Dong Ngac ancient village is located about 10km from downtown Hanoi. This is one of few villages which have still kept intact the cultural features and old historical architecture despite the impacts of rapid urbanization.
Dong Ngac cultural village is famous for its communal house, many old houses and ancestral worshiping houses hundreds of years old. Stepping through the village’s mossy gate and walking on a brick-paved road, visitors will walk into a completely different space, which is quiet, peaceful and quaint.
The first and must-see place in Dong Ngac ancient village is its large-scale communal house which was built in 1653 to worship three genies, including Thien Than or Doc Cuoc, Dia Than (the village tutelary god) and Nhan Than (a famous general). The communal house is a solemn place where the village’s most important events take place.
The community hall now displays a set of ancient paintings from the Le Dynasty (1427 – 1788) depicting bumper harvests and the peaceful, prosperous life of people and eight paintings showing the trades of fishery, forestry, fabric weaving, husbandry, farming and handicraft and 20 doctorial steles of the villagers from the Le to the Nguyen Dynasties.
Following the paved path and the smoke from kitchens, anyone who walks on the narrow lanes around the village, called “Dong”, “Ngac”, “Ke” and “Ve”, in the village are surprised that so near the capital there is such a quiet and peaceful space.
Like many other villages in Vietnam, Dong Ngac ancient village is moving forward with the pace of development but it has still preserved its architectural works such as the ancient houses 100 years old in the architectural style of the northern delta in Vietnam or the French style, Tu Khanh Pagoda built in the 18th -19th century and dozens of ancestral worshiping houses of the Do, Pham, Phan, Nguyen and Hoang families. Among them, the ancestral house of Do Family that honors Do The Giai, a senior official under the Le-Trinh Dynasty (the 17th-18thcentury), has many valuable objects, such as bronze gongs, parallel sentences in Chinese characters, altars, two 2m-high cranes standing on tortoises and two steles.