Visitors are charmed by the village’s fairy gardens of centuries-old trees, which have been preserved by the locals as a precious heritage.
The village spreads out beside the poetic O Lau River and has all the typical features of a traditional Vietnamese village. There are river wharfs, temple yards, old pagodas, and paths winding through groves of tea trees. Temples and residences are dappled with moss. One third of the village’s 117 houses are up to two centuries old. A dozen of the village’s clan worshipping houses and temples remain intact. They are so well preserved as to astonish cultural anthropologists, architects, and historians. The village’s ancient houses are nha ruong, a kind of residence built with artfully carved wooden pillars and bars. They are held together with wooden pegs so they can be easily dismantled. Phuoc Tich houses are mainly made of jackfruit wood and are adorned with exquisite carvings, most of which remain undamaged despite having gone through many wars throughout the years. “Tourists are interested in visiting ancient houses and getting an inside look at local people’s daily lives. We arrange for tourists to stay in local houses and provide any other necessary facilities. The tourists live with the local people and learn something about their lives. The tour is very popular”, said Bui Thi Hai Quyen from the Que Huong Service Company: .
Most of the ancient houses in the village have large yards full of old trees and separated by rows of tea trees, creating an exotic green space. “Most of the tourists are Europeans who live in busy cities. In the village, they enjoy unaccustomed peacefulness, the rustic sound of cocks crowing and birds singing in the early morning and the smell of wood burning. They like walking around the village, admiring the ancient architecture and feeling their lives slow down”, said Ms Quyen.
Ms Quyen thinks the price of these tours is reasonable. “The price depends on the number of tourists. If we have a group of 20 or more tourists, the per person price for accommodation and food is 300,000 dong a day. The local people cook for the tourists who stay with them. This is one of Vietnam’s 3 oldest villages”.
Receiving tourists in their homes and acting as tour guides is new to the people of Phuoc Tich. “I inherited this house from my grandparents. It’s 78 years old. We repaired the front corridor and steps in 1980. The people of Phuoc Tich are hospitable and want to introduce the village to others. We have famous ceramic products, ancient trees and smiling hospitality”, said Le Trong Dien, a local in Phuoc Tich.
Visitors are introduced to a unique way of producing ceramic products and can try their hand at being a ceramic craftsman, just one of the many unforgettable experiences Phuoc Tich provides. At the upcoming Hue Festival, Phuoc Tich village will head the list of ancient village tours.