Visiting Laterite Duong Lam Ancient Village, wandering along its narrow alleyways, we will feel something special that was accumulated many years ago. Going out the gate of Mong Phu Village, we can see large characters "There is talent in any time" that symbol for our previous generation's useful encouragement and advice.

 

Duong Lam Ancient Village: two kings

 

An ancient house

The ancient village of Duong Lam on the outskirts of Hanoi is also known as a museum of laterite, home to around 300 houses built three or four centuries ago with lateritic bricks. The village has also been described as the last stronghold of wet rice farming culture in northern Vietnam. Duong Lam Ancient Village has a history of about 1,200 years with many houses dating back up to 400 years. It is the only place in Vietnam where two kings came from.

Phung Hung (761-802) and Ngo Quyen (808-944), who were born and grew up in the village, led the resistance to and had victories over China's Sung and Southern Han troops to recover national independence. They both became kings. After they died, temples were erected to worship them.

Because Duong Lam Ancient Village is of cultural and historical importance it attracts many tourists. The village is in Duong Lam Commune, about 60km from Hanoi. It consists of more than six hamlets. Among these hamlets, Mong Phu is the biggest and the most famous.

 

Village well

 

The village is a place to see for tourists from far and wide. It is included in tours of many travel companies. Two of its famous places are Sung Nghiem Tu (Mia Pagoda) and Mong Phu Temple. Mia Pagoda is on a small hill in Dong Sang Hamlet. It was constructed before 1632 and has been upgraded and restored many times. Now it is a national cultural and historical site. Mong Phu Temple is in Mong Phu Hamlet. It was set up with ancient Vietnamese architecture in 1638. In the village, tourists can also see ancient houses and small lanes as well as study the everyday life of residents.

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. Laterite is used on house walls, gates, wells, temple walls, and so forth. The mud is taken from ponds.

Apart from its historical and tourism values, Duong Lam Ancient Village is an important place for scientists to study resident communities in ancient agriculture. Recent studies by a number of scholars show that Mong Phu Hamlet is Asia's only representative of water paddy that remains.

 

Duong Lam- typical Northern Village

The resting place of villagers  

Duong Lam is not only famous for its magic position where two kings came from but also for its typical characteristics of Vietnam's countryside.

Thanks to its cultural value, Duong Lam is the first ancient village that was awarded National historic and cultural relics Certification on May 19th 2006.

Duong Lam Ancient Village is known as "Vietnam Ancient Village" or" Laterite Ancient Village" that brings typical characteristics of Vietnam's agriculture and countryside, northern Delta- Hong River Delta.

Duong Lam brings in itself the most beautiful, lovely features of Vietnam's countryside that have described in folk-songs, proverbs, national literature. The most beautiful and lovely features are range of bamboos, fields, storks, bania tree, water well, yards of communal house, alleys, hamlets, straws, arecas.........

 

Duong Lam Ancient village is famous for its beautiful architecture relics such as the gate of Mong Phu Village, communal house of Dong Sang, Doai Giap, CamLam Bridge, and Mia Pagoda and especially typical ancient houses with its laterite walls that make Duong Lam be called "Laterite Vietnamese Ancient Village. Ancient gate frame, ancient bania trees and river watering places contribute to make this village be more different from other Vietnamese Ancient villages.

Duong Lam has 9 villages including Mong Phu, Dong Sang, Cam Thinh, Doai Giap and Cam Lam. These villages have close relationship with unchangeable customs, beliefs in thousand years.

The shape of Duong Lam road is fishbone. The advantage of this structure is that if you go from communal house your back will not face up with the gate of Saint. Now, there is one ancient entrance gate in Mong Phu Hamlet. This is different from other gates in Northern Deltal.............Mong Phu's Temple is in Mong Phu Hamlet which was buit in 1684 ( Vinh To date- Le Hy Tong Dynasty). This Temple was built in compliance with Viet-Muong architecture style (The floor of Temple was made from wood). Festival is organized from 10th January with many games such as: worshiped chicken and pig examination.

 

Mia Pagoda

Old Laterite wall

Duong Lam has 956 traditional houses in which there are equivalently 441,350,165 in Dong Sang, Mong Phu and Cam Thinh. Many houses were built many years ago (1649, 1703, and 1850)

Mong Phu Hamlet remains the most original feature with 45, 100-200 years old ancient houses. These old houses have their own campus and toward the road. Each old house is rounded by walls. Thus, visitors wandering in ancient hamlet will feel as being strolling two rounded walls in two sides of the road.

According to statistic, Duong Lam has 16 relics such as Ngo Quyen Temple, Phung Hung Temple, Mia Pagoda, Mong Phu Communal house, Doai Giap Communal house, Giang Van Minh Church. In addition, Mong Phu also has Tiger area, roared Tiger Hill, Sa Mau Hill, Gem Well, streblus range...where Phung Hung and Phung Hai fought with Tiger, manoeuvred. According to legend, deepend areas were place where Ngo Quyen used to manoeuvre in his chidhood. Ministry of Culture and Information considered Mia Pagoda as special relic. Mia Pagoda has 286 Statues including 6 copper Statues, 107 wood Statues, 174 Statues made from soil.

The people of Duong Lam have protected their material cultural value. Thus, Duong Lam has remained a large number of complex nonmaterial cultural values.'

 

The ancient documents/evidences saved in the village’s annals, family’s annals and stone stele, horizontal lacquered board, pair of wood panels, legends, folk verses was very plentiful. They told about Duong Lam’s land and people through historical periods which was still handed out in Duong Lam. If we come at the right time, we will have a chance to participate in many traditional festivals of the village and mix with cultural activities of each great family, guild, factions, folk art as well as traditional games like cock-fighting, swinging, duck-catching, lantern parade, human chess…

Besides its cultural and historical values, Duong Lam still remains diversity food values. One of its specialties is Sugar-cane chicken. Duong Lam is also famous for Cam Lam fresh tea, Mong Phu Soy, Dong sang candy, Nam Nguyen Casaba. The people of Duong Lam have introduced their specialties to tourists. Ha Tay Travel sector in general and Doai Area in particular is making great effort to turn Duong Lam Ancient Village become an attractive historical and cultural site for domestic and foreigner tourists.

 

CINET