The only UNESCO cultural heritage old house in Mekong Delta

by TAA on December 31, 2019

Mekong Delta comprises of 12 provinces: Long An, Đồng Tháp, Tiền Giang, An Giang, Bến Tre, Vĩnh Long, Trà Vinh, Hậu Giang, Kiên Giang, Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu, and Cà Mau, along with the province-level municipality of Cần Thơ.As the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the delta is carpeted in a dizzying variety of greens. It's a water world that moves to the rhythms of the mighty Mekong, where boats, houses and markets float upon the innumerable rivers, canals and streams that criss-cross the landscape like arteries. Besides, Mekong delta is the place of different tropical fruits such as durian, coconut, banana, pineapple, dragon fruit… so the tourists can enjoy seasonal fruits all round year.

The unique old house in Tien Giang was built around 1838. It was recognized by UNESCO in Asia - Pacific region as the cultural heritage.

Photo: Zing.vn

The old house is located in Phu Hoa hamlet, Dong Hoa Hiep commune, Cai Be district, Tien Giang province. Currently Vietnam has about 4,000 old houses. This is one of the 6 old houses of Vietnam honored by UNESCO in Asia - Pacific region to restore and recognize as cultural heritage in 2004.

Photo: Zing.vn

In the introduction about Vietnam's old house architecture, UNESCO Asia - Pacific wrote: "The six houses, spanning in the vast geographic space of Vietnam, represent the traditional culture in each region, through the traditional architecture. It is a vivid document that demonstrates the exquisite architecture presented by the talented hands of Vietnamese craftsmen".

Photo: Zing.vn

The house has a nail-shaped architecture with 3 rooms, 2 wings, nearly 1,000 m2. The entire rafters and items are made from valuable woods such as ironwood, rosewood, sandalwood... The owner of the house is Mrs. Le Thi Chinh. According to the owner, the house was built by a group of Hue workers, and completed in many years. The house is bold with Hue ancient style.

Photo: Zing.vn

In 2002, JICA Japan inspected the house and planned to renovate it. In 2004, the restoration was completed, and the house is like today. This is one of the few oldest houses in Mekong Delta area.

Photo: Zing.vn

On the doorways, columns, rafters... there are many details carved figures of pine trees, daisies, bamboos, apricots and life scenes. This is the mosaic art of Hue, with the mosaic material as nacre trees. Nacre is a solid material, but the shaping form does not show the solid. Talented artisans have created vivid patterns in Hue style.

Photo: Zing.vn

The head of the rafters is carved with the image of a magnificent dragon head. The rafters of the house are designed with typical style. Owing to good wood materials, over hundreds of years, the carvings are still nearly original, completely free from termites or seepage.

Photo: Zing.vn

Indoor lamps are the familiar kerosene lamps of the ancient Vietnamese, now lightened by electric light bulbs in the lamp body.

Photo: Zing.vn

Nearly 200 year old porcelain items are carefully preserved at home. Many collectors of antique ceramics offer to buy these items at a high price, but the landlord doesn't sell them.

Photo: Zing.vn

A Memorandum and Recognition as Cultural Heritage of UNESCO Asia - Pacific is preserved inside the house. According to the owner, this is a great honor for the whole family. All family members concentrate on protecting and remaining the cultural values of the house.

To explore the old house recognized as the cultural heritage by UNESCO in Mekong Delta, you can book a tour to this region or combined tours between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Travel Authentic Asia, the tailor made tour operator based in Vietnam since 2011, is honored to serve you with any tour required. Feel free to contact Travel Authentic Asia via email: info@travelauthenticasia.com or WhatApp: +84 912221442.

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