In addition to Duong Lam ancient village, Cu Da village
is one of the typical Vietnamese village in the northern delta. The Culture
and Information sector is planning a conservation plan -
package vacations to Vietnam for family.
Located 20km west of Hanoi, Cu Da ancient village belongs to Thanh Oai
district on the outskirts of Hanoi. Cu Da is known as an original and unique
space where still preserves the old gates at the village and every hamlet,
the old temples, shrines and houses with original architecture style of
northern delta region and ancient houses with French architecture dated back
to over 100 years ago.
Situated on the bank of Nhue river, Cu Da village has become a bustling
business place, a wealthy village that justifies the saying "Close to market
is best, close to river is second". The golden time when Cu Da village was
most developed were the last years of 19th and early 20th centuries. Cu Da
not only has a big gate at the beginning of the village but all hamlets have
it's own gate. Elderly people say because of thriving business Cu Da village
was also a working place of thefts, in order to protect security in the
village each hamlet built a gate to prevent bad people. The roads in the
village are paved with inclined tiles, the walls stand close together, at
night the gate were locked with wooden doors. This is a rare feature in the
villages in north Vietnam.
Arrive in Cu Da village on an early day of the year, we seemed to be
daydreaming in a certain country picture of the early 20th century. The
village gate is an arch shape with curved roof, 2 columns on the sides are
embossed Chinese characters make it looks like a bell steeple of a pagoda.
Cu Da village is adjacent to Hanoi, it belongs to former Ha Tay province.
The beauty of the village is nestled by the surrounding Nhue river. Before
when the river was not polluted children were seen swimming around while
ferry boats traveling along. The scene of thriving business once upon a
time still remained in the brick steps that reach out to waterfront.
However the ancient features of the village are relics. The village's main
road is the transportation route along the river bank, each lane that
crosses the main road has a gateway modeled after the ancient village gate.
This fishbone model is typical for an ancient Vietnamese village on the
riverside with economic morphogoly of both commerce and agriculture
The front side of the village is not only the gate, Cu Da village has 3
gates including the middle one, but also include the landing strip in the
river port. The advantage of the village is "Close to market is best, close
to river is second". The narrow lanes run towards every house, all lanes are
very deep and long. There are still many old houses, if based on the dating
engraved on the frame of the wooden houses, the number of houses aged 100
years or more are more than 30, these houses are roofed with Vietnamese
tiles, and the number of 70-80 year old houses are uncountable.
While many villages in Vietnam no longer have old houses Cu Da village still
has many, and people of Cu Da village started to realize the value of their
old houses since the Japanese scientists visited the village, they began to
understand the economic and cultural value of the village once Cu Da is
upgraded and recognized as a key tourist destination. Another ancient
feature of the village is a pagoda named Linh Minh Tu with the original
stone pillar marking the year when the village was restored in Hau Le
dynasty 1695, and the recent archeological findings has extended the age of
Cu Da ancient village to about 2000 years.
It is the discovery of ancient bricks, the typical of the tombs of Chinese
colonial time dated back to 20 centuries ago. There is also a high mound
call Dong Gia, the archeologists say it is a brick tomb built in the Chinese
colonial time. The discovery showed that the village was one of the earliest
formed in the region and the places with such brick tombs were usually
economic centre, a thriving society.
Notably there are ruins of a platform built with green stone that people
call worshiping place. Besides the ancient beauty the village also has
modern charm, they are the houses built in French time 1920 - 1940 that look
very western. By the river is a towering flagpole built in 1929. There are
about 50 houses with western style in the village. At that time Cu Da is the
only village in the region with road lighting. During this time people of Cu
Da village went to Hanoi and open business, they set up factories,
workshops, merchants...A series of rich families in Hanoi take their brands
with first name "Cu" such as Cu Doanh, Cu Chan in the textile, Cu Phat...in
order to remember their native land.
Business people went to live in Hanoi also brought money home to build
houses and buy land. Traces remain in the two green stone toad statues
placed at the river port, on the base pillars are engraved Chinese
characters "Van Co Nghiem Nhien" (Eternal solemnity and wealth). There are
holes in the statues for the oil lamp, it is a "lighthouse" for the boats
trading on Nhue river found their way at night.
The village currently has a few dozen two-story French architecture pretty
sophisticated but harmonious with the traditional style of the northern
delta. Most of the old houses in the village are made of wood, on roof
tiles. The villa of Trinh The Sung family was built over 130 years ago has
undergone 4 generations. Despite many ups and downs the house is still
intact. As he wanted to preserve and maintain the traditional culture the
families do not want to rebuild it.
Coming to Cu Da village, visitors not only discover the ancient features of
the villages but also have the opportunity to witness the active production
and characteristic flavour of vermicelli, a traditional job of Cu Da.
People who are original of Cu Da village come back to the village on 14th
Lunar January and burn incense for their ancestors. cu Da village is also
famous for 2 special things: Cu Da soy sauce and vermicelli. Soy sauce of Cu
Da is one of the best in the country, still very popular in Hanoi region. Cu
Da vermicelli is also the main item. Coming to Cu Da village you will find
vermicelli being dried everywhere. With many advantages in terms of relics
and a busting craft village, Cu Da is worth to be considered as a tourist
destination for ancient Vietnamese village still preserves the traditional
shades. Another strong point in terms of tourism is Cu Da village is very
close to Hanoi centre, only about 20km from city, you can visit it by
motorbike or push bike on a day trip.