Opulent houses in Dong Hoa Hiep ancient village attracts visitors hinh anh 1Foreign tourists visit and learn about the history and value of ancient houses in Dong Hoa Hiep village, Cai Be District, Tien Giang Province (Photo: Minh Tri/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The ancient village of Dong Hoa Hiep in Cai Be District, Tien Giang Province in southern Vietnam is well known for its beautiful scenery formed by the calm Cai Be River and ancient houses amid orchards that are lush and laden with fruit all year round.

About 46km from My Tho city, Dong Hoa Hiep village is distinguished with houses built up to 220 years ago, ancient masterpieces that attract visitors to the Mekong delta locality.
The beautiful ancient houses have contributed to the unique landscape of the Mekong delta.

Along with two other ancient villages of Duong Lam in Hanoi and Phuoc Tich in Hue, Dong Hoa Hiep Village has been invested in to develop into a countryside tourism model by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The way the houses were designed in Dong Hoa Hiep Village is different from that of those, which were in close proximity to each other in Duong Lam and Phuoc Tich Villages.

Dong Hoa Hiep has a poetic landscape with ancient houses dotting the lush orchards that are surrounded by the winding Cai Be River. Visiting the village, tourists enjoy pure air and the peaceful scenery while rowing boats on the river or taking a stroll on paths running through shady orchards.

Opulent houses in Dong Hoa Hiep ancient village attracts visitors hinh anh 2Ancient houses in Dong Hoa Hiep ancient village feature a harmonious combination of Eastern and Western architecture. (Photo: Huu Chi/VNA)

One of the destinations that has left a vivid impression on tourists to Dong Hoa Hiep Village is the ancient house owned by Tran Tuan Kiet in Dong Hoa Hiep Commune.

It was built around 1838 with 108 pillars made of xylia xylocarpa, a valuable and rare hardwood, amid a 1.8ha orchard.

The house was designed in the architectural style of southern garden houses with five large rooms, covering 1,000m2. Despite the devastation of time, the house has been preserved intact. Refined patterns of “pine trees, daisy flowers, ivory bamboo and apricot trees” adorn wooden pillars and doors. Inside, the house now displays sets of parallels inlaid with mother-of-pearl, skillfully carved furniture and ancient ceramics.

Le Thi Chinh, the owner’s wife, said her husband’s great-grandfather was the chief of the district who was so keen on antiquities that he invited craftsmen from the imperial capital of Hue to build the house over a few years. He spent a lot of time and effort collecting many valuable ancient objects.

Opulent houses in Dong Hoa Hiep ancient village attracts visitors hinh anh 3The interior of an ancient house is decorated in the traditional style. (Photo: Huu Chi/VNA)

In 2002, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) financed more than 1.8 billion VND to restore the house with the supervision of a female Japanese architect who lived in the house for over six months. Thanks to JICA’s support, the house was restored in the original architectural and interior style.

The second popular destination in Dong Hoa Hiep village is Nguyen Van Duc’s house which was built in 1850 with a blend of Oriental and Western architecture.

The front of the house was constructed in the French style with round pillars and romantic domes whereas the inside was designed in traditional Vietnamese style. At present, the house contains many rare ancient objects that demonstrate the wealthy life and refined hobbies of rich families in southern Vietnam.

Nowadays, Dong Hoa Hiep village is a popular destination of both domestic and foreign visitors. Each year, the village attracts almost 100,000 visitors with an increasing number of foreign tourists./.