The cultural, religious, and educational centre of Vietnam, Hue has a lot of historic sites waiting to be discovered. Many are beyond the obvious (i.e. The Citadel and the Ancient Tombs). On this day tour, visit historic Thanh Toan Bridge, one of two covered bridges remaining in the country, a traditional craft village – Bao La – and the 500-year old village of Phuoc Tich with its worship halls and communal houses.
Its is best to get an early start (circa 8am) in order to see the morning countryside market at Thanh Toan. En route you stop at Bao La, a 500 year old bamboo weaving village. Bao La villagers work hard to meet the demands of both domestic and foreign markets and are quite rightly proud of their dexterity, creativity and passionate expressions. They possess a high degree of specialisation in production process liked material treatment, bamboo bases, bamboo rims, finishing touches and decorative details.
Built two centuries ago the covered bridge of Thanh Toan is unique in that only two such examples exist in Vietnam – the other being in Hoi An. Built as a tribute to the villagers by the wife of a high ranking Mandarin, the covered bridge has survived storms, floods and wars however after it was damaged, the villagers always contributed to repair, renovate and preserve it. Next to the bridge is the local village morning market – the earlier you get here the better.
After visiting Thanh Toan it’s an hour’s drive north to the 500-year-old village of Phuoc Tich. Once famous and prosperous because of its pottery, the village has dozens of homes that are from 100 to 200 years old and several old temples, pagodas, worship halls and communal houses still remain. Many imprints of Champa and ancient Viet cultures are still preserved such as lingas (a very complex symbol of Hinduism). The religious culture of the village is seen via families, which have their own ancestor worship halls, each worshiping five direct generations.
There is plenty of time for a typical Vietnamese family style lunch in one of the old houses Phuoc Tich Village. Following your meal drive back to Hue where you will arrive back in the mid-afternoon.