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Binh Thuy Ancient House

Located at 26/1A Bui Huu Nghia Street in Binh Thuy ward, about five kilometers from downtown Can Tho, the house is filled with features that represent rural areas in the Mekong Delta region during the 20th century.

Located at 26/1A Bui Huu Nghia Street in Binh Thuy ward, about five kilometers from downtown Can Tho, the house is filled with features that represent rural areas in the Mekong Delta region during the 20th century.

Construction

“Binh Thuy” means “peaceful water” in Vietnamese. The house was built in French style in 1870 by the Duong family on a ground of nearly 6000 square meters. Originally conceived as a place to worship their ancestors, the home was built by two generations of the family, finally finished in 1911. In order to keep warm and avoid termites, the owner sprayed a 10 centimeters layer of salt under the floorboards. With front and back gardens, the five-room house offers a comfortable environment full of fresh air and brilliant sunshine. The house is now preserved by Duong Minh Hien, the sixth generation of the Duong family. Today, the home is an outstanding example of Western and Oriental architectural elements.

Binh Thuy ancient house from outside

Binh Thuy ancient house from outside

Insight

The interior is divided into three parts. The front in a European style was used as a living room. Beautiful colonial-era tiles are put right at the entrance to welcome guests. The front room is decorated with vintage furniture, and a lovely hand-painted sink, a throwback to gorgeous craftsmanship. The plantation-style shutters can be thrown open to let the sunshine come in.

The middle section is for ancestor worship and features altars as well as statues. A wooden screen intricately carved with animals and vegetables separates the front and middle sections.

Many generations of the Duong family share the third section of the house. On the other hand, this is the place used to relax and not opened to visitors.

The front of Binh Thuy

The front of Binh Thuy

A set for a famous movie

The house was famously used in the movie “L’Amant” (“The Lover”) directed by Jean Jacques Annaud, telling the story of a young Marguerite Duras and her lover Huynh Thuy Le, set during Indochina times. It also appeared in 2 other movies: “The silt way” and “Bac Lieu Mandarin’s son”.

Outside, there is a lush orchid garden. Hien (the present owner of the house) said there are various types of flowers, which his father, Duong Van Ngon, spent a lot of time and effort on.

What to expect when visiting Binh Thuy ancient house

There is usually a member of the Duong family at home to provide limited commentary on the house. There is also a booklet in English, Vietnamese and French which can be purchased for VND 20,000 (~USD 1). Tourists can consider this spot as a potential destination in your trip to the South of Vietnam.

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