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Mystery of an ancient house in Ha Sung

Talking about well-known architecture in Dong Van Stone plateau, people often think of the Meo King palace or Dong Van Old Quarter. However, the ancient house of the Vu clan in Ha Sung village, Lung Tao commune is the name most mentioned by tourists because of its mysteries.
Ha Sung village is hidden behind a mountain range not far from the border between Vietnam and China. From the Meo King's palace, tourists can follow the road to Lung Cu National Flagpole about 4km and then turn right, keep going about 1.5km on a small steep concrete road to reach Ha Sung.

The majestic ancient house of the Vu clan was built on a tortoise-shell-shaped mound surrounded by rocky mountains. The main door faces a mountain shaped like a horse’s eye. In the traditional perception of the Mong, that land is a prime location for where to build a house. In front of the house, there is a long stone staircase leading to the main door.

Unlike other houses in the village, the architecture of the Vu clan house is a majestic one.

The front wall, which is considered a solid shield protecting the entire house, has two parts. The lower part was built with large stones that are carefully carved. The upper part is built using thick soil. In the middle, there is the main door with sophisticated decoration. Two small windows are on both sides.


The front of the mysterious ancient house. 

The dilapidated condition of the house is an indicator of its age. 

The big sunlit yard is now playground for children. 

The second floor of the house is now a storehouse for food and supplies. 

The yin-yang tiled roof of the ancient house in Ha Sung was built over 100 years ago.

The pillar supporting the house is elaborately carved. 

Beautiful patterns on the stone wall. 

The main door of the house has sophisticated decorations. 

A bathtub made from stone in the house. 

Wooden balcony railings of the ancient house.

Vu Mi Giang is one of the descendants of the Vu clan that is living in the house. 

Stepping through the thick wooden main door, tourists enter the big sunlit yard. Surrounding this yard is the front wall and three rows of two-storey wooden houses with tiled roofs. The wood and stone patterns are exquisitely carved with much care.

Like most other Mong houses, the ancient house of the Vu clan has a traditional structure. The only difference is that the living space of this house is several hundred square meters. The ancestor worship area and the common room are arranged in the central part of the house. The master bedroom is to the right from the main door. Opposite are the kitchen and the bedrooms for children. Vu clan still has two precious items in the old house, including the altar of the goat's ankle and a unique stone bathtub.

Currently, there are 4 families with more than a dozen members living in the house. According to a 76-year-old man named Vu Va Say, one of the elders in the clan, the house was built before the Vuong palace was built in Sa Phin commune. Since then, the house has never been restored or repaired. Currently, the owners of this house are the sixth-generation descendants of the Vu clan.

The first owner of the house was a powerful Mong man. In its heyday, the house always had about 50 employees specializing in trading and packing goods.

Until now, the ancient house of the Vu clan in Ha Sung remains a mystery, especially the vague historical issues related to the house.
By Viet Cuong   Translated by Hong Hanh

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