A Lesson In History: Hanoi's Village Of Scholars

A Lesson In History: Hanoi's Village Of Scholars
Dong Ngac is home to numerous highly accomplished students. Credit: Shutterstock

Dong Ngac is located in the northern suburbs of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi

Kartikeya Shankar
February 03 , 2023
02 Min Read

Beautiful beaches, diverse culture, mouthwatering food, floating markets, and Buddhist pagodas are some things that come to anyone's mind when they think about Vietnam. However, Hanoi, the Southeast Asian country's capital, has something unique to offer, even though it has been removed from the tourist trail.

The Village Of Scholars
Despite its diminutive size, Dong Ngac is home to numerous highly accomplished students, including dozens of doctors of literature. These include Hoang Tang Bi, a renowned author and social activist in the early 1900s, and Pham Gia Khiem, Vietnam's deputy prime minister from 1997 to 2011.


Even to this day, interestingly, families in Dong Ngac compete fiercely against each other to produce more outstanding pupils.

Literary Tradition Celebrated In Architecture
The value of education is also reflected in Dong Ngac's architecture. Each of its four hamlets' historic gates has a book symbol carved into it. The oldest of the over 100 homes dispersed among these hamlets dates back to the early 1600s. As one strolls through its maze of little roads, the intricate stonemasonry and woodwork enthral.

An aerial view of Hanoi. Dong Ngac is located at a distance of 11 km from here. Credit: Shutterstock

The Dong Ngac Village is especially well-known for its enormous common house, a colourful location where the village's most significant events are held. Visitors are drawn to it immediately because it has been there for about 500 years.

The communal house exhibits an extensive collection of historical artefacts that date back hundreds of years. These include eight paintings that honour the professions of fishing, forestry, fabric weaving, teaching, farming, handicraft, and trading, as well as an ancient painting set from the Le Dynasty (1427–1788) that shows the abundant harvests and peaceful, prosperous lives of people.

The historic pagoda known as Tu Khanh, formerly Ve Pagoda, is another remnant of the past that can still be found in the area. The bell tower, three-door temple gate, and forecourt of the pagoda are still present even after hundreds of years. Its statues are thought to include 18th and 19th century artistic aspects.

The Information
Distance from Hanoi city centre: 11 km
How to reach: You can book a taxi to the village; the journey will take roughly 30 minutes.

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ALSO READ: A Must-Do Vietnam Guide For The First Time Visitor

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