Nha Trang is endowed with many coastal attractions and Champa cultural sites, attracting a large volume of local and international tourists.
Not as popular, though, are the old houses of local residents in Hai Thai.
From downtown Nha Trang City, along National Highway 1A heading to HCMC for about 20 kilometers, travelers can make a turn to Suoi Cat T-junction to reach Suoi Tien Commune which only has a few households. The road is surrounded by immense rice fields with magnificent mountains in the distance. Getting off the T junction and traveling for about four kilometers, tourists will see Hai Thai’s most famous ancient house.
The first impression on tourists must be the solid black wooden gate which is functioned as a guard for the white house behind. The house, built in 1925 in Gothic French architecture, boasts its old charm with its tiled roof created like fish scales.
It covers about 1,800 square meters and still maintains its many bronze antiques such as betel box, coins, bell, pots, plates, bows, typing machine and radio.
|A traditional Vietnamese wooden house has 142 wooden pillars – Photos: Huy Nguyen|
The right area of the house is a store of farming tools. There, tourists can see an old rice husking machine, rice basket, axes, ploughs and mattocks. On the left, it looks like an old office. Meanwhile, another room was dedicated as a bakery to make big dinners for the family and their guests.
Tucked in the endless greenness of the deserted mountainous region, the house arouses curiosity for passers-by who always feel a little shiver whenever they pass by it.
Around the house is a dense world of many ancient, large trees such as tamarind, jackfruit or star apple which are hundreds of years old.
Nearby the main house is a wooden house built in traditional Vietnamese architecture. The garden which is spread around the area sets the house in Hue garden-house style. It has 142 pillars.
Visitors should not ignore the fact that the house still has a number of artifacts reflecting local culture of the past. Tourists will have a chance to see old tools such as a sugarcane squeezer, rice grinding mortar and many ceramic Cham jars.
Behind the house are two rooms made of terracotta and three brick rooms which can accommodate overnight stays. The house also has a large room for 10 people at a cost of VND600,000 per night.
Many foreigners would like to stay at the house to sense the old atmosphere as well as to know more about local customs and living. There tourists can also go fishing and use their catch for a meal later.
Entrance tickets are priced at a mere VND30,000 per adult and VND20,000 per child.