A shepherd boy playing the flute amidst the rice fields of Tam Coc sets the scene for Ninh Binh Tourism Week, with its golden theme reflecting the beauty of Trang An. From June 1st to 8th, a host of special activities are planned, kicking off with an opening ceremony at 8:00 pm on the 1st at Dong Gung bus station within the picturesque Tam Coc-Bich Dong tourist area.

This year’s event showcases one of Vietnam’s top five most scenic rice fields, where the meandering Ngo Dong River meets a vast expanse of over 18 hectares of rice paddies. As May turns to June, this natural canvas is transformed with colossal artworks, including a carp gazing at the moon and festive flags.

A bird’s-eye view captures the essence of Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. The rice fields of Tam Coc-Bich Dong frame a monumental artwork: a shepherd, flute in hand, riding a buffalo. This image evokes memories of northern Vietnam’s ancient delta and its nostalgic charm.

Inspired by Dong Ho folk art, the organizers have chosen a theme that resonates with the childhood memories of many Vietnamese. The artwork, a tribute to the beauty of rice cultivation, is brought to life using the Thai Xuyen 111 rice variety, selected for its resilience and adaptability to the local terrain.

Months of meticulous preparation by organizers and locals have gone into creating this living artwork, from land preparation to intricate rice planting designs. Crafting the details, such as eyes, noses, and mouths, presented unique challenges, and even after transplantation, adjustments continue to perfect the image.

Hoang Thanh Phong, from the Tam Coc-Bich Dong management board, explains the importance of timing in creating this living artwork. The backdrop was transplanted with the local rice fields, while intricate details were added a month later, bringing the image to life.

The chosen theme, a shepherd playing the flute, is a nostalgic image for many Vietnamese, evoking a sense of serenity and symbolizing prayers for favorable weather, abundant harvests, and increased prosperity for the region through tourism.

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