Visiting & Discovering Duong Lam Ancient Village In Vietnam

Situated in Son Tay town, only 1.5 hours from Hanoi mostly getting out of the traffic in the city, the drive to Duong Lam ancient village is scenic providing views of smaller towns and farming. Entrances with heavy doors that lead to courtyards with serene goldfish ponds, an old village well, ornate roof sculpturing – ambiance of a long ago time, great to experience walking through it! You can read more: Travel Indochina


The first image will attract your attention when you set your foots on Duong Lam ancient village
The first image will attract your attention when you set your foots on Duong Lam ancient village

The architecture of Duong Lam ancient village

Duong Lam commune consists of 9 villages, recognized as a national heritage site in 2006. To be considered as the most ancient village in the North with its history of more than a thousand year of development, Duong Lam Ancient Village has still retained the basic characteristics of Vietnamese ancient villages with banyan tree, well and communal house’s court. The unique architecture has turned the village into one of attractive addresses alluring travelers.

With an area of 800.25 ha, Duong Lam Ancient Village in Vietnam is the cultural space having preserving the quintessence of traditional cultural features of Vietnamese people. It is an indispensable tourist site in the journey of exploring Hanoi travel attracting travelers who prefer to discover the unique ancient architectural characteristics.

The wooden village gate

Start setting foot on Duong Lam Village, travelers will actually get unforgettable memories. You will be welcomed by the village gate made of wood which is typical of Northern village with the porticoes curved-shape roofed. Imagine yourself transported for a moment to a place where two kings were born, Phung Hung (761-802) and Ngo Quyen (896-944), giving the village its prestige. Both men led resistance wars against northern invasion and after winning national independence, were crowned kings. After their deaths, the local people built temples in their honor.

It might not be much but a series of alleys and homes but its look deeper and; you will find smooth transition airy planet of the past. In the present, people are living their lives while constantly being surrounded and reminded of the past that has changed much. I know it communal houses of worshiping temples and ancient home is make up at least 20 historical sites thus this place is a worthwhile excursion from Hanoi.

The ancient houses

Most old houses here have maintained gate, fencing, courtyard, garden, main house, outbuilding, kitchen, ranch, etc. The main house is in traditional style, with wooden columns with a diameter of 30cm; which are very familiar with the ancient village in Thang Long – Hanoi but could hardly find elsewhere today. Ancient houses are cool in summer and warm in winter. In addition, open space and the ability to make the most of natural light are also the advantages of Duong Lam ancient houses. The unique culture features is worth to bring Duong Lam Village to become the appealing tourist site in the journey of discovering North Vietnam tours. For more information, you can click: Indochina tours


A traditional house in Duong Lam ancient village
A traditional house in Duong Lam ancient village

Duong Lam traditional dishes

Traditional cultural values are shown through not only architectural works but also traditional dishes, especially soy sauce. From many years ago, Duong Lam locals earn their living by making soy sauce. As for Duong Lam people, soy sauce is a kind of traditional spice. Although soy sauce is not the main dish, it enhances the tastes of all dishes. Duong Lam villagers still continue to make soy sauce by hand and rainwater is a necessary ingredient in their recipe.

The soy sauce jar is like one of the criteria of lifestyle of a peasant family. Villagers spend a space in their house for keeping soy sauce jars. Each family in Duong Lam ancient village also has few vases of soy sauce at their yard. The secret of making soy sauce more special is the water. The water to make soy sauce have to take from Giang well. It is the ancient well near by the temple of the mandarin Giang Van Minh. People said that the water from this laterite well is sweet and crystal clear. That’s why Duong Lam, Vietnam soy sauce always has a special flavor that nowhere else has.

As for travelers, dishes serving with Duong Lam soy sauce are attractive. Besides keeping the tradition alive, locals also make soy bean sauce to make a living as many people enjoy this specialty. After visiting, let’s take a bottle of sauce as a rustic gift for your family, or your friends.


Soy sauce jar
Soy sauce jar

Things to do in Duong Lam

When you’re wondering through the narrow alleyways, it feels like a step back in time you hear people actually living off of the other side. It is a good combination; but when you get there, you just got to make sure that you find the right alleyways and just wander maybe get a bicycle or whatever to go around and explore yourself. Seems like a slow lifestyle compared with the busy highway to and from Hanoi only a kilometer or so away.

At this village, there are a number of activities and events for children of all ages, which will not only keep your family coming back for more but also support Duong Lam locals. One of the best part of the visit to Duong Lam you should try is to eat a home cooked meal with a local family. No worries, while it doesn’t look very sanitary. The host family takes very good care and the food is delicious. Let’s try sausage candy, “chè kho”, roasted pork with the stick or Mia chicken. This kind of chicken was the tribute to offer the King in the past. You can ask for vegetarian, which was probably the best dish. It will be set up for small tour groups with tables under the eaves of 400 year old grooves. It’s definitely great experience you will have if visiting here.


4 Roasted pork with the stick
4 Roasted pork with the stick- source: internet

Get putting of the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, this Duong Lam ancient village day tour is definitely your best choice. Walking around or take a bicycle to explore the old lifestyle here will be a new experience you have especially if you are into history. Fresh air, beautiful places, friendly people, etc. help you have a gorgeous place to spend a day with your camera. Don’t hesitant anymore! We are Indochina Voyages, willing to help you have an unforgettable Vietnam tours.

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