Whether you travel to relax, let loose or you travel to learn about the place and the history, the Mekong Delta offers you something really special. Travel back in time to some ancient houses in the Mekong Delta to get plenty of remarkable experiences.
Featuring markets, idyllic scenery, traditional villages, the Mekong Delta has never failed to capture the heart of travelers. If you are in search of something different from the forever hasten Saigon metropolis, visit this area to enjoy the laid-back vibes hidden in the local way of life and ancient architecture. Explore these ancient houses to enjoy gorgeous scenery and experience a truly amazing blend of culture that resonates with time.
Ancient Houses in the Mekong Delta – Highlights in Your Mekong Tour
When it comes to the Mekong Delta, many would think of an agriculture-based land with tropical scenery, riverine culture and friendly people. Now, with these five ancient houses you will have one more reason to create a perfect Mekong Delta itinerary.
1. Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House
Combined Western quintessence with oriental architecture, Huynh Thuy Le House is famous for its unique architecture in the town of Sa Dec, Dong Thap Province. This place is also associated with a love story between a wealthy Chinese man and a French girl. They were Huynh Thuy Le and Marguerite Duras, who later wrote the famous novel L’Amant (Lover). The film of the same name directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud is one of the must-see movies you should watch before visiting Vietnam.
The ancient house was built by Huynh Thuy Le’s father at a bustling trading hub on the Sa Dec riverfront. After a renovation in 1917, the traditional house was changed into a unique architecture that you can see the French villa style for the outside look and Chinese influences for the interior design. Delicately carved wooden furniture including beds, wardrobes and altars highlight the wealth of a rich merchant family.
The ancient house is now a popular attraction in Dong Thap Province. Visit Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House, feel amazed at the gorgeous architecture, listen to the heart-breaking love story and get the most peaceful moments.
» Location: 255A Nguyen Hue, Ward 2, Sa Dec, Dong Thap Province
2. Binh Thuy Ancient House
Cai Rang Floating Market, one of the busiest Mekong Delta floating markets or Ninh Kieu Wharf, the poetic scenery by Hau River – Which one reminds you more of Can Tho Province? Don’t forget fabulous houses in this area to discover the wealth of rich merchants more than 150 years ago. The house was constructed in 1870, and belonged to Duong Chan Ky who was extremely interested in Western architecture. Thanks to his good taste, the house looks both traditional and stylish.
Ranked as a national monument, Binh Thuy Ancient House draws visitors to the world of elaborate architectural design and lavish interior. The furniture was mainly imported from France and has been preserved as a ‘treasure trove’. Open your eyes wide to see the marble Chinese table, French sofa since Louis XV, 500-year-old teapot, 18th-century crystal chandelier, and many other valuable antiques.
The ancient house remains intact, making itself a must-see tourist spot in Can Tho and a setup for many movies. This is actually where the movie L’Amant was filmed. Binh Thuy Ancient House also features a garden of rare orchids for fantastic photo opportunities.
» Location: 144 Bui Huu Nghia, Binh Thuy Ward, Can Tho City, Can Tho Province
3. Prince of Bac Lieu Mansion
The mansion was designed and constructed by a French architect in 1919 as a residence for the ‘playboy’ Tran Trinh Huy. He was just 19 at that time, but his wealth and showiness spread far. He was the first one in the country to own a private plane and many properties in the Six Province of Southern Vietnam. There was a rumor that he was so rich that he could burn money to make fire for cooking a sweet soup dessert. The Prince of Bac Lieu Mansion tells you a story of time and many ups and downs.
The building materials were brought from, and the old Paris style can be easily recognized in the house. This place used to be the largest house in Bac Lieu, so people called it the ‘Great House’. The two-story house has one special stair leading to a room where the family used it for drying money. The lower floor has a living room with lavish mosaic tables and chairs. The upper floor features 3 bedrooms, two main halls and a balcony with a view to the street.
The Prince of Bac Lieu Mansion is also impressive for a selection of highly-priced antiques. Chandeliers, giant ceramic vases, beds, gramophones, TVs, cars – The things themselves are a part of history.
» Location: 13 Dien Bien Phu, Ward 3, Bac Lieu City
4. Huynh Phu Ancient House
The Kingdom of coconut, Ben Tre has something different from coconuts to look for. Huynh Phu is the oldest house in Ben Tre up to now. Built in the late nineteenth century, the house focuses on complicated carving techniques. Stretching an area of 500sqm, Huynh Phu Ancient House was classified as a national monument in 2011. Not many tourists know about the house, so it is less visited.
The house was built by Huynh Ngoc Khiem who came to Dai Dien Commune by boat but the paddles were broken unexpectedly. He believed that it was his fate to stop in this land, so he started his career here. When his business ran smoothly, he built the house with unique wooden architecture. Most decorative patterns in the house were made by skilled craftsmen from Hue. Some horizontal lacquered boards were carved so detailed that today craftsmen say it is impossible to make a copy.
» Location: Dai Dien Commune, Thanh Phu Ward, Ben Tre Province
5. Tran Van Hoa Ancient House
The house was built with a common architectural style of the ancient imperial Hue. Tran Van Hoa started building the house in 1898 under the reign of King Thanh Thai, and it was not until 1904 that the final decorations were completed. Precious types of wood were used including rosewood, ebony, and redwood. Strengthened with 120 pillars on a 4,000-sqm land lot, Tran Van Hoa Ancient House is also known as ‘Hundred-Pillar House’.
Inside the house you can see traditional altars and tables carved in four holy beasts which are dragon, qilin, turtle and phoenix, and four flowers which are apricots, orchids, daisies and bamboos. The main hall is highlighted by the golden and red horizontal lacquered boards with the meaning of happiness, wealth and prosperity.
In the peaceful setting of the countryside, the house remains in good condition though some parts have cracks. A century-old house is a great place to travel back in time and find important values in the past in one of the best ancient houses in the Mekong Delta.
» Location: Huu Dong Commune, Can Duoc District, Long An Province
You can begin to scratch the surface of the diversity of the Mekong Delta with ancient houses. There are so many interesting places to see and fun things to do in the ‘Rice bowl of Vietnam’. Hop on a little boat, paddle your way through a vast maze of canals, get lost in cajuput forests, explore a plethora of historical architecture – There is something for everyone in the Mekong Delta.
Trinh Tran written for Maika Tours
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