Duong Lam ancient village reviews

tiny alleys in duong lam village

A young boy cycling through the small alleyway of Duong Lam

Read this travel blog about Duong Lam ancient village reviews, feedbacks. Duong Lam village is known as a common day trip from Hanoi, Vietnam for those who like off the beaten track. We took a day tour to Duong Lam village and loved it. It is a must-do for those who like to escape to rural village and not a long drive (only 1.5 hours from Hanoi ). It is a great trip for those who would like to travel off the beaten track and see real local living not far from Hanoi city

This day trip is exactly what we are looking for : much less touristy and quieter than Hanoi, great local food and rich historical value. On the other hand, it is an ideal place for street photography because you have seen lots of locals along the way.

Why we want to tour Duong Lam ancient village – The Oldest rural village in Hanoi area – Duong Lam ancient village review

After a fantastic Halong bay trip, we still had a free day in Hanoi and would love to do a day tour to a tranquil place and experience the authentic Vietnamese countryside. We came across a recommendation on Trip Advisor.

They mentioned a place called Duong Lam ancient village and said “if you can get there, it will be great to explore the real Vietnam and those ancient houses over 400 years old made of laterite and mud, two abundant materials in the area”.

It was 60km away from Hanoi and it takes us one and a half hour to get there. The village is situated in a rural area on the west of Hanoi.

We came down at the lobby and asked hotel’s receptionist of  a Duong Lam ancient village tour. It was so kind of her to give us information about the tour so we decided to book a tour departing the next morning with them. We were advised not to wear short sleeves and pants when visiting temples and pagodas to be respectful, sunglasses & hat, suncream, sunblock, good shoes and cash in local currency.

Duong Lam ancient village

Duong Lam village ancient gate with a giant banyan tree

An enriching experience starts

We were ready at the hotel lobby at 8.00 and met our tour guide called Binh. His warm smile gave us such a good impression.

We got to drive along national highway number 32. We wondered why houses in Vietnam are thin and high.

Our guide said because of high price for real estate so that people couldn’t afford to buy a big house. We stopped at a lush green rice paddy field for taking photos.

We just wanted to say awesome! An endless space appeared in front of your eyes. We wished we could hug those all. Finally, we arrived at the village. We felt such a peaceful scenery of a Vietnamese countryside. We hung out under the shadow of a 400 year old banyan tree which was one of symbol of a Vietnamese village along with a communal well and communal house’ roof. Closely is Mong Phu village gate.

Unlike other village gates in the northern area of Vietnam with a pavilion on a boat shaped roof, the gate is just like a two roof slopes house on the way to Duong Lam ancient village, an ancient Viet village still preserves tangible and intangible cultural values closely attached over centuries.

Vietnam Lotus in the summer

Lotus tree in the summertime in Duong Lam ancient village

Our first stop is Mong Phu communal house, a unique and traditional architecture with a sitting floor in the communal area of the house, a bold type of Viet – Muong nationality architecture built in 1553. The communal house play an important spirit role for locals.

Mong Phu communal house

Mong Phu communal house – A must-see spot in Duong Lam village

Ancient houses in Duong Lam ancient village are very unique

Before getting to Mr Huyen’ ancient house, our guide suggested we say hello to the host family to show respect. We were warmly welcomed by the host family.

And we were invited to drink a cup of green tea and had a discussion about their daily lives and business. The husband is a journalist and his wife is a teacher at a local school. The wife showed us some photos of her husband and children painted by herself on the wall.

The house had over 300 years of history and was given from father to son. This is the 14th generation of the family. The house consists of a main room at the center with an ancestor worship altar in the middle, on the left-hand side, there was another altar to worship Buddha – one of the major religions of Viet people; on the right-hand side, there was another one worshiping god of the house.

The left wing was a studying room, and the right wing was a kitchen and living room. The columns, beams, and roof frame are assembled scrupulously, and together with the fine carvings and ornaments, they add to the house’s grandeur. The couple also makes soya bean sauce stored in jars, a tradition in their family for generations at the yard. It is very interesting how they make their living by journalism, the soya beans, bicycle hire, and lunches for tourists.

Unforgettable experience in a day to Duong Lam ancient village

Tourists visiting an ancient house over 300 years old in Duong Lam ancient village

Jar for storing soya bean souce

Jar for storing soya bean souce in Duong lam village

A glimpse of Vietnam Buddhist temples – Mia Pagoda

After that, we hopped on our bikes along tiny alleys, houses made of laterite and mud, unique to Duong Lam and headed Mia (Sugar Cane) pagoda. We parked our bikes outside the pagoda.

At the entrance gate, we were invited to buy local specialties such as Vietnamese sweet peanut candy, “Che Lam” made of sticky rice flour, castor sugar, malt and ginger and soya bean sauce.

The pagoda is built in the 15th century and admires 287 statues of all sizes, along with famous sculptures such as the statue of Buddha in the Himalayas and the statues of the Eight Vajra Deities.

Highlights of the pagoda is Mia Tong Quan Âm Tu (0.76 m high), often called the Ba ocular. This subject described a modest woman, with grace, of boring but at very lenient. Road features engraved soft, machine sliding.

Statue of Lahan in Mia Pagoda

Statue of Lahan in Mia Pagoda in the village

After half an hour in the pagoda, we walked in a nearby local market. There were plenty of fruits, veggies, meats and household displayed. We took market photos and stopped at a fruit stall to buy oranges and mandarins. We headed back to the house on our bikes. After a short break, lunch was served with nice local foods such as corn soup, deep-fried spring roll – my favorite food, steamed rice, deep-fried fish, banana flower salad, chả lá lốt ( pork tossed with wild betel leaf), honey-glazed grilled chicken, stir-fried morning glory and some fruit for desserts. Without a doubt the home-cooked food we had beat all other Vietnamese food we had on our tour, hands down. It was so delicious.

lunch in duong lam village

Having authentic local food in an ancient house in DUong Lam village

Duong Lam was also known as the homeland of two kings : Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung. After lunch, we biked along the rural path with very little traffic to see those temples.

On the way, we passed lush green paddy fields, fresh veggie fields such as corn, kohlrabi, broccoli, and salad, and duck farms, and we didn’t forget to take plenty of photos. Our first stop is Phung Hung temple. Phung Hung who was famous for helping villages kill tigers and was honored as the royal highest.

After a short visit, we moved to Ngo Quyen Temple. Ngo Quyen soundly defeated the Chinese at the famous Battle of Bạch Đằng River north of modern Haiphong and ended 1,000 years of Chinese domination dating back to 111 BC under the Han Dynasty. We didn’t forget to put some money in the donation box to pray for good luck.

King Phung Hung temple in Duong Lam ancient village

King Phung Hung temple – a must-see in Duong Lam

On the way back, we stopped at a church inside Mong Phu hamlet, like many in many regions of Vietnam. A man who lives in the house next door opened the gate and welcomed us to the church.

A Vietnamese parish priest designed and hired carpenters from other villages to build this church in 1953. Most of the Christians in the village contributed time and effort to build this church.

During the French colonial period, there were about 100 households of believers. Today, many followers still go to the church every Wednesday to attend the service. The soaring bell tower serves as a landmark of the village. We said goodbye to him and didn’t forget to leave some donations for his friendliness and enthusiasm.

a a church at duong lam ancient village

Duong Lam village church built in the middle of 20th century

Should we come back Duong Lam ancient village again?

Back to the house, we bid farewell our host family and went was back to Hanoi around 4.00pm to finish an amazing Duong Lam ancient village day trip,  escaping Hanoi to the Vietnamese countryside. We HIGHLY recommend Duong Lam ancient village Hanoi, Vietnam, for everyone ever traveling to Vietnam.

It should be written up on your travel lists with the other famous tourist attractions. It’s a unique place where you can come and recharge your soul. It is once in a lifetime experience!

We hope this Duong Lam ancient village reviews helps you a better understanding about Duong Lam ancient village. 

Read more : Duong Lam travel guide 


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