Thien Huong, a forgotten 100-year-old village in Dong Van
- on Apr 24, 2018       By: Hai Anh
Following Mr. Than, a photographer in Dong Van, I headed to Ma Pang village (Thien Huong village). Lying along the two sides of the road to the village were a cliff and an abyss. What’s more, that the mountain was so high as if they could meet the clouds made me think of "a sky gate" of Dong Van. Staring into the distance, I could totally catch sight of scenic curved roads on the moutain.
Local people said that Nho Que river originated from China flowed through Lung Cu and that the road to the village was its own upstream.It takes only about 30 minutes to travel from the town centre to this picturesque village. Its entrance is home to many century banian trees standing still despite the devastation of time. Local people built a temple here for worship.
Thien Huong, Dong Van is an ancient village inhabited by Tay ethnic minority people who make ends meet by farming and making wine. Walking further into the village, you will get to see various 100-year-old rammed earth housses which was built in ancient architectural style with double roof tiles. Each house consists of two compartments with the upper one for furniture and the lower one for cooking and living.
The most prominent feature in Tay people’s house is the alter arranged solemnly with lines of parallel sentences in the two sides. And on the front door are three amulets hung to give protection against devils or evil spirits.
Local women wear traditional black knee-length dresses and black headscarves on duty time and men there wear the same black clothing as Hmong men’s. I felt like I was getting lost in Hoi An emerging myself in peaceful, quiet and gentle atmosphere as I mended my pace in Thien Huong village.
It is corn wine that crosses one’s mind when it comes to Dong Van but if you have ever tried Thien Huong wine, you might share the same thought with me that this is definitely the best kind of wine here.
Thien Huong wine is a specialty of the village. To make a liter of the alcohol, all that is required is a lot of time and effort. The wine is strictly processed. Firstly, more than 30 types of leaves are picked for fermentation. After that, kernels will be cooked until they become as big as fingertips then pour them out to cool down. Yeast will be milled and mixed well with cooked kernels and the mixture will be kept in bags for one week for distillation afterwards. Being meticulously processed, not only does Thien Huong wine give drinkers sweetness and delicious taste but it is still warm on the way down and you can actually get the depth of the taste. Although hundreds of years has gone through, the traditional beauty of the village stays the same. However, many people have been living in poverty. And that the bumpy road to it becomes muddy everytime the rain falls probably makes tourists hesitate to travel to this place.
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