A few years ago, I’m not sure exactly when but I think it was in 2016, a team of Vietnamese and Korean artists spent two weeks painting over 100 murals all over the sleepy fishing village of Tam Thanh.
The murals are supposed to reflect the local culture, the local people and nature.
As I understand it, the purpose of painting these murals was to help the economy of the town. I’m not sure how well that worked, as we were the only tourists when we visited. There were no souvenir shops or restaurants catering to tourists. Maybe the town somehow gets paid when group tours arrive?
Tam Thanh is about an hour drive from Hoi An. We thought about renting a scooter to get there, but the older we get the more responsible (i.e., boring) we get. Since it is technically illegal for us to drive a scooter in Vietnam even though everyone and their brother would rent us a scooter, and since our travel insurance is void if we break the law, and since the drive was along a highway, we decided to hire a driver.
The drive was interesting. Although the area around Hoi An is wet, we drove through what appeared to be a desert with white sand that actually looked more like salt than sand.
And, on both sides of the road there were really cool cemeteries. If we had been on a scooter, we definitely would have explored those cemeteries.
The town itself is quite small. It is only maybe 10 blocks or so long.
Much of the art is on the small little alleys leading to the ocean.
The local people are very friendly. Many of them were fishing and others were repairing fishing nets.
Tons of kids came up and said hello and asked us our names.
One lady made sure to tell us when we had reached the end of the artwork.
And, families let us walk into their yards to get better photos.
It was a great way to spend a couple of hours.