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Antique house market gathers in Khanh Hoa province   2009-12-15 - VietNamNet/SGTT

Antique houses in different hamlets and villages have been gathered by small merchants, who then improve the houses for resale.


According the house market owner Nguyen Duc Tri, the value of each house depends on the tastes of the buyers.


There are four antique houses now ready for sale at the market. Piles of old fashioned building materials, such as timber, and ancient tools, such as mortars, are also on exhibition. 


Tri said that the ancient houses in Khanh Hoa province are up to 300 years old and all of sophisticated design and made from valuable timber.


“Modern workers, though skilful and supported by modern technology, will not be able to make such beautiful wooden houses,” he added.


Tri explained that it takes a lot of money and time to do this job; it suits patient people with a passion for ancient houses.  And not all the houses purchased can be improved sufficiently for resale.


Tri employs a team of skilful workers who can carve the wooden houses. On average, an ancient house is valued at tens of millions of Vietnam Dong (VND), or 1,000-2,000 dollar, and will be resold at 200-250 million VND ($11,764-14,705) after the restoration. “It is still cheaper than making a completely new wooden house,” he said.


The traditional owners, whose ancestors lived in the houses for many generations, have often had to ‘say goodbye’ to their houses for financial reasons.


“Ten years ago, when I saw people tear down the beautiful old houses, a thought came to me that the houses just need to be improved for resale,” Tri said. “If you spend the time to learn about them you see the wonderful creativity of our ancestors.”


Tri, with ten years experience in the job, said that he himself restored nearly 50 houses which were sold to antique lovers in Nha Trang City, Dien Khanh and Ninh Hoa Districts.


“I plan to build a village with all ancient houses which may be called ‘Viet village. If so, the ancient houses in Khanh Hoa province will not fall into oblivion. However, in order to do that, I have to have money, a lot of money,” he said.



In the coastal tourist city of Nha Trang, ancient houses have been used to serve tourism. Nhac Hoa Vien and Thach Lan Vien cafes have been set up in five ancient houses. There is a wonderful restored ancient house in Yasaka Saigon - Nha Trang hotel. Hai Thai tourism site has also been formed from many ancient houses.

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