Visit Van Lam district to explore ancient features of Vietnamese countryside
Though being the key industrial district of the province, Van Lam still preserves the ancient beauty of Vietnamese countryside with the image of the banyan tree, the well and the communal yard, traditional craft villages as well as quaint customs of villagers.
Nom village is one of the two most ancient villages in Vietnam (rank behind Duong Lam village in Hanoi). Nom village is also called Dong Xa village, Dai Dong commune (Van Lam district). Over 200 years ago, this was the most famous village in Kinh Bac region where provided materials for bronze money and hardware casting. Undergoing fluctuations of time, this village still keeps the ancient features such as ancient village gate, stone bridge, Nom pagoda, Nom market and brick-lined village road and mossy old roofs. The Nom village gate is different with all other ancient villages in Vietnam with the special architecture style. The village gate possesses a unique structure - 8 pillars style which only appears on the property of royal relatives, including 4 square pillars with 3 characters on the portal arch: Nom Bridge Bronze Passing the magnificent village gate, an ink painting and nostalgia image immediately appears in surprised eyes of visitors. There come straight lines of areca trees passing right in front of ancient houses and worship houses, reflecting shadows on the water surface. The rare red brick streets and gates of ancient houses interspersed with rows of walls leading to the alleys of the village ... bring a sense of peace. 100 meters away from the village gate is the famous Nom stone bridge, crossing Nguyet Duc river to connect Nom village to Nom pagoda. The bridge is 200 years old but still solid. It includes 9 spans; the surface is made by blue stones. The two sides have stone cliffs carved sophisticatedly which look like dragon heads on the Kings’ boats. Passing Nom bridge, people arrive at Nom market. Nom market opens in the non-plastered brick houses. The red and broken brick by the time give us something very nostalgic, ancient feature. Through the people's market with all nuances of the world, visitors come to Nom pagoda, pray to the Buddha with sound mind, so that when returning, the dust of life seems to be washed away, the heart will be purer and gentler. According to old legends, Nom pagoda is built in the middle of the pine wood, so it is also called “Linh thong co tu” - Ancient Pagoda in sacred pine woods. No one knows exactly when this pagoda built, but according to written on the two big monuments, the Pagoda was built in 1680 and restored many times after that. The pagoda is preserving over 100 Buddha terracotta statues and aged hundreds of years with different states, postures and themes. Along with the specious Buddha statues, the pagoda also protects a lot of unique architectural buildings such as Quan Yin house, laterite towers.
Leaving Nom village, people could stroll to Long Thuong village which is a busy craft village of Dai Dong commune. You can watch the skillful hands of craftsmen here. This village used to be specialized in statues, bells but now it only produces worship materials, such as: Tripod Cauldron, cranes, candlesticks, lamps, trays, incense bowls, etc. Each bronze products are convergence of dedication and talents of craftsmen. A good copper craftsman must master 5 sophisticated techniques including forming techniques; create molds to cast into copper; preparation, copper melting and pouring copper; Carved on product surface; polish. Not only bronze casting requires techniques, but it also requires intricacy, patience and passion in order to produce a perfect item. Here, you can learn and make a product by yourself under the instruction of craftsmen. This is wonderful and meaning experience.
Visiting Van Lam district, tourists not only enjoy the ancient beauty of the Vietnamese countryside but also the shiny Chrysanthemum indicum field and get a sniff of the faint aroma of herbs in Nghia Trai village (Tan Quang commune). Arriving at Tan Quan commune at the end of the year, tourists are fascinated by the shiny Chrysanthemum indicum fields. At the middle of numbness in the winter of the North, flowers are like tiny suns bringing an incredible warmth to tourists.
Not until tourists visit village of rice balls and roasted sesame and salt, brew liquor industry of Lac Dao village, your travel does not accomplish. Lac Dao liquor is famous with the song sentences: “Liu-ling was as drunk as a lord at Lac Dao land/This is the best liquor in Vietnam” Lac Dao liquor is famous because ingredients are carefully selected and the liquor itself is carefully distilled. Lac Dao liquor is the convergence of land and sentiments of people. On the first days of the spring, lifting a cup of Lac Dao liquor soaked with Chrysanthemum indicum tea and talking with friends can erase all trouble in daily life.
It will be a unforgettable experience to visit Van Lam district, dive into the peaceful space of the Vietnamese countryside, visit the largest lotus pedestal in Vietnam in Huong Lang pagoda, then enjoy the faint scent of Chrysanthemum indicum and rare herbs in Tan Quang village, take a sip of liquor full of country sentiment and buy intricate products made in Long Thuong bronze casting village.