Villagers scorn heritage status

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Five years after the Duong Lam Village in Ha Tay Province was awarded with a heritage status, the locals are finding it hard to get permits to construct modern facilities or larger houses and want the status revoked. Stories like these raise issues that while heritage preservation and the preservation of monuments is important, there are sometimes real and undesirable effects to those who live in such heritage sites and that the interests of both must be addressed.

Duong Lam Village, Vietnam Net Bridge 20110109

Modern-loving locals turn back on ancient village
Vietnam Net Bridge, 09 January 2011
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The mystery of the Vietnamese mummies

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24 November 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – The Vietnam Archaeology Institute take on the conservation of two 300-year-old preserved bodies of monks. The two mummies are regarded as sacred objects and how they came to be mummified (embalmed, really) is a mystery.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 24 Nov 2007

The mummies return
Duc Hanh heads to Dau pagoda where where two mysterious mummies have lived in silence for 300 years Past a lake and a number of paddy fields, the Dau pagoda sits in isolation near the outskirts of Gia Phuc village in Ha Tay province.

Although originally built in the 11th century under the Ly Dynasty, the pagoda bears the hallmarks of Le-Nguyen dynasty in the 17th century as a number of renovations occurred at that time. Dau pagoda is officially named Thanh Dao Tu or Phap Vu Tu and is dedicated to the Goddess of Rain.

But I’m here to meet two monks, who are shrouded in mystery. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking these monks were just statues. But in actual fact these are a pair of monks, Vu Khac Minh and monk Vu Khac Truong, who lived in the pagoda more than 300 years ago, were embalmed and preserved after their death.

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The Son Tay Citadel

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03 November 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – Built in 1822, the Son Tay Citadel stood guard over the western gate to what is now known as Hanoi. This travel piece takes a walk through the citadel, which seems to have been unfortunately badly restored.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 03 Nov 2007

All quiet on the western front

In my mind I had pictured Son Tay town as a sleeping beauty in amongst the hundreds of craft villages of Ha Tay province. I became determined to discover the region’s “hidden charm” and cajoled my uncle into tagging along.

After we arrive, at first, we just amble along the town’s older streets. Everywhere the houses seem small and tidy, the people seem good-natured and the town as a whole seems quaint and tranquil.

When I arrive at the moat that surrounds the ancient citadel we’re given the option of rowing across in a small bamboo boat, though we choose to stroll across the bridge.

Son Tay ancient citadel was built by King Minh Mang in 1822 to defend the western gateway to the city of Thang Long, which is now, of course, Hanoi.

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Dong Son drum found by chance

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12 Sep 2006 (VietNam Net Bridge)

VietNam Net Bridge, 12 Sep 2006

Dong Son drum found by chance

A resident of the northern province of Ha Tay unearthed an ancient drum when he was building his house, an official of the local Department of Culture and Information said Monday.

Experts from the Vietnam History Museum tested the drum and came to conclusion that the 2000-year-old drum belongs to Dong Son Civilization.

Related Books:
– Bronze Dong Son Drums by Ha Thuc Can
Dong Son Drums in Viet Nam