Soak up slow-paced rural life in Duong Lam Village, home to a farming community and ancient pagoda….
Soak up slow-paced rural life in Duong Lam Village, home to a farming community and ancient pagoda surrounded by Ky Son district’s serene countryside. Set just a couple of hours from hectic Hanoi, you get to really enjoy the scenery on a bike ride through Ky Son’s backroads, passing buffaloes and farmers in conical hats. As we cycled, local kids in school uniform followed us, keen to practise their English, calling out: “Hello! Where are you from?”
The heart of Duong Lam Village is Mong Phu communal house, which is owned by the elder couple, who we got to meet and talk to. Our guide told us that everyone gathers at the house for parties and special occasions, men sitting on one side of the hall, women on the other. In the courtyard, a man was delicately laying out white petals of radish to sun-dry and sell, while elsewhere, a wedding blessing was taking place. The happy couple were dressed in red clothes to symbolise prosperity.
The most beautiful stop in Duong Lam was the 400-year-old, UNESCO-recognised Mia Pagoda. It has a huge banyan tree which is worshipped by the locals, with hanging roots that looked like they’ve been spray painted red. I was amazed by the pagoda’s intricate wood and bronze Buddha statues. We also got to meet nine orphans who’d been taken in by the monks and share some coconut milk with them while looking out over the rice paddies.