Phong Phu Communal House, Thu Duc City, was built at the end of the 19th century. Below the main hall there is a tunnel, which was once a shelter for soldiers during the war.
Phong Phu communal house is located on the street of the same name in Tang Nhon Phu B ward, built around 1880, worshiping the Tutelary God according to the Vietnamese custom of worshiping gods.
The communal house has a traditional Southern style, with main items along the vertical axis such as the three-entrance gate, front hall, and main hall. Symmetrical about the main axis, the right side is the traditional house, and the left is the fruit and vegetable washing house.
In the communal house, there is also a secret tunnel, completed in 1959, which is a place to hide, escape and store food and weapons for the soldiers.
According to Mr. Phan Hai Nam, Deputy Head of the communal house, the entrance to the tunnel was originally under the altar of the main hall but is now blocked, only the way down outside the communal house is open. Previously, the camouflaged tunnel door was now built on a surface, with doors, roofs and signage for people to easily visit.
The entrance to the tunnel is circular, previously disguised as a bathroom manhole, about 40 cm wide, only enough for one adult to fit through. The tunnel has stairs going down, about 2 m deep.
The tunnel is nearly 100 m long, about 50 cm wide, just enough for one person to walk, and the height is from 1.5 to 1.7 m. The tunnel is surrounded by solid cement. “The tunnel is now equipped with lights and ventilation fans, so it is quite airy and easy to move around,” Mr. Nam said.
In the middle of the tunnel is an area about 2 m2 wide, with steps for sitting, resting, secret meetings or storing weapons.
There are small vents on the roof of the tunnel, camouflaged on the outside by termite mounds.
The tunnel walls are equipped with iron hooks to hang hammocks to rest while taking shelter.
The tunnel exit leads to a dense forest, about 100 meters from the communal house. Previously, this exit was camouflaged by a termite mound (right corner).
A vent in the forest, now solidly built with bricks for ease of visit and preservation.
The main hall still retains its ancient features after many renovations. On the roof of the vestibule, there is a decoration of two dragons and pearl paintings inlaid with multi-colored ceramics.
Inside the communal house worshiping the Tutelary God, on both sides are the altars of Ta ban and Huu ban (the generals who follow the guardian god). Behind the wall is the altar of the Immortals and Late Sages, who are people who have publicly established and contributed to Phong Phu village.
The altar is surrounded by decorated with gorgeous carved wooden panels, on the walls and columns there are many horizontal panels and couplets painted brilliantly in red and gold.
Phong Phu Communal House is located in a land area of more than 4 hectares, surrounded by long-standing forests.
Ky Yen festival is the main festival of Phong Phu communal house, taking place on the 14th to 16th day of the 11th lunar month every year. This is the largest sacrificial ceremony to the Tutelary God among communal houses in the South. In 1993, the communal house was recognized as a national historical site.