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Dong Van plateau: Beyond rocky mountains

May 02, 2018 | 15:42

Visiting Dong Van Ancient Quarter on the days of market sessions on weekends, visitors will have interesting experiences. Apart from trading goods, highland people in colorful brocade costume go to the markets also to socialize. The oldest house here has a large terrace with two stone pillars decorated with red lanterns, built by the Luong family in 1810-1820. Currently, their descendants still live in this house. This is one of the 40 heritage buildings that have survived in the fires that devastated Dong Van in 1923 before the French re-built the town./.

(VNF) - Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the northeastern province of Ha Giang, a mountainous province located in the far north of Viet Nam. In addition to geological value and spectacular landscape, Dong Van enthralls tourists with its cultural charms, which have been well preserved for centuries.

Thien Huong Village

Of all the rising stars on Vietnam's tourism map, it is no exaggeration to say that Dong Van Plateau up in the northern province of Ha Giang is one of the few destinations to have remained authentic, and in the plateau, Thien Huong Village is one of the few places where traditional culture is well preserved.

From the center of Dong Van town, it takes about 30 minutes to reach this beautiful village, where time has seemed to stand still for the last century.

Lying along the two sides of the road to the village were a cliff and an abyss. What’s more, that the mountain was so high as if they could meet the clouds made you think of "a sky gate" of Dong Van. Staring into the distance, you could totally catch sight of scenic curved roads on the moutain.

In Thien Huong Village in Dong Van District, big old trees will welcome you at the village gate creating the impression that you've entered the lost realm of the Smurfs.

Ngôi là ng trăm tuổi bị lãng quên ở Đồng Văn

Thien Huong village (source: VNE)

Thien Huong is an ancient village inhabited by Tay ethnic minority people who make ends meet by farming and making wine. Walking further into the village, you will get to see various 100-year-old rammed earth housses which was built in ancient architectural style with double roof tiles. Each house consists of two compartments with the upper one for furniture and the lower one for cooking and living.

The most prominent feature of the Tay house is the altar. The altar is arranged solemnly, the two sides are lines of parallel sentences. At the door of the house, three talismans will be worn to combat evil demons.

Ngôi là ng trăm tuổi bị lãng quên ở Đồng Văn

Thien Huong village (source: VNE)

Thien Huong wine is a specialty of the village. To make a liter of the alcohol, all that is required is a lot of time and effort. The wine is strictly processed. Firstly, more than 30 types of leaves are picked for fermentation. After that, kernels will be cooked until they become as big as fingertips then pour them out to cool down.

Ngôi là ng trăm tuổi bị lãng quên ở Đồng Văn

Thien Huong village's traditional wine making process (source: VNE)

Yeast will be milled and mixed well with cooked kernels and the mixture will be kept in bags for one week for distillation afterwards. Being meticulously processed, not only does Thien Huong wine give drinkers sweetness and delicious taste but it is still warm on the way down and you can actually get the depth of the taste. Although hundreds of years has gone through, the traditional beauty of the village stays the same

With elaborate procedures, Thien Huong wine gives a sweet taste in the throat, and a soothing feeling when it touches the belly. Currently, wine is sold for 40,000 VND per liter and sold to many other provinces besides Ha Giang.

Lung Cu Flagpole

Dong Van plateau: Beyond rocky mountains

Lung Cu Flag Pole located on top of the Dragon Mountain (source: PLO)

Lung Cu Flagpole is a historic site in Dong Van.

From a distance, Lung Cu appears lively: a land with three quarters of rock. It is prominent with national flagpole like the flag of Hanoi and a distant tower; there is the majestic scenery of the mountains and forests all the surrounding area. When it comes closer, the beauty of this place is clearer: A flagpole was erected on the top of Dragon Mountain (Long Son). At the foot of the pole, it is carved with the pattern of Dong Son bronze drum. The national flag is fluttering in the wind and its shadow is printed on Lo Lô lake’s surface. With a little closer, visitors will see a pretty large and beautiful cave midway

Vuong Family’s Residence

Vuong Family's Resident is located in the middle of Sa Phin Valley, is an ancient villa of Vuong Chinh Duc – who used to be regarded as a king governing Dong Van Plateau region in the late of 19th and early of 20th centuries. Built in 1919 and completed in 1928, the residence has an area of nearly 3,000m², surrounded by an arc-shaped mountain range.

Sà n gỗ tại gian nhà nà y là nơi xét xử của vua Mèo. Ảnh: Vân Ảnh.

Part of the Wang's resident (Photo: Van Anh)

Coming here, visitors will be impressed firstly by two rows of Cunninghamia trees on the way to the residence and the stone gate carved fine. Built of green stone, wood and terracotta, the residence has unique architectural style with the combination of three cultures of China, France and Mong ethnic group (Viet Nam). It includes 4 transversal houses and 6 lengthwise houses with a total of 64 rooms. Surrounding the residence is the garden of many types of plants such as peach, pear, cinnamon, etc. Besides, the residence also has two blockhouses, storehouses, etc.

One of the outstanding features of the residence is the fine sculpture art. Many of its parts are carved meticulously, displaying the image of the dragon, phoenix, bat, etc which represent prosperity and longevity. Vuong’s Family Residence has been recognized as National Art Architecture Relic since 1993.

Dong Van Ancient Quarter

Dong Van plateau: Beyond rocky mountains

Dong Van Ancient Quarter (photo: An Khang)

Please do not miss the opportunity to visit Dong Van Ancient Quarter if you are in Ha Giang, The 1km-long ancient quarter comprises 40 houses built since the early 20thcentury with typical architecture of the highlands such as soil walls, stone pillars, yin-yang roof tiles, etc.

Especially, in the evening of the 14th, 15th and 16th days of every lunar months, Dong Van Ancient Quarter organizes the program “Night of the ancient quarter” with many interesting activities such as hanging red lanterns, performing folk songs and dances, displaying brocade products and selling traditional dishes, etc.

Dong Van plateau: Beyond rocky mountains

Dong Van Ancient Quarter (photo: An Khang)

( VNF )