Loc Yen, an ancient village in Tien Phuoc district in the central province of Quang Nam, is dubbed "paradise land" for its heavenly landscape. The village lies at the foot of a mountain and looks out over rice fields.
According to the elders in the village, Loc Yen was discovered in the late half of the 18th century by Nguyen Cong Tuyet, from Tan Phuoc village (now in Tam Ky city), who brought people to the region to cultivate land and settle.
The village lies within a peaceful valley and is surrounded by many mountain ranges, such as Rung Cam, Da Ban, Ho Cho, Rung Gam. Running through the village are streams and channels bringing water from the mountain.
The well placed village also enjoys a cool climate, thanks to its protective surroundings.
In Loc Yen, springtime is full of blossoms, summer brings golden rice fields and showers of sua flowers creating a yellow carpet. In early autumn, the village is full of lon bon, a fruit found only in the area.
The village is also unique with its stone fences, which are rarely seen anywhere else in Vietnam. On the sides of paths leading to local houses, the neatly-arranged stones are covered with green moss.
Tea trees which are sometimes grown along the path, are skilfully pruned, making the landscape look like a painting.
Eighty-one-year-old Nguyen Dinh Lien said it was the locals who helped create the unique beauty of the village.
“There are 100-year old stone roads and walls and they are well-preserved. Small and big stones and rocks are placed closely together and infilled with clay,” said Lien.
“I don’t know when the locals started paving the roads with stone and making stone fences and walls. When I was small, they were already here."
Loc Yen is a hidden unique gem in central Vietnam. The local houses, alleys, gardens, rice fields, hills, rivers, streams, stone fences create a peaceful beauty.
The village has nine timber houses all more than 100 years old. All are built of jackfruit timber, which is ideal for posts and beams - and carving.
Nguyen Dinh Hoan’s house is regarded as one of the most beautiful one with delicate and complex wooden decoration patterns.
It is said that former South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem asked the house owner to sell it to him three times, but the owner refused.
Hoan said he was the fourth generation to inherit the house. Hoan’s father once told him that the house was nearly 200 years old. Their ancestor, Nguyen Dinh Hoang, who owned the house, was an official with the local authority. The building was done by a group of skilled carpenters artisans in Van Ha village (Phu Ninh district, Quang Nam province) over three years.
Nearby is the home of 78-year-old Dong Viet Mao, located on Go Tron Hill. The structure features an entrance, main room, side rooms, a shelter for cattle, poultry and a fish pond. The house is said to be more than 150 years old.
“Before 1970, some villagers sold their houses, but since the 1980s, no villagers can be tempted. I won’t sell my house regardless of price. This is a treasure and a cultural relic of our family,” said Mao.
The great tourism potential has encouraged the local authority to develop community-based tourism.