Over the centuries, the land that is now modern-day Vietnam has seen a number of dynasties. When the French were occupying this part of the world, the imperial city of the Nguyen Dynasty was Hue in Central Vietnam. The Dynasty may have had very limited power but Hue is still seen today as an important part of a Vietnam holiday, even if Hanoi in the North and Ho Chi Minh City in the South are very much the two main cities in the Country.
Culture and heritage are both important parts of Vietnam travel packages and local authorities understand their importance. In Central Vietnam, both Hue and the ancient port of Hoi An receive significant numbers of tourists who come to enjoy their history and architecture. Another place that is worth some attention is the North Central Province of Ha Tinh. Just recently, the authorities in Truong Loc in Ha Tinh pledged that some old houses that were built centuries ago would be preserved.
The oldest of the houses in Phuong Son is 400 years old. It has hardwood beams and pillars with some intricate carvings adding to its attraction. Most of the houses have gardens that have been carefully tended over the years. In those days, no houses could be higher than the nearby temples or pagodas but that did not mean they could not be in a prominent position. The oldest house sits in front of the forest looking out across the fields and the river.
Preserving old structures is always a challenge and in the case of these houses, it has meant that different types of roof tiles have had to be used.
Le Thi Van Thuong who is an official in Truong Loc People's Committee announced that these houses are an important part of the communal heritage and every possible effort needs to be made to preserve them now and in the future. On a worldwide basis, recognition of valuable pieces of heritage by UNESCO has often been the catalyst to ensure that nothing is ever done to ‘’harm’’ a site. It would be good news for Truong Loc and Phuong Son more specifically if UNESCO was prepared to add these houses to the existing number of World Heritage sites in Vietnam.
Many tourists when they are thinking about visiting a country look to see the UNESCO World Heritage sites in that country. In the case of Vietnam there are a number of such Heritage sites, both natural like Halong Bay and historical and cultural such as parts of Hue and Hoi An Old Town.
If you are planning to visit to Vietnam and in discussions with a Vietnam travel agent about what to include in your customised Vietnam tour package itinerary, it is likely that Hue and Hoi An will be in your mind as you head north to south or vice versa. Why not Ha Tinh Province as well to see these lovely old houses for yourself?