Vietnamese people not only borrow from Chinese architectural style but also create their unique architecture. And after countless wars, the refinement of Vietnamese architecture is still well presented in Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoi An ancient town, Vietnam ethnic stilt houses and myriad of temples and pagodas across the country.
Hanoi old quarter is the core of Thang Long capital of Ly dynasty a thousand years ago. The area with 36 ancient streets constitutes a triangle there remain original tunnels, or tube houses with small frontages and very long rooms behind. Most of these houses are covered with tiles and usually no windows due to ancient rule that inhabitants are forbidden to see their King passing by their house. This is also a lively commercial area with merchandise stores one attached to one. The old quarter has been a symbol of traditionally crowded and plentiful life in an ancient capital of Vietnam.
Hoi An, a picturesque riverside town in Danang province, is also a crowded trading center with early contact between Vietnamese and foreign merchants from China, Japan, India and Portugal. Hoi An still remains a sense of history and chanting architecture, a combination of Vietnamese waterfront houses with other Chinese and Japanese interior settings and style.
The most ancient architecture perhaps is stilt house which still remains popular among many ethnic groups in Vietnam. A typical one has two stair cases, a two beam roof resting on pillars and wide floor. There are rooms for ancestor worshiping, eating entertaining and sleeping. The most important one is the kitchen because it is the house center where the family gets together or welcomes guests. The style and size of the house varies greatly among ethnic minorities of Tay, Nung, Muong,Thai, Bana, Xedang or Gia Rai. Whatever it takes there is a common feature that they always go with the natural environment “ simple and unimposing , stilt house reflect the unique culture of Vietnamese diverse ethnic group and give foreigners a fascinating imagination of an ancient Vietnam thousands years ago.