1. Cuu Ancient Village
Cuu Village is an ancient village of Ha Noi, in Van Tu Commune, Phu Xuyen District, about 40 kilometers from Ha Noi’s center. It is called “western village” as it has preserved dozens of villas that were built in a typically European architectural style.
Before the 1920s, it was as poor and backward as other villages of Vietnamese countryside, and villagers also lived in poverty and illiteracy. After a big fire in 1930s, this village made a new turn in its history. Several households moved to Ha Noi to find a way to earn a living.
Cuu Village was considered as the most famous tailor village of Ha Noi (Source: baodulich.net.vn)
Several years later, people from Cuu Village had become famous for making western-style clothing. It was considered as the most famous tailor village of Ha Noi.
Thanks to the industry, residents have become rich. Their prosperity is shown in the architecture of houses built in the first decades of the 20th century. The houses that bring western ancient architecture only add to the beauty and unique characteristics of the village by sitting alongside typically Vietnamese constructions. The previously poor village of Cuu became home to many modern villas built between 1930 and 1945.
But the villas did not trigger a reverse migration. Residents continued to move to the city, or other places and even emigrated to western countries. The modern houses in the village were sold to those who stayed in the village or just left desolate. From 1945, many owners of these villas had to leave their villages due to tremendous historical changes, Cuu Village was gradually abandoned to oblivion.
Nowadays, Cuu Village has become a destination of lots of people passionate with art like photographers or architecture students. Entering the village entrance, tourists see an ancient and nostalgic world, attracting visitors to a quiet and peaceful land.
2. Cu Da Ancient Village
Cu Da village is located in Cu Khe Commune, Thanh Oai District, 20 kilometers far away from Ha Noi city center. Cu Da is known as an original and unique space where still preserves the old gates at the village and every hamlet, the old temples, shrines and houses with original architecture style of northern delta region and ancient houses with French architecture dated back to over 100 years ago.
There are about two hundred old houses both in Vietnam and French styles, of these, 60 remain almost unchanged (Source: danviet.vn)
Houses in Cu Da are low and deep in length, so they are always cool in summer and warm in winter. Architecture is specified in Nguyen feudalist dynasty, nearly made of wood. On beams, pillars, there are delicate sculptures. In the middle of the houses, there are ancestral altars, panels and parallel scrolls.
There are more than tens of ancient houses built by French Style Architecture, most of the houses were made by precious wood and the roof covered by red tiles. Travelers can visit Mr. Pham The Sung’s house which was built 130 years ago, having been home for 4 generations.
Not only well known for a place of many ancient houses and ancestral temples dating back to over one hundred years, the Cu Da Village is also noted for its traditional handicraft of vermicelli making.
Cu Da not only has a big gate at the beginning of the village but all hamlets have its own gate. The roads in the village are paved with inclined tiles, the walls stand close together, at night the gate were locked with wooden doors.
Cu Da is known as an original and unique space where still preserves the old gates at the village and every hamlet (Source: dantri.com.vn)
There are still many old houses, if based on the dating engraved on the frame of the wooden houses, the number of houses aged 100 years or more are more than 30, these houses are roofed with Vietnamese tiles, and the number of 70-80-year-old houses are uncountable.
Another ancient feature of the village is the pagoda named Linh Minh Tu with the original stone pillar marking the year when the village was restored in Hau Le dynasty 1695, and the recent archeological findings has extended the age of Cu Da ancient village to about 2000 years.
Notably there are ruins of a platform built with green stone that people call worshiping place. Besides the ancient beauty, the village also has modern charm, which are the houses built in French colonial time 1920 - 1940 that look very western.
The village currently has a few dozen two-story French architecture quite sophisticated but harmonious with the traditional style of the northern delta. Most of the old houses in the village are made of wood, on roof tiles.
3. Duong Lam Ancient Village
Located in Son Tay Town, 40 kilometers to the west of Ha Noi, Đưuog Lam village is a very popular tourist destination at the weekends.
Duong Lam Village is the hometown of two of Vietnamese kings, Phung Hung (761-802) and Ngo Quyen (896-944). Both led resistance wars against northern invasion and were crowned after winning national independence. After their deaths, the local people built temples in their honor. Today, Duong Lam still retains many features of a traditional village in Northern Viet Nam with the village gate, ancient houses, courtyards and temples.
The gate of Duong Lam in the typical architectural style of an old Vietnamese village (Source: dangcongsan.vn)
Duong Lam ancient village is very famous for ancient houses system. The main material to build the houses here is laterite – a very popular material in this area. Local people dug the laterite from underground and hew them to be different shapes, normally rectangular blocks, to build and decorate the houses.
Mong Phu Communal House (Source: thanhnien.vn)
The village has a history dating back about 1,200 years with many houses in Dong Sang, Mong Phu and Cam Co Hamlets built in the 17th century. Duong lam village still retains most of the basic characteristics of a village of Vietnam with port village, trees, courtyard, temples, well, water fields. The roads of Duong lam were special because they have the shape as the bones of fish. Some features remains intact in Duong Lam ancient village such as the old village gate in Mong Phu village.
Apart from its ancient houses, tourists going to Duong Lam village can visit Mia Pagoda and Mong Phu Communal House or a traditional craft village.