
Danang rice vermicelli with fish paste
TRAVELicon  26/11/2021 

What characterizes bún mắm nêm Da Nang (Danang rice vermicelli with fish paste) is its stronger flavor as well as the addition of pork, slices of boiled pig’s ears and beef bologna.

A green island amidst the azure sea
A green island amidst the azure sea
TRAVELicon  24/11/2021 

Ly Son Island off the coast of Quang Ngai Province in Central Vietnam is said to be the “azure island” as the seawater is so azure and pure that it gives visitors a feeling of seeing through the seabed.

Visitors to Hanoi don't miss seasonal treats
Visitors to Hanoi don't miss seasonal treats
TRAVELicon  23/11/2021 

Hanoi is full of particular dishes from the capital of the North, with special cakes being counted among them.

HCM City proposes welcoming international tourists with vaccine passports next month
HCM City proposes welcoming international tourists with vaccine passports next month
TRAVELicon  22/11/2021 

HCM City has proposed welcoming international tourists with vaccine passports beginning in December. 

Mexican sun flowers bloom in Da Lat
Mexican sun flowers bloom in Da Lat
TRAVELicon  22/11/2021 

In early November, the weather in Da Lat is gradually warmer, taking place in the rainy season in October. This is the time when Da Lat is dyed golden by Mexican sun flowers.

Catching field mice in Gia Lai
Catching field mice in Gia Lai
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

The practice of capturing field mice during the rice harvest season (May-June or October-November) in Dak Doa in Gia Lai Province draws a great many people here for firsthand experience of it.

Railway through Central of Vietnam listed among six amazing Asia train journeys
Railway through Central of Vietnam listed among six amazing Asia train journeys
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

The train passes through marvelous Vietnam's central scenery of water buffaloes graze in wide-open fields, humble villages flit by, and impossibly green fields.

Quang Nam welcomes first foreign visitors with the "vaccine passport"
Quang Nam welcomes first foreign visitors with the "vaccine passport"
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

On November 17 and 18, Quang Nam welcomed 159 international tourists after nearly two years of suspending international commercial flights due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ba Ria - Vung Tau promotes eco-tourism at national park
Ba Ria - Vung Tau promotes eco-tourism at national park
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

The southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has planned to establish 17 eco-tourism areas under a tourism development project at its Con Dao National Park until 2030.

International tourists to Phu Quoc must use IGOVN and PC-Covid apps
International tourists to Phu Quoc must use IGOVN and PC-Covid apps
TRAVELicon  21/11/2021 

Foreign visitors to Phu Quoc Island are required to install and use the IGOVN immigration application and the PC-Covid epidemic prevention application during their time in Vietnam.

Da Nang expects to welcome over 10,000 foreign visitors
Da Nang expects to welcome over 10,000 foreign visitors
TRAVELicon  20/11/2021 

The central city of Da Nang anticipates that it will welcome more than 10,000 foreign visitors over the coming months when it enters a new normal.

Mang Den, an attractive eco-tourism destination in Kon Tum
Mang Den, an attractive eco-tourism destination in Kon Tum
TRAVELicon  22/11/2021 

Mang Den is a small town surrounded by mountains and rich forest flora. It has a cool and mild mountainous climate all year round and is home to the Mang Den national eco-tourism area in Kon Tum Province.

Traveloka and Kien Giang join hands to promote Phu Quoc and welcome foreign tourists
Traveloka and Kien Giang join hands to promote Phu Quoc and welcome foreign tourists
TRAVELicon  19/11/2021 

Traveloka and the southern province of Kien Giang have cooperated to promote local tourism through the “Live Fully” program, which aims at popularizing the images of Phu Quoc Island as a safe and friendly destination for foreign visitors.

HCM City proposes three-phase pilot plan to welcome international tourists
HCM City proposes three-phase pilot plan to welcome international tourists
TRAVELicon  19/11/2021 

HCM City has just proposed a pilot plan to welcome back foreign tourists from December after a long closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The magnificent beauty of Toc Tien Waterfall, Dong Chau Forest in Quang Binh
The magnificent beauty of Toc Tien Waterfall, Dong Chau Forest in Quang Binh
TRAVELicon  23/11/2021 

Located in the south of Quang Binh Province, adjacent to Quang Tri Province, Dong Chau - Khe Nuoc Trong Nature Reserve in Le Thuy District has a tropical forest ecosystem at an altitude of nearly 700m above sea level.

The beauty of bamboo waterwheels in Dien Bien Province
The beauty of bamboo waterwheels in Dien Bien Province
TRAVELicon  20/11/2021 

The waterwheels have become an iconic image which is commonly seen in villages of the Thai ethnic group in the mountainous areas.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN