Located only 44km away from the center of Hanoi is Duong Lam ancient village. As the name suggested, this is a residential area that still remains its classical look from the old days. The ancient village is an area that consists of what used to be 9 villages in the Son Tay town. Through many years, the architecture and customs in the village haven’t changed a single bit.
To this day, Duong Lam village still retains the basic characteristics of a traditional village in the North with a village gate, banyan trees, a well, a communal yard, and 956 traditional houses. In 2006, Duong Lam became the first ancient village in our country to be awarded the National Cultural and Historical Relic by the government. Visiting the place, you’ll be sent back in time to a few hundred years ago with the primitive beauty of the village. This is an ideal destination for anyone who is looking for something nostalgic in this modern day.
When to visit?
Duong Lam ancient village is a perfect destination all year round. But if you want to experience some cultural activities, you can pay a visit during the festival season, which happens from the 4th to the 10th of the first month of the year according to the lunar calendar. The ceremony to honor Thanh Hoang (the god of the village) is held at the oldest communal house with a palanquin parade, and then the villagers will offer roasted pigs or chickens to the god. After that, they will participate in many folk games such as chess, chicken fighting, blind’s man bluff,… Coming to Duong Lam during this time, not only will you get to enjoy the festive atmosphere but you’ll also have the chance to try out the specialties that are only available during the festival.
What to see
Since Duong Lam is an ancient village, there are many features of a traditional small town that can only be seen here
Mong Phu village gate
This is the only ancient gate left to this day in Duong Lam. Originally, the village had 5 different gates. However, over hundreds of years of war, today only Mong Phu village gate is left intact. The gate, which was built in the Hau Le period, has a different architecture than the traditional village gate with a dome and made of honeycomb stone.
Mong Phu temple
The temple is about 1800m2 wide and was built nearly 380 years ago in the central area of the village. The design of the temple is imbued with Vietnamese-Muong architecture, simulating the architecture of a stilt house with the wooden floor above the ground. This temple has the traditional architecture of the word …, which is usually seen in many buildings in the feudal period. Inside the temple are many ancient parallel sentences with high value dating back hundreds of years. If you are an enthusiast in culture and architecture, then you should add this place to your list.
Ancient houses and communal wells
Duong Lam ancient village has 956 old houses. The oldest of them belongs to Mr. Hung, which was built in 1649. The house is around 400 years old and there have been 12 generations living there. These old houses are made from traditional materials such as laterite, oval wood, bamboo, terracotta bricks, tiles, … with 5 compartments or 7 compartments. One of the typical characteristics of a traditional village is the communal well. Hence, you’ll come across a lot of wells walking around the village. The water in these wells is still fresh and crystal clear. Join our Duong Lam ancient village tour 1 day to explore the heritage houses of the village to the fullest!
Ngo Quyen temple and tomb
Ngo Quyen is the first king of the Ngo dynasty in the history of Vietnam. The complex is built on Cam hill, in front of a large paddy field and Hum basin flowing into Tich river. The temple consists of a place of worship, a backhouse, and a stele house. At the bottom, about 100m from the temple is the tomb of the king built in the shape of 4 roofs on a high pedestal with surrounding walls.
King Phung Hung’s Temple
Duong Lam Village Specialties:
This is a kind of traditional sweet made from glutinous rice, peanuts, ginger, and molasses. In order for che lam to taste good, people have to use the best kind of glutinous rice, then ground it into flour. After that, they cook the molasses until boils and add the flour. The peanuts and ginger are then put into the mixture which is let simmer till it’s cooked. The final mixture is spread evenly on a pane and cut into small bite-sized pieces.
Fermented Rice Sauce
This kind of sauce is a staple of the meal in Duong Lam village. The sauce is served with raw beans, fried beans, braised fish, boiled vegetables, braised meat,… Especially, the sauce is used to cook braised fish along with some other spices such as caramelized sugar, ginger,… which make the fish smells good and rid of the fishy taste.