If Hanoi and Hoi An are examples of traditional urban life, Duong Lam village is the true reflection of Vietnamese agriculture lifestyle. Wandering around Duong Lam village with me in a day and see why.
Located about 40km West of Hanoi, Duong Lam is a village in Son Tay town, Hanoi. Through the ups and downs of time, Duong Lam retains the appearance of an old village with its historical gates, banyan trees, water wells and communal yards. This is the typical design of a Red River delta village.
Duong Lam village actually consists of 3 villages: Dong Sang, Mong Phu and Cam Thinh. Entering through the main gate, you will immediately feel the embrace of unique ancient architecture. The walls built from laterite bricks and their dark yellow color bring a warm, peaceful atmosphere of the countryside. Let’s take a getaway from busy Hanoi for a day and visit Duong Lam with these experiences:
Visit Mong Phu communal house
When in Duong Lam, relax, wander and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village. Then you will come across perhaps the highlight of the area: Mong Phu communal house, which was built nearly 380 years ago and reflects the strong dedication to Viet-Muong architecture, with wooden floor higher than the ground.
Giang Van Minh worship house
Giang Van Minh worship house in Duong Lam was built from the time of King Tu Duc to worship Giang Van Minh (1573-1638), a prominent diplomat. Today, the custodian of the worship house is the 13th descendent of the Giang family, so you can actually visit this place, sit down for some tea and have a conversation with him about history of the family and the life of Giang Van Minh.
Visit and have lunch in an ancient house
Duong Lam has 956 traditional houses that were built hundreds of years ago from local materials, such as laterite, bamboo, wood, meliaceae, clay bricks, tiles, or sawdust. The design of all these houses, with courtyard level lower than the outside road allows rain water to flow from the outside into the yard before escaping. According to the old beliefs, this generates wealth for the houses’ owners.
Besides a chance to explore the unique architecture, having a traditional lunch break here gives you more knowledge of the Vietnamese agriculture lifestyle and culture while interacting with the locals.
Explore agricultural lifestyle
While Hanoi and Hoi An are examples of traditional urban life, as mentioned, Duong Lam has the typical characteristics of a Vietnamese village. This is where you witness and feel the real images of what we usually saw from travel posters, from buffalo grazing and farmers working on the fields to the soft and sweet smell of straw when the rice plants bloom. Even the mills, jars and many other agricultural objects from the locals’ houses are telling us much of the village’s characteristics.
Duong Lam is the hometown of two Vietnam’s kings, Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen, giving the village its prestige. Many other Vietnamese significant figures were also born here, like Giang Van Minh, mrs Man Thien, Ba Chua Mia, so there are many important temples that you can visit in Duong Lam.
Duong Lam has become an ideal weekend destination for not only Hanoians but also foreign visitors. Duong Lam is not just a getaway from urban life, it's where your experiences of a peaceful, quiet lifestyle but full of cultures and traditions last forever!