Ancient village and culinary centre
Nha Trang, where many Cham towers were built, was well-known as a land of aloe wood in the olden days. Now this romantic land is a paradise on earth with its blue ocean and white sandy beaches. However, Nha Trang still preserves its beauty in the past with ancient houses of the central region. Nha Trang Ancient Village and Culinary Centre is a place where visitors can return to relax and to enjoy a sense of peace.
After a 30 minute drive from Cam Ranh Airport, we headed south to Nha Trang Ancient Village and Culinary Centre on a familiar path in the rural area. In the distance we saw the Giang Huong mountain in lush green scenery and Chin Khuc mountain dimly looming in the thin veil of morning. We were so eager to go back in time.
The hustle and bustle of city life suddenly disappeared when we saw an immense paddy field full of ripening rice. A winding path with immense yellow paddy fields on two sides led us to the Nha Trang Ancient Village and Culinary Centre. In the distance, I could see the ancient houses with their characteristic brown-tile roofs nestling in a green lush garden.
Upon arriving in Nha Trang Ancient Village and Culinary Centre, a girl in a traditional Vietnamese ao dai holding a conical hat warmly welcomed us at the entrance. Then we walked in a path paved with red bricks and rows of flowers on the two sides.
Some chili plants, banana trees, a loofah trellis and many vegetables reminded me of the garden behind the house in the rural areas of Vietnam. I smelled a familiar fragrance from my childhood when the smike of the cooking blended with the flavoured rice in the wind. How could I forget the smoke of the boiling water for my grandfather’s tea in the early mornings and the fragrance of grilled sweet potato for the children during rainy evenings… All of us kept quiet for a while as if we were afraid to shatter the tranquil atmosphere.
Suddenly, the waitress in a stylised ao ba ba (a kind of shirt used by southern Vietnamese people) gave us the menu list. I choose some rural foods which I hadn’t had the opportunity to enjoy for a long time. Ms Yen, the hostess of Nha Trang Ancient Village Tourist Area showed us around and told us about her vision. “As a resident of Nha Trang or of any other region, everyone wishes to return to their roots and preserve sacred memories”, she shared. It is also the reason why she has spared no effort and time to find and buy 2 ancient houses from many regions such as Nha Trang, Dien Khanh, Van Ninh and Ninh Thuan to fulfill her project.
The restaurant is designed simply with some wooden pillars. The dried coconut leaves are used to make roofing material. There are a loofah trellis, banana trees, a mantle and a jar full of water. All these items, which are decorated naturally, convey the message of time.
Here you can enjoy the picturesque setting of a rural area featuring an immense paddy field, a pond of lotus flowers, a vegetable garden, and bamboo trees swaying lightly in the wind. The atmosphere is peaceful and inviting with birdsong.
We enjoyed a lot of specialties of rural areas in Nha Trang like goi mit (jackfruit salad), ga hap xa (chicken steamed with lemongrass), ech nuong muoi ot (frog legs grilled with chili and salt), ca loc hap bau (snakehead fish steamed with gourd) and a variety of vegetables picked right out of the garden.
Although this tourist spot has only been open for two months, it already attracts a lot of tourists, especially foreign ones who have come to enjoy the natural beauty and culinary specialties of the rural areas in Vietnam.
Nha Trang Ancient Village and Culinary Centre is an enchanting and must-see destination for those visiting Nha Trang.
Nha Trang Ancient Village and Culinary Centre:
Thai Thong village, Vinh Thai commune, Nha Trang.
-Nha Trang Ancient Village and Culinary Centre covers over 2ha and includes 3 main parts:
-The relaxation section has 10 rooms featuring rural and traditional decor that overlook the garden or field. It is scheduled to start serving guests in January, 2010.
-The wedding section has an altar and places for the bride and the groom holding their wedding in traditional Vietnamese style.
-The last section is a restaurant with a capacity of 200 people. The restaurant offers many specialties of rural areas.