Unlike old streets in Hanoi or Hoi An, the wind and the mist of a border land gives distinctive pattern to the old street in Dong Van (Ha Giang).
Dong Van Old Street took shape and started developing in the early days of 20th Century under Dong Quan, Nguyen Binh Division, Tuong Yen District, Tuyen Quang Province. Later, the area separated and immerged into Bao Lac Divison under the occupation of a Tay ethnic minority family. Gradually, this place attracts more type of ethic to come and live and develop it with diverse knowledge into higher levels.
At the present, Dong Van Old Street belongs to Quyet Tien Village and Dong Tam Village, with 40 old houses aged above 100 years old, which were build side by side at the foot of the mountain. Regardless of the time, rocky walls and wooden staircases roofed under double tiles are stood still.
Coming to Dong Van Old Street you would be able to experience contrasting scenes. In the morning, gray houses are woken up by golden light and lively sounds and animated ambiance of ethnic people wearing colorful costume walking around or trading with each other. In the afternoon, the quietness returns and covers the whole street. Only until evening takes place may you hear the melodious sound from pan-pipe blown by young Hmong men attracting their love mates. The town seems to really wake up at night with tumultuous ambiance from groups of ethnic people singing and dancing right in the heart of the old street.
During the lunar March, on 3rd, 14th, 15th and 16th, Dong Van Old Street become livelier than ever with the “Old Street Night” program. Every family hangs on lanterns in front of doors and demonstrates specialties of Ha Giang right in their house and sell to tourists: Thang Co (cattle’s organs hot pot), corn wine, brocades and other highland’s specialties. Art performances take place at the same time while everyone is enjoying and smiling happily together. Dong Van market, which is right beside Dong Van Old Street is not only a trading places of different ethnic minorities, but also a place of festivals. Since 1925, this borderland immersed with Chinese culture in term of architecture that created unique patterns of Dong Van Old Street.
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