Photographer's Note

Bao Vinh: Ancient Town SOS.

This picture may be the last one I am able to photograph the portrait of my ancient city of Bao Vinh before the heritage disappears where I had lived during my childhood and youth.

Located about 4km North from the heart of Hue, the historic town of Bao Vinh was a commercial hub that contributed greatly to the development of the former imperial capital, on the left bank of the Perfume River. Though much of its former glory has faded,here and there, visitors can still catch a glimpse into the past. Unlike the ancient town of Hoi An near Danang, many architectural works of Bao Vinh deteriorated or were destroyed. Only a few parts of the present-day
town still remind us of the bustling and beautiful trading quarter it once was.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Bao Vinh was home to several Chinese families who escaped the Minh dynasty and took refuge here. The Minh Huong Chinese and locals formed and developed a commercial port that received not only boats from other parts of the country but also merchant ships from many foreign countries, including China, Japan, Portugal and Spain. These ships attracted local residents as well as people from surrounding areas who brought agricultural and forestry products and handicrafts to exchange for foreign goods.

The ancient town of Bao Vinh took shape with houses, markets, small wharves,bridges and drainage systems. In particular, larger houses with unique architecture reflecting the Chinese culture, were built along the streets especially by fine ironwood and jackfruit wood, giving the busy town a special face.

Today, the nearly 200-year-old face of Bao Vinh with its "Nha ruong" wood houses - a Chinese-style, single-storey home known for its skilfully-carved style - is rapidly disappearing. In most cases, homeowners demolished their old houses and built new ones to meet their safety needs and accommodate their large families. Many owners turn their ground floor into a shops, and hope to lease out the rest of the building to other businesses for much more profitable. Without action or help from provincial authorities, Vietnam is going to lose a whole historic town.

I am waiting for your sharing
Best regards

ngythanh, maciekda, NgocSon marcou esta nota como útil

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Additional Photos by Huy V Tran (huynt) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 846 W: 15 N: 931] (5079)
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