VietNamNet Bridge – Smooth concrete roads lined by colourful flags and flowers were the first things that greeted us in Tan Trao Commune, Son Duong District in the northern province of Tuyen Quang.
Back in time: The site has become a popular tourist destination. VNA/VNS File Photo
According to Hoang Nhu Loan, director of the Tan Trao Eco-Tourism, Historical and Cultural National Relic Site, Ho Chi Minh moved from Cao Bang to Tuyen Quang in 1945 to direct the country’s revolutionary effort.
“He chose Tan Trao Commune to set up a revolutionary base for the whole country,” she said.
From Tan Trao the Central Party Commitee and President Ho made important decisions to guide a mass uprising to gain power from the French and Japanese in August 1945.
Between August 13 and 15, Party leaders met and nominated a National Uprising Committee.
On August 16 and 17, the Tan Trao National People’s Congress, the early form of Viet Nam’s National Assembly, was held at Tan Trao Communal House, where members approved the Viet Minh (Viet Nam League for Independence) and nominated the Viet Nam People’s Liberation Committee, i.e. the provisional government chaired by President Ho.
Under the shadow of an ancient banyan tree in Tan Trao, on the afternoon of August 16, the Viet Nam Liberation Army hosted a ceremony witnessed by 60 members of the National People’s Congress. General Vo Nguyen Giap read Military Order 1, and the troops departed for Thai Nguyen and moved to Hanoi to liberate the capital.
Safe haven: Visitors at Na Nua hut. VNA/VNS Photo Quang Dan
Hoang Thi Mai, a resident of Tan Lap Village in Tan Trao Commune, is the daughter-in-law of Nguyen Tien Su, who hosted President Ho at that time.
Mai is 78 years old now but still remembers those days.
“When President Ho and the other revolutionaries came to stay here, I was only five,” she said. “My parents told me that President Ho stayed up very late to work and woke up early. He ate with my family.
“My mother was worried that we did not have enough vegetables to eat. President Ho suggested that we ate rice, boiled young bamboo shoots dipped in salted sesame, and boiled tea soup. ‘That’s delicious,’ President Ho said.
“He also reminded my father and other villagers to plant rice and vegetables to feed the revolutionaries because more of them would come.
After a week at my house, by the end of May, 1945, the leader moved to Na Nua hut.”
At that time, all the families in the village were harbouring revolutionaries even though they were very poor. They all fed the guests with rice, salt and whatever they had.
Base camp: Tan Trao Communal House. VNA/VNS Photo Le Anh Dung
If trees could talk: An ancient banyan tree, where on August 16, 1945, the Viet Nam Liberation Army hosted a ceremony witnessed by 60 members of the National People’s Congress. VNA/VNS Photo Le Anh Dung
Building the homeland
Ma Van Yen, chief of Bong Village, said the village was now a good example of the developing economy in Tan Trao Commune.
“There are 177 households in the village, 75 per cent of whom are from the Tay ethnic group,” he said. “They mostly farm food crops and raise cattle.
“In recent years, many households have changed to farming new strains of trees and cattle, and applying modern technology in farming,” he said.
“Many households have planted dragon fruit,” he said. “Only five households are considered ‘poor’ in the village. The average income per head has reached VND36 million/year (US$1,500).”
In 2014, Tan Trao was the first commune in Tuyen Quang to reach the national standard of a New Rural Area.
“Locals’ lives have much improved,” said Hoang Cao Khai, chairman of Tan Trao Commune’s People’s Committee.
“There are public facilities like cultural houses and playgrounds in every village,” he said.
Nearly 97 per cent of households in the commune have access to electricity; 100 per cent of schools in the commune reach national standards; 100 per cent of inter-commune roads are covered with concrete; and 90 per cent of people in working age have regular jobs. The average income per head in the commune has reached VND28.3 million/year while the ratio of poor households has fallen to 4.4 per cent.
Local jobs are becoming more and more diverse. Besides agriculture, Tan Trao has promoted tourism, services and trade.
The commune authorities have also called for investment in service centres and tourism sites to serve visitors to Tan Trao.
by Vu Quang Dan