Phu Tho Province: Where Vietnam’s ancestors still roam

15:43 | 31/10/2018 Travel

(VEN) - The northern midland and mountainous province of Phu Tho is akin to a giant museum with its major tangible and intangible cultural heritages associated with Vietnam’s founders, the bronze age Hung kings, beautiful landscapes and good food.

where vietnams ancestors still roam
The Hung Kings Temple Festival

Hung Kings Temple: The Hung Kings Temple complex is located on Nghia Linh Mountain, 175 meters above sea level, in the province’s Viet Tri City, almost 95km from the capital - Hanoi. The complex of remains is tied to the legend about 18 Hung kings who built the Van Lang State, with Phong Chau as its capital. It consists of the Ha Temple, Thien Quang Pagoda, Gieng Temple, Trung and Thuong temples, Hung kings’ tombs, Mother Goddess Au Co Temple, and Father Goddess Lac Long Quan Temple.

Au Co Mother Goddess Temple: Located in Hien Luong Commune of Ha Hoa District, the Au Co Mother Goddess Temple worships the legendary sacred mother of the Vietnamese. The temple was built five centuries ago and has become a symbol of patriotism and national unity and a favorite spiritual destination.

Hien Quan Temple: The Hien Quan Temple in Hien Quan Commune of Tam Nong District worships the female general and Princess Thieu Hoa. The temple is associated with the Phet Festival, named after the phet (a red ball) that is the centerpiece of the celebrations, held on the 12th and 13th day of the first lunar month to pay tribute to Thieu Hoa. After the rite of offering in the temple, the red ball is covered by a parasol and surrounded by strong women. It is then put into a hole under the sand and thrown for people to catch in the belief that it will bring them luck. The festival attracts a large number of visitors.

Hung Lo Communal House: The Hung Lo ancient village in Hung Lo Commune of Viet Tri City has preserved its ancient communal house, houses and traditional crafts. The House was certified as a national historical site in 1990 with its Dai Mon ceremonial hall and houses built centuries ago and preserved. The space is also home to Phu Tho’s famous art of Xoan singing and community cultural activities. Hung Lo village is also renowned for making traditional noodles and banh chung, square glutinous rice cake filled with green bean paste and fat pork.

Lai Len Shrine: Lai Len Shrine in Phu Duc Village of Viet Tri City’s Kim Duc Commune is the cradle of Xoan singing, where Hung kings taught people how to sing these unique melodies. Visitors to Lai Len have an opportunity to not only admire the shrine but also enjoy Xoan singing.

Hung Vuong Museum: Built in the late 1980s, the Hung Vuong Museum in Viet Tri City’s Gia Cam Ward is a popular destination. The museum displays nearly 700 original objects and thousands of reproductions, which reveal Vietnam’s history from the Stone Age to the national construction period of the Hung kings. The museum welcomes thousands of visitors a day. It is most crowded on the death anniversary of the Hung kings marked on the 10th day of the third lunar month.

Midland tea gardens: Phu Tho Province is not only renowned for its high quality tea products but also its beautiful natural landscapes of boundless green tea fields. Phu Tho has become a major tea production center, with its products exported to different markets and attracting buyers.

Banh chung and banh giay: Legend has it that banh chung (square glutinous rice cake filled with green bean paste and fat pork) and banh giay (glutinous rice dumpling) were first made by Prince Lang Lieu to offer to his father - the sixth Hung king. The square, green banh chung cake symbolizes the earth or mother, and the round, white banh giay symbolizes the sky or father. Today, Vietnamese people still consider banh chung and banh giay indispensable food offerings for their ancestors on specific occasions, especially the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Doan Hung grapefruits: Doan Hung District is renowned for its high quality grapefruit. Doan Hung grapefruits can be harvested as early as October and visitors to the province should not forego a taste of the succulent fruit. Multi-spur chicken: At the Xuan Son National Park in Tan Son District, visitors will not only be impressed by its natural beauty but also see the multi-spur chickens mentioned in Vietnam’s famous legend of Son Tinh and Thuy Tinh. Multi-spur chicken are farmed in a natural environment. They are not only beautiful, their meat is of high quality.

Gia Thanh persimmon: Gia Thanh persimmon is a specialty and pride of Phu Ninh District’s Gia Thanh Commune. This high quality seedless persimmon variety has been grown in Gia Thanh for more than 70 years. Gia Thanh persimmons were offered in the past to Hung kings. Its harvest season starts in the autumn.

Pickled meat: Pickled meat is a specialty of the Muong people in Thanh Son District. The product is not only found in the market of Phu Tho but also many other northern provinces and cities.

Hoa Quynh