Dong Van’s hundred-year-old-quarter

Dong Van old quarter-100 years old located in Dong Van District, Dong Van, Ha Giang. With the ancient architecture, it still keeps intact contour. Dong Van old quarter is the pride of people here. The lifestyle and daily life of ethnic people such as: Kinh, Tay, Mong, Hoa… is very impressive. Dong Van Town is located in the middle of valley surrounded by rocks. In the morning, picture of old quarter is blended two colors: bright yellow of the sunshine and gray of ancient houses. The quarter is formed form the early 20th century, only has a few families of the H’mong, Tay and Chinese, gradually, more and more other local residents find it. Overall, old quarter has Chinese’s architecture with two-story houses of yin and yang roofs, red lanterns…

dong van old quarter from distance

From above looking down, next to three markets arranged in U-shape with yin and yang roofs are two ancient streets that lead to the mountain. A mainly residential area of the Tay and dozens of ancient houses is concerned as the important part of Dong Van old quarter. According to documents from a workshop about Dong Van old quarter, there have about 40 ancient houses with 100 years old. Especially, there has a house nearly 200 years old of Mr. Luong Huy Ngo, built in 1860.

The common architecture here is the two-story house and yin and yang roofs. Besides, Dong Van market area has tubular ancient houses to use advantages as Ha Noi old quarter. From 2006, Dong Van district held “night in old quater” in March on 14, 15, 16 lunar calendar. All households in the old quarter hang red lanterns, display ethnic brocade, and sell traditional food. “Night in old quarter” in Dong Van karst plateau is also working for propagation to attract tourists. Tourists can learn more about culture of ethnic people through local people and soak into dance of the Lo Lo, enjoy traditional dishes such as: Thang Co, Men Men, Ta Chua, of the H’Mong and visit the area display local produce.

Dong-Van-Old-Quarter-Ha-Giang at night
The structure was built on orders from Vuong Chinh Duc – once a servant of District Chief Hoang Tu Binh. As a man with a reputation in the region, Duc was promoted by French rulers to be the Canton Chief.
Another piece of renown cultural heritage in the old quarter is the “King of Mong ethnic group” Vuong Chi Sinh’s residence. The residence’s structure features popular architectural trends from China’s Qing dynasty. It sits on an area of 1,120sq.m. The structure was built on orders from Vuong Chinh Duc – once a servant of District Chief Hoang Tu Binh. As a man with a reputation in the region, Duc was promoted by French rulers to be the Canton Chief.

an old house in the Dong Van old quarter
In the early 20th century when Hoang Tu Binh’s health was deteriorating, Vuong Duc Chinh was promoted to become Hoang Tu Binh’s Assistant District Chief. Chinh then decided to renovate his residence by using bluish lime stone, pine wood and burned clay tiles as the primary building materials. The mansion is divided into three blocs: Tien Dinh (houses in the front); Trung Dinh (houses in the middle) and Hau Dinh (houses at the back). All of the structures have two storeys. There are 64 rooms in the whole mansion. The houses looks like a terraced field. There is a rock wall surrounding the residence that is about 60-80cm thick and 2.5-3m tall. To enter the residence, visitors have to go through a beautifully carved 15 step – stone gate.

Dong Van old quarter is an ideal destination in the North of Vietnam, which preserves the tradition and cultural intangible values of ethnic people. If you are a very adventurous and hardworking travelers, don’t dillemma to enjoy several days here, and also don’t forget to explore more destinations when you are in Ha Giang. Please have a look at Ha Giang Destinations that Vietnam Typical Tours share with you.