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Medicine street keeps tradition alive

Update: January, 08/2015 - 08:48
Historic trade: A cultural week honouring traditional medicine street Lan Ong begins tomorrow. — Photo diadiem.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — The scent of herbal medicine pervading from shops and houses reminds people that they are crossing Lan Ong Street, so there is no need to look for the signboard indicating the street's name.

Lan Ong, which specialises in selling Vietnamese traditional medicine, is one of the few streets in the capital that has maintained its time-honoured trade. Tomorrow, a week of celebrations will honour this historic occupation.

The opening ceremony, featuring an art performance depicting the history and tradition of the street, will take place at 7.30pm tomorrow. During the rest of the week, visitors to the street will have a chance to consult physicians about their health for free. The physicians will feel their pulses and prescribe medicine following traditional therapies.

The street is named after famous physician Hai Thuong Lan Ong, born Le Huu Trac (1720-91). Before the 20th century, the street bore the name of Phuc Kien, since a majority of residents here came from China's Fujian Province, which is translated as Phuc Kien in Vietnamese.

The diversity of culture throughout history has adorned Lan Ong Street with a wide range of architectural styles, from houses with Viet Nam's traditional features to those combining both Vietnamese and Chinese styles or bearing Western styles from the colonial period.

In 2013, nearly VND25 billion (US$1.2 million) was spent to restore facades and preserve the architectural spaces of the street.

Thai Duy Anh, a project manager from the Management Board of Ha Noi's Old Quarter, said the project aimed to make the street a destination for domestic and international tourists who would come to learn about the traditional trade and therapies. — VNS

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