200-year old village in Hanoi

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 Ancient Nom village in Van Lam district, northern Hung Yen province, about 30km from the capital city, remains intact with its natural beauty of a traditional village.
200-year old village in Hanoi

Nom Village in Dai Dong hamlet, Van Lam district, Hung Yen province lies just over 30 kilometers east of Hanoi. The village was formed at the beginning of the Common Era, according to a stele preserved in Nom Pagoda.
As is the case with many other Vietnamese villages, the history of Nom Village’s origins are associated with legends of spirits; among them many that contain fabulous mythical elements. According to hagiographies extant in Nom Village’s communal house, during the Western Han Dynasty, a girl surnamed Pham was famed for her beauty but refused to marry. Since she was enchanted by Buddhism, she went to Phap Van (Dharma Cloud) Pagoda to reside. Once, when she went out to bath in Nguyet Duc River, which lies adjacent to the village, the sky suddenly turned dark and a tempest broke out. A river serpent jumped out and coiled around her. Terrified, she ran off to the pagoda and fainted. In her delirium, she dreamed that she swallowed the moon down into her belly. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son of uncanny ability and countenance, whom she named Tam Giang. Tam Giang grew up to become a general for the Trung sisters in the rebellion against Han Dynasty domination in 40 C.E. After the successful rebellion, Tam Giang returned to Nom Village, where he had garrisoned, and established a livelihood. Three years later, the Han army invaded. Tam Giang gathered together an army and went to battle, but was defeated and retreated back to Nom Village. As the enemy pursued him, Tam Giang committed suicide along with his mother and wife at Nguyet Duc River. Learning that Tam Giang had died, the villagers built a shrine for him and venerated him as the village tutelary spirit.
Thousands of years may have passed, but Nom Village retains its image as a traditional Vietnamese village.
The arched village gate is made of bricks, on which are inscribed Confucian characters and the image of two dragons encircling the moon. The villagers say that previously two dark wooden doors closed the gate, but they no longer exist. The gate is where villagers greet and send off guests.
The center of Nom Village is the communal house. Before the road leading into the communal house is a pond several decameters wide and approximately 200 meters long. In the village over a dozen ancient houses and seven altars of the various families remain. Most prominent is the home of Phung Van Long, which was built about 200 years ago, according to documents from Hung Yen province’s department of culture, sports and tourism. The house includes fully intact wooden pillars and columns, on which exquisite carvings remain.
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