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Duong's Family House: must-see place in Binh Thuy, Can Tho



Binh Thuy, a district of Can Tho City, is enticing tourists with its primitive landscapes, canals, orchards and ancient pagodas and houses which are all elegant masterpieces of the human hand.

 

Duong's Family House: must-see place in Binh Thuy, Can Tho

 

Binh Thuy, a district of Can Tho City, is enticing tourists with its primitive landscapes, canals, orchards and ancient pagodas and houses which are all elegant masterpieces of the human hand.

One of them is Duong�s family house (also called as Binh Thuy Ancient House or Binh Thuy Orchid Garden), which has been recently recognized as a national relic for architect arts by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism since March 2009.

Binh Thuy Ancient House is located at 26/1 Bui Huu Nghia Street, Binh Thuy District, Can Tho City.

There are many reasons why visitors to Can Tho are recommended should not miss this place. It is a rare and perfect example of the character of the Mekong Delta. It is special thanks not only to an ancient house whose design is a combination of Vietnam and France with interesting involved stories but also a garden with various flowers and fruits, including a wide range of orchids and a record cactus.

The garden house covering about 6,000 square meters was built around the late 19th century or early 20th century. The house reflects the cultural exchange between the Orient and Western since the owner loved French designs and wanted to keep design characters of Vietnam, so he decided to invite artists from the North, Central and South to design the house. This is the reason why the outside appearance of the house has the French design while the interior brings Vietnamese characters.

The brick house is fronted by a wide flower garden and surrounded by rock-gardens and potted plants, and includes a three-door temple gate. Craftsmen used valuable woods which were red-lacquered and gilded or encrusted with nacre and fine carvings depicting water activities, trees and fruits.

The house is classified into five compartments. The two ends are for bedrooms and kitchen while the three central ones are for living room and worshipping, all equipped with sophisticated ancient wood furniture like beds or a large ancestral altar to valuable ancient things such as lamps, wash basin and jars.

One special thing of the house is that when building the owner asked to spread a 10cm-thick salt layer on the house�s foundation so that the wooden furniture has been able to use for long time; moreover, the house is always cool despite the hot season.

One more special thing of the house that has so far attracted a lot of local and foreign visitors, it is an exciting address for film directors. The famous French movie L�amant directed by J.J Annaud is an example. In addition, this house had captured in tens of other films such as: The horizon of that place (Chan Troi Noi Ay), The silt ways (Nhung Neo Duong Phu Sa), The Bac Lieu mandarins son (Cong tu Bac Lieu), the Hundred-knot Bamboo Tree (Cay Tre Tram Dot), Tay Do and Ban Mai, Can Tho Cacti (Xuong Rong Can Tho).

Tourists can study these stories by documents and images on the wall.

From the windows, tourists can experience a wide range of flowers planted in the garden. Duong Van Ngon (1905-1985), the fifth generation of Duong�s family, loved orchids. He tried to collect various kinds of orchids as much as possible, as well as other flowers. Since that the house also has name of Binh Thuy Orchid Garden. His descendents have kept the invaluable property in this garden, including a 40-year-old 10-meter cactus named Kim Lang Tru.

After having a short tour to understand details of the over-one-hundred-year-old garden house, tourists can have a seat on two sets of stone-made tables and chairs under giant trees in the yard to have a general look at the house.

The house has been granted as the national vestige so more and more people will visit to understand the house. The provincial government and descendants of the owner are trying to keep the house the best and make it become more and more well-known all over the country.

In addition, coming to Binh Thuy, leisurely walks along winding village roads and across bamboo bridges can be relaxing. The bamboo bridges have been preserved to serve eco-tourism. Many tourists, especially foreign tourists are attracting by the special feelings while on these bridges.

The orchard tours by skiff on rivulets are also very popular. Reaching from the boat, tourists grab star apples, mangos, papayas, pomelos and oranges from the water�s surface. Charming ladies in traditional dress, sweet smells of fruits, fresh air and a poetic atmosphere make the day seem like part of a fairy tale.

Phuong Anh (Edited)


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    - Vietnam Arts