Duong Lam Ancient Village: A Journey into Vietnam’s Past

Nestled amidst the verdant hills of northern Vietnam, the Duong Lam Ancient Village invites travelers on a captivating journey into the nation’s rich past. Steeped in history and cultural significance, this enchanting village offers a unique glimpse into the ancient traditions and architectural heritage of the Vietnamese people.

Where is Duong Lam Ancient Village?

Duong Lam Ancient Village map
Duong Lam Ancient Village map

Duong Lam Ancient Village is located in Son Tay Town, about 44 kilometers west of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is situated within the Ba Vi National Park, a beautiful area renowned for its stunning landscapes and diverse flora and fauna.

How to get to Duong Lam Ancient Village

By Bus: The most economical way to reach Duong Lam Ancient Village is by taking a bus from Hanoi‘s My Dinh Bus Station. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and buses run frequently throughout the day.

Taxi to Duong Lam
Taxi to Duong Lam

By Taxi: For those seeking a more convenient and direct mode of transportation, taxis are readily available in Hanoi. The journey from the city center to Duong Lam typically takes around 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.

Organized Tours: Many travel agencies in Hanoi offer organized day tours to Duong Lam Ancient Village. These tours often include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and visits to other nearby attractions, providing a hassle-free and informative experience.

Proximity to Other Attractions

Duong Lam’s proximity to Hanoi makes it an ideal day trip destination for those exploring the city. After a visit to the village, travelers can continue their journey to nearby attractions like the Hanoi Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, or other historical sites in the capital.

Duong Lam Ancient Village entrance fee

There is no entrance fee to enter Duong Lam Ancient Village. However, visitors may need to pay a small fee to visit certain historical sites or attractions within the village. For example, some ancient houses may charge a nominal fee of VND20,000 (approximately $1 USD) for entry, while others may be free to explore.

Additionally, some cultural activities or performances may have a separate fee, which is typically reasonable and contributes to the preservation of the village’s heritage.

Introducing Duong Lam Ancient Village

Duong Lam Ancient Village
Duong Lam Ancient Village

Duong Lam Ancient Village has a long and fascinating history dating back to the 12th century. It was originally founded by the Ngo Clan, one of the prominent families in Vietnamese history. Over the centuries, the village has witnessed numerous wars and conflicts, leaving its mark on the architecture and cultural traditions of the local community.

Today, Duong Lam Ancient Village is a well-preserved historical site that showcases the traditional Vietnamese architecture of the past. Its narrow cobblestone streets, ancient temples, and historic houses transport visitors back in time to a bygone era. The village has been recognized as a national historical relic and is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists.

Architectural Heritage

The architecture of Duong Lam Ancient Village reflects the unique blend of Vietnamese and Chinese influences. The houses are built with intricately carved wooden beams, tiled roofs, and courtyards designed to promote harmony with nature.

Cultural Significance

Beyond its architectural marvels, Duong Lam Ancient Village is a living testament to Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. The village has preserved its traditional way of life, with residents still practicing ancient customs and festivals passed down through generations.

Explore Duong Lam Ancient Village

Duong Lam Ancient Village offers a wealth of historical sites and cultural attractions for visitors to explore. Here are some of the must-see highlights:

Duong Lam ancient village gate (Mông Phụ)

Mong Phu gate
Mong Phu gate

The Mông Phụ Gate is the main entrance to Duong Lam Ancient Village. It was built in 1786 and features a majestic stone archway with intricate carvings. The gate serves as a symbolic boundary between the outside world and the historical village.

Duong Lam ancient communal house (Nearly 400 years old)

The Duong Lam Ancient Communal House is the heart of the village. It was built in 1632 and has been meticulously preserved over the centuries. The communal house is a multi-purpose building used for public meetings, festivals, and other important community events.

Duong Lam ancient well

Duong Lam ancient well
Duong Lam ancient well

The Duong Lam Ancient Well is a central landmark within the village. It was built in the 15th century and is a testament to the village’s long history. The well is surrounded by a beautiful garden and provides a serene spot for contemplation and relaxation.

Giang Van Minh worship house

The Giang Van Minh Worship House is dedicated to a renowned scholar and mandarin of the Nguyen Dynasty. It was built in 1884 and houses a collection of artifacts and historical documents related to his life and work.

Mrs. Dien’s ancient house

Duong Lam ancient house
Duong Lam ancient house

Mrs. Dien’s Ancient House is a classic example of traditional Vietnamese architecture. It was built in the 17th century and features a courtyard garden, wooden pillars, and a thatched roof. The house is open to visitors and offers a glimpse into the daily life of a Vietnamese family in the past.

Mr. Hung’s ancient house

Mr. Hung’s Ancient House is another well-preserved historical residence within the village. It was built in the 19th century and showcases the architectural style of the time. The house features a large garden and is surrounded by a brick wall.

Mr. The’s ancient house

Mr. The’s Ancient House is the oldest house in Duong Lam Village. It was built in the 12th century and has survived numerous wars and conflicts, making it a true testament to the resilience of the village’s architectural heritage.

Ngo Quyen’s mausoleum and temple

Ngo Quyen's mausoleum
Ngo Quyen’s mausoleum

The mausoleum and temple of Ngo Quyen, a renowned Vietnamese military leader, are located within the village. These sites pay tribute to Ngo Quyen’s contributions in defending Vietnam against Chinese invaders in the 10th century.

Village Café has a rural feel

After exploring the historical sites, visitors can relax at the Village Café, which offers a rustic ambiance and serves traditional Vietnamese dishes and refreshments. The café’s outdoor seating area provides a peaceful setting to immerse oneself in the village’s rural charm.

What to eat in Duong Lam ancient village?

Duong Lam Ancient Village is not only a cultural and historical treasure but also a culinary delight. The village offers a range of traditional Vietnamese dishes that have been passed down through generations, each with its unique flavor and story.

Cane Chicken (Gà mía)

Gà mía Duong Lam
Gà mía Duong Lam

The bantam chicken, with its slender legs and golden feathers, yields tender white meat when cooked. In the past, this delicacy was reserved for royalty or special village gatherings. When visiting the ancient village of Duong Lam, make sure not to miss out on savoring this unique culinary delight.

Roasted meat (Thịt quay đòn)

Thịt quay đòn
Thịt quay đòn

The renowned crispy roasted meat stands out not only for its distinctive flavor but also for its incredibly unique and intricate preparation. The highlight of this delicious dish lies in the finely chopped young guava leaves mixed with the meat. Indulging in a piece of this meat reveals a crunchy exterior, tender sweetness inside, rich fattiness, all infused with the delightful fragrance of guava. Isn’t it truly exquisite?

Braised sweet soup (Chè kho)

Chè kho is a traditional Vietnamese dessert that is particularly popular during festive seasons like the Lunar New Year. This sweet soup is made by slowly simmering various ingredients, such as green beans, lotus seeds, and ginger, in a mixture of water and sugar, resulting in a rich and flavorful concoction.

Rice sauce (Tương gạo)

Tương gạo Duong Lam
Tương gạo Duong Lam

Tương gạo, a rustic delicacy, is a popular dish crafted from rice, soybeans, salt, and water drawn from the village well. This rice sauce is used for dipping vegetables, fried tofu, simmered fish, braised meat, infusing dishes with irresistible aromas and flavors that captivate the senses.

Sesame candy (Kẹo vừng)

For those with a sweet tooth, Duong Lam offers a delightful treat in the form of sesame candy, or kẹo vừng. These bite-sized candies are made by combining roasted sesame seeds with sugar and other natural ingredients, resulting in a sweet and nutty snack that is perfect for enjoying while exploring the village.

Experience traveling to Duong Lam ancient village

Experience traveling to Duong Lam
Experience traveling to Duong Lam

Visiting Duong Lam Ancient Village is not just a journey through time but also an immersive cultural experience. As you wander through the narrow streets, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals who are eager to share their stories and traditions.

During your visit, you may have the opportunity to witness traditional festivals or cultural performances that showcase the village’s rich heritage. These events often involve music, dance, and reenactments of historical events, providing a unique insight into the village’s cultural identity.

One of the highlights of visiting Duong Lam is the opportunity to stay in a traditional Vietnamese homestay. These family-run accommodations offer a chance to experience the daily life of the villagers firsthand. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in activities such as gardening, cooking traditional dishes, or learning about the village’s crafts and traditions.

Throughout your journey, you’ll be captivated by the village’s serene atmosphere, where the pace of life seems to slow down, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty and significance of this ancient settlement.


Duong Lam Ancient Village is a true gem of Vietnam, offering a rare glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage and architectural splendor. From its narrow cobblestone streets and ancient temples to its traditional cuisine and friendly locals, this village is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Vietnamese people.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply someone seeking a unique cultural experience, Duong Lam Ancient Village is a destination that should not be missed. Its charm and authenticity will leave a lasting impression, inspiring you to delve deeper into the stories and traditions that have shaped this remarkable village over centuries.

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