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A village in northern Vietnam remains alive with ancient beauty
By Original Vietnamese story by VnExpress - Thanh Nien News -
An overview of Nom Pagoda. Photos: Nguyen Minh Son/VnExpress
A nine-span bridge made from large stones over Nguyet Duc River leads tourists to the Nom Pagoda.
Clay statues in the Nom Pagoda. Each statue features lively facial expressions and gestures.

Hung Yen Province is not only famous for its juicy, sweet longans. It is also known for Nom Village which is home to stunning architecture.

Located just 30 kilometers northeast of Hanoi, the village in Dai Dong Commune, Van Lam District, will stun tourists the minute they step through the entrance gate.

The campus is a swirl of ancient northern features: old houses, the moss-covered roof of the communal house, a well and a big banyan tree.

As part of village customs, visitors are encouraged to drop by the communal house and burn incense for luck.

Visitors then cross the Nguyet Duc River on a nine-span bridge made from huge stones to enter the Nom Pagoda.

Legend has it that the pagoda was situated in the midst of a pine forest when it was first built in 1680 during the Le Dynasty. It became famous as the biggest pagoda in the north.

The pagoda houses 122 clay statues of Buddha and deities of all sizes. Each statue features lively facial expressions and gestures.

Despite repeated floods that submerged many parts of Hung Yen Province and once swept away the pagoda’s roof, the Buddha statues, which were submerged in flood waters for days, have remained intact.

When the water receded, the statues stood proudly in place as if nothing had happened.

Some researchers said their resilience is due to the spectacular skill of the ancient artisans who made great efforts to preserve them with thick layers of paint.

Visitors should walk leisurely to explore the beauty of the century-old rock towers, peaceful ponds and shady green trees.

How to get there:

You can take a bus from Hanoi’s Luong Yen Bus Station to get to Hung Yen Province. The bus operates from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday, with a trip every 20 minutes.

Or you can drive a motorbike along Road 39, National Highway 5 or Phap Van-Yen Lenh Expressway to get there. 

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