Cai Cuong Old House

Cai Cuong ancient house in Binh Hoa Phuoc Commune, Long Ho District, Vinh Long Province, is an architectural building in both European and Oriental styles. It is located near the Cai Muoi Canal, which is always busy with boats and junks. It is currently an appealing stop for local and foreign tourists on a tour through the southwest's land of gardens.


Cai Cuong ancient house belonged to the Pham Van Bon family, a prominent local landowner in the past. Because Pham Van Bon was the wealthiest man in the neighborhood, he was also known as "Cai Cuong" (Cuong Corporal). The Cai Cuong old house was erected in 1885 in the shape of the Ding letter, with the end of the second house joined to the middle of the first, forming a perpendicular line.

The Cai Muoi Canal is seen from the front of the property. The house's distinguishing characteristic is the blend of Oriental and Western interior and exterior architecture. This is a design style that combines French and Vietnamese architecture, with an interior that is in harmony with traditional Oriental art and culture and an exterior that is in harmony with Western architecture.

The house is 15 meters wide and features six ironwood columns that support the yin-yang and fish scale tiled roof. A corridor with two doors leads to the magnificent bow-shaped staircase in front of the house. The Renaissance bas-relief on the columns and walls adds great artistic value while also reducing the impact of the sun and rain. Outside, there is an open-air veranda, two symmetrical bow-shaped stairs to the home, and a modest shrine facing the center of the house, all of which are typical of southern architecture and culture. The doors are shaped like semicircular domes, indicating that the house's owner is affluent and has "power" in society.


Inside the Cai Cuong house, the main structure is composed of valuable wood and is ornamented in an Oriental style. The house is split into three sections: the front, the middle, and the back. The front and middle houses have a huge common area where the owner sets up tables and seats for visitors. Between these residences is a massive wooden wall. A large lacquered board etched with the Chinese characters "Pham Phu Duong" (indicating the house of the Pham family) on the wall and the ancestral altars of the Cai Cuong family on both sides can be found in the central area of the middle house.

The back house is divided into three sections. The centre compartment has a door leading to the back garden, while the side sections have symmetrical bedrooms with ironwood walls. The sculptural designs are rich in attractiveness despite their lack of sophistication and sharpness. The antique house is further enhanced by the wide windows and well-arranged furniture, giving it a more luxurious appearance. The most magnificent aspect of the house's interior is a set of wooden dividers etched with dragons, phoenixes, birds, and trees, all of which are finished in red lacquer with gold trim and are highly eye-catching.


The family has retained the altars, closets, tables, sofas, and trestle-beds constructed of ironwood or Xylia xylocarpa wood from the late 1800s in almost perfect condition. The house's floor is 1 meter higher than the yard and is paved with blue stones from France, giving it an exquisite appearance. Cai Cuong's historic house is now administered by Vo Huynh Long, a descendant of the Pham family's third generation, who is 64 years old. He rented the residence to Cuu Long Tourism Joint-Stock Company for tourism purposes 15 years ago.

The company restored and maintained the home as well as providing tourism services such as tours, Don Ca Tai Tu (amateur music) performances, and fruit picking in the garden. Visitors are welcome to spend the night in Cai Cuong's family's two bedrooms. They drink tea at night, listen to old stories, and assist the owner's children in the kitchen to learn more about the southern people's long-standing lifestyle. To help tourists understand more about the cultural life of the local people, the guide will explain the southern traditional musical instruments and demonstrate how to play them.

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