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A tour of Hanoi surrounding: Duong Lam Ancient Village - another angle of a bustling Hanoi

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Hanoi-Travel Tips

Duong Lam ancient village in Son Tay Town (some 60km to the west of Hanoi Capital) was the first village in the rural area of Vietnam recognized as a national cultural heritage. The village has retained the basic characteristics of Vietnamese ancient villages with banyan tree, well and communal house's court. The unique architecture has turned the village into one of attractive tourist places in a day tour package of Hanoi.

What makes Duong Lam Village worth to be included in your Hanoi tour?

•    A history of about 1,200 years with many houses dating back up to 400 years.
•    Ancient Art & Architecture: Most of the houses & temples here are made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area. The mud is taken from ponds. 
•    Duong lam village still retains most of the basic characteristics of a village of Vietnam with port village, trees, courtyard, temples, well, water fields… 
•    Duong Lam ancient village is an important place for scientists to study resident communities in ancient agriculture. 

Attractions of Duong Lam Village 

Taking a bicycle tour around Duong Lam Village would be an ideal way to escape a chaotic Hanoi old quarter. 

Duong Lam Village biking

1.The common wells

The common wells were built in every hamlet in Duong Lam village. Each well named of the hamlet it is located. At present, each family possesses its own well but the common well has been protected because it maintains many imprints of the villagers.

Duong-Lam-village-the-common-well-3landCommon wells in Duong Lam Village – Hanoi tour

2.Mong Phu Temple and Mong Phu’s Gate 

Mong Phu temple was built in 1553. Mong Phu’s gate is a typical gate of a village in northern Vietnam. Behind it is a 300-year-old banyan tree, next to a lotus pond and rice fields. Originally, it was made of wood to prevent wild beasts from entering. Later, they became part of the general defense against any intruders. An important part of a gate is the top, which is often built in the form of an arch. The arch is usually covered, so travelers can hide from the tropical sun and rains. On each sides of the arch, there are tall pillars, with reliefs of parallel sentences, designed to introduce the village’s good traditions.

Mong Phu Temple in Duong Lam Village – Hanoi tour

3.The ancient houses

Duong Lam Ancient Village today still retains many ancient houses characterized by the folk houses at Red River Delta.

Duong-Lam-village-old-house-3landAncient houses in Duong Lam Village – Hanoi tour

They are typical ancient houses having still remained largely intact ancient architectural style. It is a kind of house built with materials of wood, laterite with its interior and exterior also retaining its original design. The houses dating back over 200 years account for about 5%, the rest mostly dates back less than 100 years. Most old houses here have maintained gate, fencing, courtyard, garden, main house, outbuilding, kitchen, ranch... which are very familiar with the ancient village in Thang Long - Hanoi but could hardly find elsewhere today.

Architecture of the house
The wooden house mainly has 5 or 7 spans with 2 wings. It has 5 rows of columns; sometime 1 row disappears. The house has specialized by sophisticatedly carved details in the form of flowers, leaves, clouds.
A system of wooden doors is very firm. Each span has 4 leaves of the door with upper and lower joints. Thresholds were made of firm wood above 40-50cm from the ground and 10cm from the floor. This distance helps to ventilate well, avoid humidity for the thresholds. The whole system of the thresholds is the tie system linking all spans together.

4.Chua Mia

 As one of the 10 oldest temples in Vietnam, Mia pagoda has the most beautiful ancient statues in Vietnam.
The pagoda was built during the Tran Dynasty (1225-1406) and still preserves many ancient artifacts.
Duong-Lam-village-mia-pagoda-3landMia Pagoda in Duong Lam Village – Hanoi tour

The pagoda has 287 statues of all sizes, among which are famous sculptures such as the statue of Buddha in the Himalayas and the statues of the Eight Vajra Deities. The largest one is the sculpture of Bat Bo Kim Cang located in the upper sanctuary.
The pagoda preserves many ancient artifacts such as the great red bell made in 1743, the bronze gong (1846), and the Lady Mia stone tables, set up in 1632.

5.Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung Temple 

The temple dedicated to King Ngo Quyen was most recently renovated during the reign of King Tu Duc from 1848 to 1883. King Ngo Quyen is famous for the battle on Bach Dang River against China’s Southern Han troops. The historic battle ended 1,000 years of Chinese feudal rule and established the Ngo Dynasty, giving the Vietnamese people a new spirit of self-reliance and independence.
The temple worshipping King Phung Hung was built in Cam Lam commune where he recruited troops and rose up in arms in 791 to combat the domination of China’s Tang.

Duong-Lam-village-Ngo-quyen-tomb-3landNgo Quyen and Phung Hung Temple in Duong Lam Village – Hanoi tour

6. Other sites and activities

Duong Lam has many beautiful scenes linked with legendary stories such as Guom Hill, Ho Gam Hill. There are also other attractions such as On pagoda, some places nearby like Son Tay citadel, Tay Phuong pagoda, Van Phuc silk village.
Tip: You may consider as an option of Hanoi surrounding Village tour package. Or some of Duong Lam tour packages offers you some interesting activities as: making straw toy, having meals with the locals, being a farmer, etc.


Made by straw

Specialties to taste in Duong Lam Village

Tip: You may book a tour of Duong Lam Village at any travel agencies in Hanoi in which you will be offered a meal of traditional foods with the local.
The traditional crafts that are still remained till today are che lam (blue sweetened porridge cake, peanut candy and che kho (fried sweetened porridge cake). Different producers have different receipts but the ingredients stay the same. The main ingredients are honey bee, fried rice powder, fried peanut, fresh ginger… This kind of street food is only in Duong Lam ancient Village, it is in everywhere in Vietnam but there is only in Duong Lam that this street food is the most delicious.

Peanut candy

A meal in Duong Lam is also very simple with boiled chicken, boil water spinach eaten with bean sauce, stewed meat, crab soup and eggplant…
Let’s come to Duong Lam village to trace back to the origin of Vietnamese culture and Vietnamese traditions, to explore architecture of ancient houses while wandering along its narrow alleyways, and to escape from the bustle of city life.