Tip 1 : Safety
Duong Lam village is safe for travelers 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.
Biking route : From Duong Lam village to Ngo Quyen tomb seems to be the most popular route with scenic view
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 Duong Lam village
By bus : Bus is available in bus station. It costs approximately 25,000VND per person
My Dinh bus station – Trung Ha (number 70A). Ask the crew who correct the fee to get off at Duong Lam ancient village. This is the best option so far in my opinion.
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 (024 3362 6262) to the village, it costs around $3.5.
Private car costs approximately 65USD/ per car includes fuel, parking fee, English speaking driver. Bonus : free travel consultant in Duong Lam, a water bottle per person.
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 new gate. The cost is around 40,000VND per person
By private car
It is properly the best option so far with afforable cost, only $65 per day for 4 seater car with 1.5 to 2 hours drive from Hanoi. When it comes to rice planting season either in Feb or July, ask the driver to stop on road side for shooting photos of local rice farmers planting on their field.
By Grab taxi or regular taxi
Ask your hotel receptionist to catch a taxi to Duong Lam village. Ask them to deal with the taxi driver to stay there and wait for you a couple of hours. Because the return transfer back, you get 60% discount. This deal is applied for a regular taxi not Grab.
In term of Grab taxi, the driver like to be paid in cash, instead of booking via the app.
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.
In my opinion, the best homestay in Duong Lam is located at He village, Duong Lam commune. Room rate is around $25/per room/ per night.
You can make a reservation via Air BNB via this link https://fr.airbnb.com/rooms/11420461
Tip 5 : Eat & Drink in Duong Lam ancient village
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 food menu printed but classic country cuisine is served up from a set menu for lunch. The food is simple but great. Vegetarians should be inform before your arrival.
There’s several address to have lunch in Duong Lam
Mr Hung’s homestay : 0984.871.912 . He is a kind generous man.
Mrs Vuot’s homestay (Mr Huyen’wife) : 038.792.7315
Hai Loi : 038511136
There are 2 other small restaurants on the side of Mong Phu commual house which is on the way to Mia Pagoda from Mong phu . I have forgotten these names but it is suitable for family, solo travelllers, small group who just want a small portion of lunch. You can order either Bun Cha ( Grilled pork with vermicelli and fresh greens) or a proper alacarte rice meal with pork skewer, Mia chicken (local speaciaties with half of them) , fresh water crab meat soup with vegetable, deep fried spring roll. Please note that it is just a normal house not an ancient one.
Specialties in Duong Lam village
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). Apart from it, there are a few other local specialities in Duong Lam such as Mia chicken, peanut candy, sesame candy…..
Tip 6 : What to do in Duong Lam ancient village
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 , biking around the village, heading to Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung temple for 5 kilometers round trip bike ride. 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 : Things to see in Duong Lam ancient village
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.
Mong Phu Church
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.
King Ngo Quyen temple and tomb
Ngo Quyen tomb is 500 meters away from Phung Hung temple on the left. It’s a large tomb and there is an endless rice paddy in the front of it. Built in 1874 under reign of King Tu Duc and mantained in 1871 under reign of King Minh Mang.
The Ngo Quyen temple’s honour in Duong Lam was erected long gao and has been upgraded many times. The great repair was done in 1858. Nowadays, at the remarkable archeological artifacts excavated in this locality along with a wooden stake brought from Bach Dang river are displayed
Phung Hung – Great father King’s temple
The shrine worships Phung Hung is situated on a low hill . The front yard ot he shrine is flanked by two side buildings. At the heart of front worship hall is flanked by two rear worship hall. The front worship hall worships high ranking madarins of Phung Hung. and the rear worship hall was built is 1882. According to locals, the temples was built right on the house where King Phung Hung used to live when he was a child.
Giang Van Minh temple
Located in the heart of Duong lam ancient village complex, the temple becomes a well-known destination for both domestic and foreign travellers . Built in reign of King Tu Duc to worship Giang Van Minh . The tempel consists of 5 small compartments , with the platform used for the annual celebration of Giang Van Minh’s death anniversary. The yard is narrow and paved with bricks. The bonsai tree was set around the edge.
The one who look after the temple which is 13rd generation of Giang clan – Giang Van Ke
Ancient houses in Duong Lam village
Mr Hung’s ancient house
His house has been recogized as level 1 ancient house. It is an ancient house of a rice farmer. you will be amazed by an entrace gate modeled after ancient architecture style by well mixed soil, stone, rice husk and mud and full shade of Cuscuta tree at the entrance.
Built in 1649 mainly by jack fruit wood and Ironwood but the quintessence of wooden carving has been preserved since Post Le Dynasty. It composes 3 main compartments for worshipping ancestors and welcoming guests and 2 small auxiliary compartments for bed rooms.
Mr Huyen’s ancient house
The house makes a great impression on visitors because of green color. Due to a wide of experience of making sauce bean paste for a long time, he spent almost his yard for processing sauce bean paste. A number of brown sauce bean jars arranged equally on the brick playground.
Mr Huyen has a great passion on Old Chinese scripts so that parallel sentences have been engraved beautifully on the columns. Small households such as ceramic bowl shape tobacco pipe, ceramic cups and tea pots, oil lamp…. enhances nostalgia character of the owner.
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
Tip 11 : Important things to know when travelling to Duong Lam ancient village
Parking at the right place
Say hello to ederly
Buy tickets before visisting the village
Don’t throw wastes at a wrong place
Don’t sit or lie in the middle section of the homestay
Don’t wear shorts or sleeves when visiting sarced place such as temples, pagodas…
Ask permission before taking photos inside the ancient house.
Tip 12 : Estimated cost for services in Duong Lam village
Bike for rent from 30,000VND to 50,000VND per bike
Lunch with set menu starts from $8
A small donation from 30,000VND to 50,000VND when visiting an ancient house
Bonus : Some cool photos of Duong Lam ancient village
Is Duong Lam village is a right place for you?
This is a great place for those who like to learn more about history, culture, local living of a typical rural village as well as see unique ancient house made of mud and laterite, only 1.5 hour drive from Hanoi. A great escape to bustle and hustle of Hanoi Old Quarter.
If you want to learn a deeper understanding, you do recommend to book a guided tour. Because the local guide are able to show you secret alley way, take you to someone’s home, eat local specialties that you can do it yourself
Interested in a Duong Lam village tour
Just ask a travel agent in Hanoi or the hotel where you are staying for further information
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These are useful Duong Lam village travel tips, travel guides and advice for a wonderful trip to Duong Lam ancient village.