Fodor's Expert Review Tran Family Chapel
This elegantly designed house was built in 1802 by Tran Tu Nhuc, a 19th-century Mandarin and Chinese ambassador, as a place of worship for the Tran family's deceased ancestors. It's packed full of interesting antiquities. In the morning, light floods down through a glass tile in the roof, illuminating the family altar that stands behind three sliding doors—the left for men and the right for women. The central door (designed for deceased ancestors to return home) is opened only at Tet and other festivals; it's an architectural touch common for older residential houses throughout the country.
The altar houses a box with pictures and names of dead relatives, a 250-year-old book that records the Tran family history, and a bowl of Chinese coins representing yin and yang—toss one for good luck. Tours are given in English by members of the Tran family.