Tip 1 : Safety
Duong Lam village is safe for ttravelers The only real hazard in this part of the world is your own misfortune. Be careful as you ride a bike in a tiny alleys. It’s better to check brakes and types before cycling.
Tip 2 : Say hello to locals & Ask permission before taking photos
Before paying a visit to any ancient houses, you should ask permission of homestay owner and and say “hello” to them to show respect. You should donate some money on the altars (VND 30,000 – VND 50,000, about US$1.5-3). Small gifts from foreign visitors are welcome too. You shouldn’t face against family altar. . If you want to take any pictures, please ask the locals before hand.
Tip 3 : How to get there
By bus : Bus is available in bus station. It costs approximately $1
Kim Ma bus station – Son Tay (number 70)
Ha Dong bus station – Son Tay (number 77)
My Dinh bus station – Son Tay (number 71)
Upon arrival Son Tay, you should take Son Tay taxi (04 3362 6262) to the village, it costs around $3.5.
By public bus
From My Dinh bus station, you can take the bus My Dinh – Phu Pho and get off at Duong Lam village entrance gate.
Tip 4 : Accomodation in Duong Lam village
Homestay : Its facilities are basic : air-conditioning, western toilet and hot shower. Private rooms are available upon request. It’s available in Mr Kieu Anh Ban, Mr Giang Van Luu, Mrs Duong Thi Lan, Mr Ta Quang Tam . Homestay start at about $15.
Tip 5 : Eat & Drink
Drinks are available at the homestay : beer, coca- cola, water… The best drink is a cup of green tea and have chat with locals. You’d better order food with house owner to enjoy the best authentic Vietnamese food. There’s no menu. classic country cuisine is served up from a fixed menu for lunch. The food is simple but great. Vegetarians should be inform before your arrival.
Local people in this village do farming work and make “tương” soy sauce to sell as major income. The sauce is made of water, rice, soy bean and corn and it’s cooked with fish or eaten with tofu and rice cake (bánh đúc)
Tip 6 : What to do
Enjoy hands-on experiences such as walking tour, cycling, chatting with locals living in the ancient houses, great local foods supply in an local ancient house, visiting pagoda and seeing rural market . You will see their daily routines surrounded by breathtaking scenery in a peaceful area. It’s great to go with a tour guide. They are able to help you understand what you’re seeing because the locals aren’t able to speak English.
Tip 7 : Tourist attractions
Mong Phu Commune house
The communal house is a worshipping place of the god – founder of the village. . The god Tan Vien Son was dedicated in Mong Phu communal house. So far, Mong Phu communal house is a gathering place of the villagers for cultural activities. The communal house was made carefully with sophisticated decoration details. It is considered as a flower of unique sculptural architecture.
The pagoda is built in 15 th century and admire 287 statues of all sizes, among with are famous sculpture 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 woman modest, with grace, of boring but at very lenient. Road features engraved soft, machine sliding.
There is a church inside Mong Phu hamlet, like many those seen in many regions of Vietnam. A Vietnamese parish priest designed and hired carpenters of 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.
Tip 8 : Support
Most of homestay owner have a basic spoken English but are able to understand you. For local villager, they couldn’t speak English at all so that it’s a bit difficult to communicate with thems.
Tip 9 : What to bring
Passport, sun-glasses & hat, suncream, sun-block, insect repellent, good shoes, personal first aid kit & medicines, VND for personal expenses.
Tip 10 : Best time to travel
September, October, November and early December. Other time, it’s also good but summer time is a bit hot. Travel in the best time to get the best rural life experience