Exploring Duong Lam Ancient Village: A Visit from the Norwegian Ambassador

Hilde Solbakken, the Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam, and her family recently had the pleasure of exploring Duong Lam Ancient Village, immersing themselves in the unique cultural heritage of this region.

The family members were excited to explore the village that dates back over 1,500 years and showcases a unique blend of historical charm and modern elements.
Duong Lam in Son Tay Town, Hanoi is emerging as a picturesque destination for those seeking an immersive yet refined cultural experience. As the village unfolds its layers of history, it stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of tradition and innovation in the heart of Vietnam.
The tour begins at the house of artisan Nguyen Tan Phat, where his signature products are showcased. Photo: Hoang Nam
The ambassador’s family takes a seat on the Dragon bench, symbolizing the zodiac sign for the year 2024. Photo: Hoang Nam
The artisan shares the story behind each piece of art. Photo: Hoang Nam
The next stop is a 400-year-old house, recognized as a historical monument in Son Tay Town. Photo: Hoang Nam

Amidst the hustle and bustle of modernity, Duong Lam remains steadfast in preserving its profound ancient characteristics. The locals, deeply rooted in their cultural heritage, have taken on the role of stewards, contributing to the development of community-based tourism. This dedication has not only maintained the village’s authenticity, but has also resulted in a remarkable 30% increase in visitor numbers compared to the previous year, with approximately 120,000 tourists welcomed this year.

The ambassador’s family learns about the history and architectural structure of the house. Photo: Hoang Nam
The ambassador’s family enjoys a freshly made che lam with delight. Photo: Hoang Nam

Emma, the ambassador’s daughter, eagerly tries che lam, also known as sticky rice ginger bars. She and her mother relish the taste, nodding their heads in approval and exclaiming “Ngon qua!” (So delicious) in Vietnamese. With even more enthusiasm, the ambassador declares, “This is my favorite Vietnamese sweet treat. It’s perfect, not overly sweet, and has a complex flavor profile. There’s nothing like it in Norway.”

The interior of the ancient house. Photo: Hoang Nam
The porch of the house. Photo: Hoang Nam
The journey concludes at Mia Pagoda. Photo: Hoang Nam
The entire family listens to the Buddhist monk explain the significance of the pagoda. Photo: Hoang Nam
Adrian, Hilde’s husband, is eagerly immersing himself in learning about Buddhism. Photo: Hoang Nam
This meaningful journey has deepened the Ambassador’s family’s understanding and connection with Vietnamese culture.