About 40km from Hanoi, Duong Lam ancient village seems to be an exotic spot for tourists who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. In there, you can discover the origin of Vietnam’s traditions and culture.
This is also the great opportunity to admire unique architecture of ancient houses, visit sacred temples, and most exciting of all is to interact with residents living in the ancient house.
In addition to Hanoi city tour, a tour to Duong Lam village is not a bad choice for you. Duong Lam village is located in Son Tay district, which is about 44 kilometers from the center of Hanoi. This ancient village impresses tourists with its ancient and peaceful beauty. Having a history of almost 1,200 years old, Duong Lam has 956 traditional houses which are located in Dong Sang, Mong Phu, and Cam Thinh villages and have been built for about 400 years. Nowadays, Duong Lam still remains most of the basic features of a Vietnam’s traditional village with red-tile houses, green bamboo, yellow straw, temples, courtyard, well, water fields, etc. The roads of this village were also special because it has the shape of the fish’s bones. One unique thing about the village is that most of the houses here are made of mud and laterite, two materials are abundant in this area.
Located in the center of the village, the communal house is a worshipping area for the founder of the village and also a gathering place for cultural activities. The communal house is very impressive thanks to its unique sculptural architecture with sophisticated decorations and nice carving work. There is a large square in front of the house. Especially, the floors of the communal house have different levels which were used for the different classes of villagers. In the past, the house was used only by men.
Mong Phu communal house
After visiting traditional houses, Ngo Quyen temple and Phung Hung temple are two important relic sites that you should not miss. These temples were built to dedicate two famous Kings who were born in there. Next, let’s pay a visit to Mia Pagoda, which is also known as Sung Nghiem Temple. The pagoda is situated on a hill and was built in the 15th century. It consists of three main areas with 287 statues of all sizes. Especially, each statue represents different postures and decorated with beautiful colors. If you have more time for sightseeing here, do not ignore other historical sites such as Dinh Mau, Dinh Cam Thinh, Dinh Hoai Giap and Giang Van Minh temple.
It’s great to have a chance to take part in Duong Lam tour, learn about its vestiges, explore Vietnamese culture and travel like a local in there. You will see residents making and selling specialties like Che Lam, tofu, and a strong type of soy sauce that is famous in there. Along the way, tourists can visit traditional houses and see the daily life activities of the locals in the village. Stopping at an authentic ancient house for a home-hosted lunch is the best way to feel the unique atmosphere of an ancient house, experience locals’ life, and chat with hospitable people.
Straw puppet made by locals
Moreover, a unique experience that you can get in Duong Lam is making a special “agricultural-style” souvenir from rice straw – a special feature of this ancient village that you cannot find elsewhere in Vietnam. Therefore, do not miss the chance to make lovely straw puppet by yourself. If you visit Duong Lam during harvest time, you will be amazed by the roads being covered with yellow dry straw.
Road covered by yellow straw in Duong Lam
Visiting Duong Lam, visitors also can enjoy the delicious local dishes. The best Banh Te and Banh Gai can be found in there. Banh Te is made from rice flour, wrapped in banana leaves into a long cylindrical shape and then streamed. Then refresh your appetite with Che Kho (Vietnam Mung Been Pudding), which is a popular Vietnamese dessert. The soft sweet and the fragrant of the green tea blended with green bean make it attractive and special to tourists. Additionally, do not forget to taste other specialties such as Phu Nhi pyramidal rice dumpling, Mia market’s plain rice cake, peanut candy, sesame candy, etc.
Che Kho – a special dish of Vietnam’s cuisine