Duong Lam Ancient Village is far 40 km to the west of Hanoi, Son Tay Town. There is a really ancient village that retaining the basic characteristic of old Vietnamese village. It owns banyan trees, lotus pond, temples and old houses dating back until 400 years. The ancient and unique of village make Duong Lam to be interesting destination. Travelers should not miss to discover the architectural features of traditional houses. You can also visit temples of two Vietnamese King who was born in Duong Lam Village. Finally, you have a chance to find history, culture and legend of ancient village from old people or owner of ancient houses.
Duong Lam ancient village system
With the history of 1200 years, Duong Lam Ancient Village consists of 9 small villages. They are Mong Phu, Dong Sang, Doai Giap, Cam Thinh, Cam Lam, Phu Khang, Ha Tan, Hung Thinh and Van Mieu. However, when talking to Duong Lam Ancient Village, people usually mention to Mong Phu and Dong Sang villages. They usually visit the houses in Mong Phu, which have the most beautiful houses that maintained gate, fencing, courtyard, garden, main house, outbuilding, kitchen, and ranch like 200-300 years ago. The road of village also have special shape that is similar to bone of fish connect together. While you visit old houses, their owner is willing to spend time on showing you around the house and its history.
Almost the traditional houses have the same architecture with rows of columns and spans. The wooden house often has 5 or 7 spans with 2 wings and 5 rows of columns. The houses are sophisticated carved in details with the forms of flower, leaves, clouds, dragons, etc. The house was built from the blocks of laterite, wood and mud that are available in this area. They take mud from ponds of village and mix with laterite to build wall, gates, wells, etc.
Ancient houses in the village
Just take about one hour from Hanoi to Duong Lam, you will enjoy peaceful atmosphere of rural life. Escape from busy of city, open in your eyes is very old gate of Mong Phu village. Do take photo of this gate – the cultural symbol of Duong Lam Village. Go beyond the gate, you will feel a fresh air and peace of old village and discover the unique of Duong Lam.
There are approximately 1000 traditional houses. Most of the house has 100 years old and some house dates back to until 400 years. Do not miss to see some oldest houses such as house of Vu Thi Am in Dong Sang with special worship space. Or Mr. Kieu Anh Ban, the owner of 400 year-old house, everything intact even wooden door. Besides, communal house is the most attracting place that you cannot skip to see. The communal house is worship place of the founder of the village as well as a gathering place of the villagers for cultural activities. People built communal house carefully with complex details of decoration that exhibit the power of God and respect of villagers.
Temples in the village
Apart from the ancient houses, Duong Lam is famous for tangible relic sites consisting of temples, pagodas and tombs. Mia Temples, which was built in 1642, with 287 statues- the largest number of statues in Vietnam, is a good example. Additionally, the tomb and shrine of Phung Hung King and Ngo Quyen King with structure and decoration of the building. It contains many old characteristics are places tourist might enjoy. Specially, the family chapel and church is the landmark of the Duong Lam village. Besides, Duong Lam has much intangible cultural relic with various festivals, customs and literature at the different period of time.
Duong Lam Ancient Village plays an important role in Hanoi Tourism. In there, both local and foreigners wish to see an ancient and peaceful natural landscapes as well as architectural and cultural sites.