A century-old Mekong Delta villa showcases extravagant living

By Khuong Nha   November 3, 2019 | 02:54 pm GMT+7

Bac Lieu was once home to affluent landlords with children whose lavish lifestyles gave rise to many anecdotes about the ‘princes’, including Tran Trinh Huy.

The house of one such prince Tran Trinh Huy is located at 13 Dien Bien Phu Street in Bac Lieu City, the capital of Bac Lieu Province.Huy is the son of Tran Trinh Trach, a wealthy man who used to own the most land in Bac Lieu Province. Huy was famously known as a dandy whose lifestyle and spending habit was extravagant.It was designed by a French architect, combining western European architecture style and Vietnam traditional ornaments.It was built in 1917 and took two years to finish. The near 100-year-old project is well- preserved and is considered one of the most popular destinations in Bac Lieu.Locals often refer to it as the Big House. Most construction materials were brought from Paris.

The house of Tran Trinh Huy is located at 13 Dien Bien Phu Street in Bac Lieu Town, the capital of Bac Lieu Province. He was the son of Tran Trinh Trach, a wealthy man who was the largest landlord in the province in the early 20th century, when the country was under the French colonialism. Huy was famously known as a dandy with a reckless lifestyle and spending habits.

The building, built during 1917- 1919, is well-preserved and a very popular tourist destination today. It was designed by a French architect, combining western European architecture and traditional Vietnamese features. Locals often refer to it as the "Big House". Most of its construction materials were brought from Paris.

All patterns on the ceiling were also painted by French painters. The strokes remain their lines after a century.

All patterns on the ceiling were painted by French painters, whose works have lasted to this day.

The house also displays many objects associated with the life of Huy. When he came back to Vietnam and landed in Saigon after studying in France, his father used this car bought in 1930 to pick him up.

The 100-year-old house also has several objects that exemplify Huy’s lifestyle. When he returned to Vietnam and landed in Saigon after studying in France, his father used this car, bought in 1930, to pick him up.

Most of the items in the house are intact. Stuff like music players, desk phones still work.

Most of the items in the house are intact, including music players and desk phones in working condition.

There are hot and warm beds in the house. The cold bed made from fragrant rosewood and marble mosaics was used in the summer. The hot bed used in rainy season winter is made from sandalwood which retains warmth well.

There are "cold" and "hot" beds in the house. The cold bed was made with fragrant rosewood and marble mosaics for use in summer. The hot bed, used in rainy weather, was made of sandalwood.

Wooden items in the house carry exquisite carvings.

All items made of wood carried intricate, carved inlays.

The two floors are connected by a marble stair divided by three 9-step segments. The nine steps symbolizes permanence and permanence as number nine in Chinese character signify these meanings.There’s a terrace in the house and the wooden stair that goes there was where Trach, Huy’s father used to hang money on the stair rail.

The two floors of the house are connected by a marble staircase with three 9-step segments. The nine steps symbolize permanence. There’s a terrace in the house and the wooden stair that leads up to it was where Trach, Huy’s father, used to hang money on the rails.

Tran Trinh Huy was known for being a playful, reckless spender. One of the anecdotes people still pass on about him was him burning a 100-dollar bill so he could use the light to find the earrings that his girlfriend Phung Ha dropped. Pictures of Huy (third from the right) and his wife on the left, Ngo Thi Den are hung on the wall of the house. The other women were his concubines, including a French woman. The man on the right was a son of his. Historical records show he has eight kids with three wives. He reportedly also has children with his concubines but their number is not verified.

One of the anecdotes about Huy that people still share is his burning a 100-dollar bill so he could use the light to find the earrings that his girlfriend Phung Ha dropped.

Pictures of Huy (third from the right) and his wife on the left, Ngo Thi Den, are hung on the wall of the house. The other women were his concubines, including a French woman (second from the right).

The man on the right was one of his sons. Historical records show Huy had eight children with three wives. He reportedly had children with his concubines, too, but their number is not verified.

Most of Huy’s children live overseas except Tran Trinh Duc, who lives 3 km from his fathers house. Duc comes here every day and signs the book he wrote about his father and talk with visitors.Bac Lieu province in Mekong Delta region is a place with many remnants of the life in early 20th century. The city is also home to Vietnams largest wind farm with 62 turbines. This farm, in Dong A Hamlet, Vinh Trach Dong Commune, is another photogenic place.

All of Huy’s children live overseas except Tran Trinh Duc, who lives 3 km from his father's house. Duc comes here every day to talk with visitors and sign the book he wrote about his father.

Bac Lieu is a place with many vestiges of life in early 20th century. Today, the province is home to Vietnam's largest wind farm with 62 turbines. This farm, locaced in Dong A Hamlet, Vinh Trach Dong Commune, is a new tourist attraction.


 
 
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