For many travelers, traveling is to learn one way or another. With more than 60 ethnic groups, Vietnam has diversified cultures and longstanding traditions; and learning about them is stated on the bucket list of several people in the world. The local villages are where you are able to see the picturesque nature, lush rice paddies, and witness the rural people’s ways of living. You can find all these in Vietnam villages; and you may want to consider setting your foot in one of the following authentic villages in Vietnam.
Duong Lam ancient village
Located about 50km away from Hanoi city center, Duong Lam ancient village is like a symbol of the North – the finest example of a typical traditional village in the Red River Delta. Dating back to over a thousand years, the village still remains its signature and structure with the traditional entrance gate, pagoda, communal house, the water wells, ponds, ride paddies, traditional houses, banyan tree, etc. Guests coming here are also amazed by the tranquility, hearing those buffalo bells echoing here and there.
This village is also famous for glutinous rice doughnuts, rice cakes filled with brown onions, peanuts and sesame sweets and soy sauce. All are handmade by the local villagers.
>> Suggested Duong Lam ancient village: Ba Vi National Park – Duong Lam Ancient Village Day Tour
Bat Trang pottery village
Spending a day exploring this village is undoubtedly one of the highlights in your Hanoi trip. This is too, very close to Hanoi – just 16 km away. Bat Trang pottery village has been well-known from the late 17th Centuries as the traditional handicraft village specializing in creating and producing ceramic products from household appliances, toys, worshipping items, fine-art ceramics, decorative objects, etc. Its fine quality and technique have been proved over the world while it is exported overseas.
Visitors come here not only to buy ceramic products with affordable price but also experience the ox-cart ride to enjoy the rustic feels. You can also have the chance to become a real potter by creating your own souvenir from clay and turntables, which is instructed by the friendly and skillful local potters. Your “masterpiece” will be burned so that you can bring it back home.
Lao Chai village
Nestled in Muong Hoa valley, Lao Chai village is 7 km away from Sapa town center. While the town is like a construction, Lao Chai is rather peaceful. It is home to Dzay and Black H’ mong people which you can see the difference in their special clothes, languages but they are all super friendly and hospitable. Lao Chai almost lies in the middle of rice and corn terraces, giving travelers the chance to trace along with a narrow but magnificent path on the fields. Reaching the high point on the main road, you can have a panoramic view of Muong Hoa valley & stream which is magnificent – the rice terraces and farmers working with their buffaloes, the haze and smoke coming from the traditional houses while they cook.
If you come here in April or September, you will admire the gorgeous of golden terraced fields as it is in the harvest season.
Thuy Bieu village
Besides the worldwide known complex of Hue Monuments, royal tombs, pagodas, etc. Thuy Bieu village adds on your experience in this small peaceful city of Hue. It is 4 km southwest of Hue center, located on the right bank of Perfume River. The river wraps the village which looks like, from above, a bowl of water covering the green land. That is why its name is Thuy Bieu (Thuy mean “water”, Bieu means “bowl”)
Approaching here, visitors have a chance to enjoy both beautiful nature and sweet Thanh Tra. It is a kind of pomelo that boasts refined fragrance and green skin which used to offer to the royal family. Thanh Tra pomelo is still loved by Vietnamese people and abroad visitors.
The eco-tour will guide you to cycle around the quiet village, visit local gardens, ancient temples and houses, contact with local people in the handicraft families. There are the incense making family, the joss paper making family and the paper painting family for you to discover the daily life of local people, while they are working strenuously with joy and enthusiasm. Then your foot will be relaxed in the medicinal herb water and massaged by blind people.
Cam Thanh village
It is a miss if we do not mention Cam Thanh village which is very close to Hoi An ancient town. The village is a small isolated peninsula hidden in the lush Bay May water coconut (nipa palms) forest. So traveling here is like truly immersing into nature. Onto Bay Mau forest, there are various basket boat – the distinctive kind of boat in the region – floating to bring travelers to visit further spots; or local houses and handicraft – the cottage roofing sheet making – formed more than 200 years ago.
>> Suggested Central Vietnam tour to Hue and Hoi An: Classic Central Vietnam 5 Days
Sometimes, being off the beaten track is worth trying, especially to the lovely local Vietnamese villages. It will offer different angles of a country, different ways to have an insight into the local culture. These spots can be combined with Vietnam tours because they are located close to the main visiting destinations. So why not try it out and bring home a lot of compelling stories for your friends and family!
Daniel Nguyen – Travel Specialist