Located about 60 kilometers from the West of Hanoi, Duong Lam ancient village is an interesting place that could offer visitors a close look at the lifestyle of Vietnamese people hundreds of years ago without having to travel too far from the city.
Established about 1200 years ago, Duong Lam is one of the most ancient village in Vietnam. However, what are left today in this village are only around 400 year old. They are small houses and building made from laterite and mud, the 2 poplular materials that are abundant in local area. Laterite was use as the alternative for bricks and it could be found in and construction of the ancient village as walls, gates and wells.
Walking around the place, you will see that most of the houses have their own well, but as a traditional, there is always a shared well for all inhabitants in a single hamlet and usually named after the hamlet. The shared wells are now in protection for the imprints off the villagers that they carry.
Also a popular architecture of villages in the North of Vietnam in the past, communal hall is a place to worship the one called “Thanh Hoang”, who is believed to be the founder of the village. Duong Lam infact is a group of 5 small villages so visitors can find 5 communal halls here. Doai Giap and Cam Lam communal halls dedicate to Phung Hung – the national hero who won the victory against invaders under Duong Dynasty; Cam Thinh communal hall dedicates both the founder of the village and great mandarin Cao Phuc Dien – the hero under Le Dynasty. Dong Sang communal hall worships the God but it was destroyed by fire and was restored by financial support from people. The god Tan Vien Son was dedicated in Mong Phu communal hall. So far, Mong Phu communal hall is a gathering place of the villagers for cultural activities. The communal hall was built carefully with sophisticated decoration details. It is considered as a flower of unique sculptural architecture.
The village is an ideal cultural place for tourists, especially foreign visitors to see how the life was in Vietnam in ancient time. Also, besides the architecture, do not forget ask the way to the entrance of the village where the banyan tree has stood for hundreds of years and witnessed the village through many ups and downs.
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