Phung Hung ancient house: a must visit destination in Hoi An
- on Sep 13, 2019       By: BN
The beautiful Hoi An old town lying on the banks of the Thu Bon River continues to charm visitors with its exceptional architectural heritage that has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a true pleasure to walk around the old town and discover its incredible wooden houses all of which have witnessed a rich past where Chinese, Japanese and European traders prospered in this port city. Among all of these beautiful houses is the famous Phung Hung ancient house.
History of the Phung Hung ancient house
Not far from the famous Japanese covered bridge you can admire the Phung Hung ancient house dating from 1780 and belonging to the 8th generation of a family of sailors. It is listed as a historical monument of Vietnam and is considered a symbol of the diversity of peoples who inhabited Hoi An while the city was a first-rate maritime crossroads.
The Phung Hung ancient house is a commercial house typical of Vietnam's urban areas in the 18th century, with its unique blend of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese architectural styles it is symbol for the multicultural community of ancient Vietnam. The building has a system of eighty wood pillars resting on a marble base. Each column is on a lotus-shaped base to minimize sagging and moisture in the house and to prevent termites from damaging it.
You will notice that its balcony and door system is inspired by Chinese architecture. The roof is inspired by Japanese architecture while the rest with wooden ribs, beams, spars and a traditional two-way roof at the front and back was inspired by the Vietnamese style. The floors are designed in two different styles: the Japanese style of the four-sided roof can be seen on the ground floor and the Chinese design of the round roofs that reflect a turtle shell is present on the upper floor.
This ancient house is characterized by great adaptability to its environment. In the rainy season Hoi An is exposed to floods and the shuttered door that connects to the garret for carrying the goods upstairs presents a smart dry design. In order to give the house the most comfortable living space possible all of the doors used are heavy and sturdy wood. But the door at the bottom can be easily removed. The arrangement of yin and yang tiles will allow the air to circulate including summer during the hot weather making the house well ventilated.
Before, the ground floor was used for commercial purpose. Today, it is the family living room, elegantly furnished with old wooden cabinets containing many objects and valuable family goods passed down from generation to generation. The second floor is now reserved for the ancestors of the family and the Holy Mother Thien Hau. In the ancient house you will also find various tasteful handicrafts that reflect the culture and tradition of Vietnam. On the table in front of the altar of ancestors you will notice a bowl with seven marble dice. The owner, very superstitiously used the dice to decide the time of departure before his distant travels. You can also admire many drawings carved by carpenters from Kim Bong village, a traditional craft village that is not far from Hoi An.
Nowadays, part of the house serves as a workshop for traditional Vietnamese embroidery. It is a way for the family to raise money to finance the expensive renovation of the home.
If you are planning a trip to the charming Hoi An do not forget to visit Phung Hung ancient house with its wonderfully combined architecture from China, Japan and Vietnam.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 08:30 to 18:00.
- Address: 4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Hoi An.