Arrive at Van Giang village’s morning market where the sounds and sights of the city seem far way from the rural life. Vegetable sellers are seen trading their fresh produce, plucked from the fields that morning, as well as fish traders with their live catch. You well also observe, frogs and the endless stalls of cuisine: rice noodle soup, grilled meats served on a bed of fresh herbs as well as sweet cakes and sticky rice puddings.
From the market, drive to a temple along the river banks that worships Saint Chu Dong Tu and his wife Princess Tien Dung. Saint Chu Dong Tu has actually been honored as one of four immortal Vietnamese spirits. The temple is set on large peaceful grounds consisting of several large gates; pass through the yard into the main altar house where incense can be seen burning as it has for hundreds of years. The temple also houses rare wood engravings on its roof as well as two bach tho vases. Both vases have ancient non characters that were the ancient script of Vietnam before it became romanized engraved, in various styles on them.
You will then leave the temple and drive back to the village to take a stroll through Van Giang to the 200-year old home of Mr An, who at 67-years old, has one of the most impressive Bonsai collections in the district.
His home which has been passed down through the generations is typical of rich landowners of that time. Large wooden beams and an open plan abode conform to Vietnam’s fung shei beliefs whilst the garden is filled with fruit trees and bonsai; some which are as old as the house. Upon arrival, enjoy a cup of green tea and get acquainted with the hosts to hear the villages’ history.
The family will then give a demonstration on how to prepare spring rolls, fish sauce, and cutting “chung” cake by special way from the Northern regions of Vietnam. At the end of the tour, sit down to a traditional Vietnamese family style lunch. After the meal, return to Hanoi.