Nha Trang


Nha Trang has more than just beaches

Photo of Entry:  Nha Trang has more than just beaches

Besides swimming and sun-bathing in Nha Trang’s world-famous bay, you can also explore Phu Vinh, an old village on the city’s outskirts.

The over 200-year-old village in Vinh Thanh Commune, four kilometers from downtown, is home to dozens old wooden houses, built in typical central region style.

Residents here call these houses “bat can dan”, meaning they have three compartments and 36 pillars.

Most of the houses in the village are at least 100 years old but several are intact, offering visitors a chance to see the original wooden doors and pillars replete with sophisticated carvings.

An original feature here is that in front of each house is a large garden with various kinds of fruit trees.

Along the path from the garden to the house, there are usually two rows of betel trees or fences formed by hibiscus plants.

Foreign visitors are intrigued by this concept of marking the borders of a house with hibiscus fences but it’s very popular in many Vietnamese villages.

Since Phu Vinh residents are fond of apricot flowers, each house also has some apricot trees in front.

Their blossoms turn yellow come spring.

The highlight of the tour to Phu Vinh is an excursion to the house of Nguyen Xuan Hai, a 200-year-old “bat can dan” house set in a 4,000-sq.m. garden. 

The house is still in good condition though it has never been repaired by any of the six generations that have lived there, according to Hai.

Visitors can see wooden furniture and altars made two centuries ago, and sit under the shadow of trees in the garden and enjoy fruits and tea from a pot covered with a coconut-shell lid to keep the tea warm.

For city dwellers, it’s fascinating to see a hen incubating or a brood of chickens or ducklings or learning how to cook rice in an iron pot on a tripod with the stove lit by twigs collected in the garden or straw.

Sitting there and taking in the idyllic atmosphere is a sure-fire way to forget the pressures of city life and the daily grind.

The tour to Phu Vinh also features excursions by horse-drawn carriages to craft villages that make sedge mats and incense.

The carriage goes along roads lined with rose-mallows on both sides.

Here and there are vegetable gardens, orchards, and tile-roofed and thatched houses.

Visitors can see the different stages in the process of making hand-woven sedge mats and incense.

The incense is made by mixing aroma, sawdust, and glue.

Bamboo plants are cut into small pieces and whittled before being dipped in the materials to form the final product.

Tourists can buy ladles or teapot covers made from coconut shells to remember the visit.

Source ThanhnienNews

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