Before roaming around the village, we first notified the restaurant management. We were told to be careful when going around because there are dogs that might attack us. Nonetheless, we went on to brave the dogs. YOLO!
The 13-hectare village was built in 1997 with more than 200 villas, a Catholic chapel, a temple, a playground, and a restaurant (famously known as Viet Ville Restaurant) with the help of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for Vietnam refugees.
The existence of a Catholic church in front and a Buddhist temple at the back of the resto signifies that two different religions can co-exist together.
The Vietnam village looks more like a ghost town, but some of the buildings are still functional today, like the Buddhist temple and the chapel.
The bulk of the Vietnamese refugees who used to live there already migrated to the United States. Only two original refugees decided to stay in the Philippines because they already married Filipinos and have their own families. The villas were left to rot over the years with only a few units remaining which houses a two or three Filipino families who resettled there with the help of the local government.
The village has now turned virtually into a woodland as many trees planted by the refugees have grown.
The continuing existence of the Vietnamese village is to share the Vietnamese culture with Filipinos and foreign tourists who visit Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
According to the management, Viet Ville will continue to assist arrested Vietnamese fisherman and they would help them regarding legal matters until eventually they can go back to their homes in Vietnam.
We headed back to the restaurant. The whole restaurant is made up of bamboo from its flooring to the windows, and everything. It felt so Vietnamese.
We were the only ones who's there that time. They disclosed to us that they're not getting a lot of customers these days due to the increasing number of competitions.
The restaurant specifically offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine such as rice noodles, spring rolls, and hotpot dishes. The manager revealed that most of the ingredients came from Vietnam.
We were treated to Bo Kho (Vietnamese stew), lapu-lapu Vietnamese style, spring rolls, Vietnamese sapin-sapin, and jasmine tea. The Vietnamese sapin-sapin is my favorite of all.
I always wanted to go to Vietnam but I don't have the money yet to go there. I never knew I'll get the chance to experience Vietnam without the hassle of spending too much money, and the best part is, I don't need to leave the country.
My fellow bloggers, Rona and Aci trying out the traditional Vietnam outfit. Yes, they're renting out their outfits for just PhP 25.
If you want to experience Vietnamese culture without leaving the comforts of the Philippines, head to Barangay Sta. Lourdes, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Viet Ville is near Honday Bay and Sta. Lucia Hot Spring. For inquiry and/or reservations contact (0977) 456 7599.