Attraction 255A, Đường Nguyễn Huệ, Khóm 1, Phường 2, Thị Xã Sa Đéc Phường 2 tp. Sa Đéc Đồng Tháp, Vietnam Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House is special ?
The "Lovers' House" as Sa Dec locals call it, combines Western and Eastern architecture. The Western influence can be seen in the facade of the house and in the Renaissance-style ceiling and balconies.
In the small Mekong Delta town, 140 kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City, you can visit the house of Huynh Thuy Le, Dumas' former lover on whom "The Lover" was based.
Le was the inspiration behind, Duras autobiographical tale in which a teenage girl falls in love with a rich Chinese -Vietnamese trader.
The love affair between 15-yearold Duras, born in Gia Dinh (then called Saigon, now HCMC) in 1914, and 27-year-old Le began in 1929. But Le's father, Huynh Thuan, disapproved, claiming that the two families belonged to different social classes. Duras then left Vietnam for France before her 18th birthday.
What to explore at Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House?
The structure of the house was designed in the typical Vietnamese tradition. The roof is tiled in the style of the pagodas and temples of northern Vietnam.
The 258-square meter house has three main rooms and is adorned with old Chinese-style decorations. The interior has red lacquer and gold trimming.
The middle room is composed mainly of an altar to Guan Yu, a Chinese general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. In many Asian countries, Yu is worshipped as a symbol of loyalty, sincerity, integrity and justice.
The house was used by Huynh Thuy Le's family until 1972, when Le died and his family went abroad. The villa is now managed by Dong Thap Tourist Company.
Duras died in Paris in 1996, after a long literary career. Her first novel was published when she was 28 and she wrote in many genres, including essays, plays, film screenplays and journalism.
- A historical place
- An interesting architecture
- An emotional story behind the museum
- A romantic place
255A, Đường Nguyễn Huệ, Khóm 1, Phường 2, Thị Xã Sa Đéc Phường 2 tp. Sa Đéc Đồng Tháp, Vietnam
Tips for you
As I knew we were visiting this house as part of our tour of Vietnam I made a point of downloading Marguarite Duras' novella to read before hand. The book is an excellent introduction to Vietnam under French rule around 1930 (this film which was shown on our boat was good but rather torrid compared to the book). The house is much smaller than I expected but clearly was once the home of a rich Chinese family so interesting for that reason if no other. It is now a restaurant & a bit run down.