One of the highlights of my recent trip to Hanoi is this visit to Duong Lam Ancient Village. It is an agricultural village of the Northern Red River delta. Over there, we got to experience what rural life is all. We did rice planting at the
Unfortunately, it was scorching hot that day and it is not any better with the high humidity. Some of us suffer from mild heat exhaustion after being out in the sun for more than 30 minutes.
A 300-Year-Old Quaint Village – Duong Lam
It is about a 2-hour drive from Hanoi City Centre.
There are several traditional houses within the village but we only visited one particular home where we borrowed waterproof jumpers and boots from them to plant rice and catch fish.
This is probably one of the less visited attractions by tourists who visit Hanoi. Thus, it is less touristy and it is definitely worth a trip to explore this ancient village which is more than 300 years old.
We spent only a few hours in this ancient city so time was limited. We had a quick tour around the town area.
Mong Phu Temple
This national relic has a history of over 500 years. It is an important spiritual worship place for the villagers.
The Vast Paddy Fields
I have not been to the outskirts of Hanoi so it was rather refreshing to see this rustic side of the villages surrounding the city centre.
We had the opportunity to carry out a couple of their rural activities like catching fish and planting rice with this particular family. We actually visited their house and even fried spring rolls in their compound.
A traditional way of catching Fish
Besides using fishing nets, the fisherman also use this bamboo baskets which has an opening. It is for them to catch fishes in shallow water. Once they spot a fish, they quickly trap the fish with the basket and stick one hand into the basket to grab the fish.
This method of catching fish is more difficult because it is not easy to gripe on tightly to the fish with one hand. In addition, the fish’s body is so slippery and thus it often slips out of their hands. You must be strong enough to catch hold of the fish as they tend to struggle really hard in the water to survive.
But that’s simply how our ancestors brought fishes to our dinner table in the past.
Making Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Gỏi cuốn)
After spending almost an hour catching fish and planting rice in the paddy fields. it was time to replenish our body with some good food. The home owners taught us how to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls using a variety of vegetables and tofu. We made vegetarian spring rolls.
The basic spring roll ingredients include rice paper, shredded carrots, beansprouts, mushrooms and spring onion.
All the ingredients are mixed together into a large mixing bowl. Lastly, they mixed in the sliced tofu which ended up crumbling.
It is a simple and healthy dish to make at home as it is packed with lots of nutrient-dense ingredients.
It might look plain and unappetising at this point but once it is deep fried, it tasted really good with some fish sauce.
You can actually eat the spring rolls without frying too but the spring rolls always tasted nicer when they are hot and crispy.
It was such a lovely treat to enjoy after working hard under the hot sun.
That sums up our excursion to Duong Lam village. Sadly, we did not really get to explore the village to find out more about its historical roots but it is definitely a place worth checking out if you are planning a trip to Hanoi.