Can Tho City with dozens of things to do is never placed out of an itinerary to the Mekong Delta. That’s why tour operators are ready to recommend this city to any international traveler each time they visit Vietnam. One of these things to do is a sightseeing tour of Binh Thuy Ancient House. What makes it a must-see spot is its wide area, remarkable architecture, orchid garden, and valuable antiques. Furthermore, this visit also entitles you to explore mysterious stories behind the house, which can overwhelm you so much and help you learn some part of the life and culture in the Mekong Delta in the past.
Something to know first about Binh Thuy Ancient House
Binh Thuy Ancient House is among the best places to visit in a journey to explore Can Tho City, the Mekong Delta, so there is no reason to miss it out. The house is just 10 kilometers from the city center of Can Tho and situated at 144 Bui Huu Nghia Street, Binh Thuy Ward, Binh Thuy District.
It’s quite easy to reach Binh Thuy Ancient House from the city center. You need to cross Binh Thuy Bridge, turn left to the local market and proceed to the destination. If you aren’t familiar with roads and streets in this area, just ask the locals, and they’re willing to show you directions or take you there. The people of the water area in Vietnam are famous for its helpfulness.
History of Binh Thuy Ancient House
At the end of the 18th century, Can Tho was known as the rich land of lush green tree all year round, so it attracted numerous people to come and settle down. One of the families who decided to choose this land as their home was the Duong family.
A member of the 3rd generation of this family, Mr. Duong Van Vi built their career in Binh Thuy of Can Tho, and in 1870 their house was made from wooden with the tile roof. After 30 years, the house started to be rebuilt and refurbished. In 1911, thanks to a member of the 4th generation – Mr. Duong Chan Ky, it was fished, and its inside was the harmonious mix of European and traditional designs. In the 1980s, Mr. Duong Van Ngon – a member of the 5th generation collected lots of priceless orchids and grew an orchid garden around the house. Until now, the house has existed for over 150 years, and been one of the designs well preserved. A visit to this destination will be an opportunity to learn about fascinating things about the house’s history and architecture.
Architecture of Binh Thuy Ancient House
The architecture of Binh Thuy carries both Orient and Occident characteristics. The most special thing is that this design broke the traditional form of a three-compartment house in the Mekong Delta. Instead, with the area of 6,000 square meters, the house was divided into five compartments.
The iron fence and gate were designed as if it’s protecting a modern house instead of the old one.
Right entering the main gate, you will see a three-arched entrance gate in the Chinese style. The tile roof of this gate has decorations in unique shapes. The courtyard in front of the house was paved with Chinese bricks 150 years ago. Also, there is a small temple of the god of land to the left of the courtyard.
The main compartment is reached by two ways of yellow stairs, looking harmonious. The house was built with a high foundation in case of floods quite common in the Mekong Delta in the past.
All walls of the house were paved with bricks, and doors of the main compartment were designed in the modern style and furnished with three sets of lavish wooden chairs and tables. In addition to decorations in the main compartment, there are also big vases, eye-catching pictures, and documents about the ancient house. Right in the center of the house is a big altar in the style of Cochinana people in the past.
Although Binh Thuy Ancient House has still been possessed by the Duong family, in 2009 it was designated as a national relic for architect arts by Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
Binh Thuy Orchid Garden and Antiques
Binh Thuy Ancient House is not only famous for its impressive main compartment, but also attracts visitors from many other places by its enthralling orchid garden and valuable antiques.
Mr. Duong Van Ngon – a member of the 5th generation of the Duong family is a person interested in plants and flowers, so he collected plenty of priceless species of orchids and grew an orchid garden in the house. One of these rare plants is cactus from Mexico, over 40 years old.
Apart from the orchid garden, the house is where very valuable antiques are kept; some of them is a set of cups and pots from Chinese, made in the 19th century, and a set of sofas from France, made under the reign of Louis.
Mysterious story about Binh Thuy Ancient House
Besides the brilliant architecture – a perfect mix of Orient and Occident styles, Binh Thuy Ancient House also draws countless visitors from other places because of mysterious stories behind it. One of the stories is about a Feng Shui charm put somewhere inside the house. The Duong family believed this charm was the reason for their successful career and prosperity for a long time.
By that time, the Duong family as well as other families invited a Feng Shui master, called Ba Nghia to do some religious rituals before they started building their houses. The Duong family believed Ba Nghia had put some charm in their house, which made their life more and more prosperous. Until now, it has become a mysterious story of Binh Thuy Ancient House as nobody knows what this Feng shui charm exactly was.
Binh Thuy Ancient House being the studio of famous films
With ancient architecture, meanings in the history of the Mekong Delta, and cultural values, Binh Thuy Ancient House nowadays is an ideal place chosen as the studio of many renowned Vietnamese films, depicting the life of the Delta’s people in the past. Interestingly, although the Lover was not a Vietnamese film, its setting based on the story about love of a French novelist a son of the Huynh family was made at Binh Thuy Ancient House. This film was well-known in the world afterwards.
Entrance fee and opening houses
To enter Binh Thuy Ancient House for sightseeing is very cheap; it just costs VND15,000/pax. Despite the fact that the entrance fee is not expensive, you can spend too much time searching for direction. If you prefer saving time, a tour to Can Tho, including Binh Thuy Ancient House is surely a proper choice. Two opening houses are from 8:00AM to 12:00 at noon and from 2:00PM to 6:00PM.
To make your visit to Binh Thuy Ancient House more compelling, it’s highly recommended that you should consider a sightseeing tour of more other places, such as Binh Thuy Temple, Nam Nha Pagoda, and Bui Huu Nghia Tomb – Bui Huu Nghia was a valedictorian in the contemporary time.