Duong Lam ancient village: An unique rural village for travellers

Duong Lam ancient village is on the outskirts of Hanoi, about 60 km west of Hanoi  and also known as a museum of laterite, home to many houses dating back up to 400 years. One special thing about the village is that most of the buildings here are made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area.

The village has also been described as the last stronghold of wet rice farming culture in northern Vietnam. This is in-dept information about Duong Lam ancient village written by a local guide who work for Hanoi Eco Tour

Duong Lam Ancient house’ architecture

The ancient houses are run by families who have lived on and worked the land for generations. Coming to an ancient house, you will stay amongst the locals and see their daily routines surrounded by breathtaking scenery in a peaceful setting.

The folk houses in Duong Lam village Vietnam are seft-contained, emcompassed by walls. The entrance and exit can be made only through the gate facing the lane. In the middle of house’s precinct is the yard. The main house faces the yard and does not face the lane directly. On one side of the yard is a well.

The precinct of the house is generally rectangular in shape, and the gate is usually placed at eh side of precinct instead of directly facing the main 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 40-50centimeters from the ground and 10centimeters 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.

Tourist attractions in Duong Lam village, Hanoi

There’s lots of things to see in Duong Lam with well-known tourist attractions as followings

Mong Phu Communal house 

Mong Phu Communal house

Mong Phu Communal house in Duong Lam ancient village

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.

Mia Pagoda – A Buddist temple dated back since 15th century

Mia Pagoda Duong Lam ancient village

Mia Buddhist temple in Duong Lam village

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.

King Phung Hung temple – Great father King

King Phung Hung temple

Phung Hung temple in Duong Lam ancient village

King Phung Hung was born in 761 and passed away in 802, who are one of two Vietnamese kings born in Duong Lam ancient village, 60 kilometers in the Western Hanoi. His family is a noble one with 2 other brothers : Phung Hai and Phung Dinh.

When he become an adult, people found that he was a strong man with. Once he went into the jungle but tiger attack. Luckily, he was so quick to advoid the tiger and killed him.

When his father got old so he took over the position of being a chief of a village which was admired by other chiefs in nearby villages.

In 791 Phung Hung togher with his brother, Phung Hai led a rebellion against the Chinese nomination, took over Hanoi (with an ancient name called Dai La) in the same year.

In 798, suddenly, he passed away at the age of a young man. After that, locals had built a temple to delicated to him in his village, which is a short bike ride from Duong Lam village.

Up to now, nobody knows which is his tomb just because he was buried in a serect spots to stop his enemies from desecrating the grave. Nearby is King Ngo Quyen temple and his tomb

King Ngo Quyen temple – A great national hero of Vietnam

This is a nearby temple of King Phung Hung, also a must-see for Vietnamese or foreign visitors who take a bike ride from Duong Lam ancient village, you can also see his temple and his mausoleum as well, who was the first Vietnamse king in the Independence period from China

Background of King Ngo Quyen

Was born in 897 and passed away in 944 in Duong Lam village during the period of Chinese nomination.  There were a legend said that when he was born, people saw three moles on his back and a sign of being a future king. He was smart, active and He was taught strictly from his father, therefore from he was a child he was very intelligent, diligent in practising kungfu

In 920, he followed his father in law, Duong Dinh Nghe, a hero who fought against Chinese invader. Later, his father in law was killed by Kieu Kong Tien then Ngo Quyen became the leader. He was famous for his battle against Southern Han in Bach Dang river

Bach Dang river battle

Famous Bach Dang battle

The layout of Bach Dang battle field

Ngo Quyen had called for all generals after killing Kieu Cong Tien, in order to prepare for flighting against Southern Han invader . He was so smart to use water power to be against the enemy.

He noticed that the enemy would come by the waterway via Bach Dang river and decided to choose Bach Dang is the main battle filed, which has a very complex terrain. The water tide level went up and down quickly. So he asked his troops to cut down lots of trees and make it sharpen, covered with iron and put them into riverbed.

When the tide rose up, all wooden stake were hide so he asked a group of small boats fight against Chinese vessels  and keep running way to wodden pillars area. When the tide ebbed, the pickets exposed and brook through the Chinese vessles. Unfortunately, they couldnt escape the battle. In 938, Vietnam had gained indepence after 1000 years under Chinese nomination.

He became the King in 939 and choose Co Loa in outskirt of Hanoi as a captial. He passed away in 944 at the age of 47 years old after 6 years ruling the nation.

In 939 Ngo Quyen became the King and established Ngo dynasty. The capital of Ngo dynasty is Co Loa (out skirt of Hanoi). Unfortunately, He passed away very early in 944 when he was 47 years old, after 6 years ruled the country. After that the country weakened quickly and became chaos.

In order to show a great respect to him, locals built a temple to be delicated to him nearby his tomb in Duong Lam village which is his hometown

Bach Dang river, Quang Ninh

Wooden Stake on Bach Dang river

His temple and his Mausoleum

The King Ngo Quyen Tomb

Ngo Quyen Tomb in Duong Lam village

Built on a small hill at the top. The Ngo Quyen Temple was built years old and had been restored lots of time. The most recent one was 1848 under Nguyen Dynasty

In the main hell, there is a small coner displayed his famous battle field on Bach Dang river against Sourthern Han invader mentioned above.

His mausoleum was built in 1874, which sits on a small rise overlooking a lake

What to do in Duong Lam village Vietnam

Enjoy hands-on experiences  with various tours and acitities such as

  • Taking a walking tour around the village to check out ancient houses over 300 years, tiny alleyways with bricks,
  • Feast on local lunch in an ancient house with 3 generations
  • Soft biking from Duong Lam village to King Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen temple
  • Chatting with locals living in the ancient houses and  enjoy
  • great local foods supply in an local ancient house,
  • Visiting well-known Buddist temple of Mia dated back since 17th  century with 287 statues
  • Visiting local rural wet market
  • Check out local church in Duong Lam village which has 50 families are Catholic followers
  • You will see their daily routines surrounded by breathtaking scenery in a peaceful area.

Soybean souce “Tuong”

a conner ancient house duong lam village

No one in Duong Lam has any idea when the first soy sauce was made in the village. “Before I was born,” you might hear. But it’s been around for many generations.

Soy sauce is made from glutinous rice, soybeans, corn and salt. It’s made using stone mortars, copper pans, steamers, frying pans, baskets and jars. Soy sauce makers choose their materials very carefully. They make soy sauce mostly in May and June because this is optimum soy sauce making weather. Duong Lam villagers continue to make soy sauce by hand and for them rainwater is a necessary ingredient.
Soy sauce is used with almost every meal eaten in Duong Lam village Vietnam. People dip their boiled water morning-glory, meat and just about every kind of food in it. It’s also brushed on fish when they are fried. Soy sauce is a necessary ingredient of many traditional Duong Lam dishes. The villagers are proud of their soy sauce and they love making it so much.

See more : Top must-try dishes in Duong Lam village

What makes Duong Lam ancient village different from others

If Ha Noi’s old quarter and Hoi An’s ancient town are relics of an ancient urban lifestyle, then Duong Lam’s old village is a valuable relic of rural village life, said the keeper of the Mong Phu communal house.

A great place to explore

There’s no elsewhere better than Duong Lam village Vietnam to see rural life in Vietnam. It’s a great escape to Hanoi countryside to be away from bustle and hustle of Hanoi Old Quarter

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David Nguyen : Freelancer tour guide as well as a passionate writer for Hanoi Eco Tour, who has been working over 10 years in the tourism industry. All articles are written by him from his REAL travel experiences, down to earth and unique.

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