Exploring ancient handicraft villages in Hanoi
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Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam has a lot of things to see and to do. With the history of over a 1000 years, Hanoi owns plenty of interesting historical sites, especially the ancient handicraft villages. When you travel to Hanoi, besides exploring the Old Quarter and delicious street food, you should make a Hanoi day tour to these best ancient handicraft villages:
Bat Trang Ceramic village
Bat Trang ceramic village
Bat Trang is the ceramic village which is located about 10km from Hanoi city center. It is one of the oldest handicraft villages in Northern Vietnam. Bat Trang has existed for 500 years and the local people has made pottery for hundreds of years. The village is very peaceful and tranquil. You can admire the picture of Vietnamese countryside with the paddy fields, water buffaloes, small roads and red roof small houses.
There are various kinds of pottery in different styles, for example: jade enamel (under the Ly-Tran Dynasties), brown flower or brown enamel (under the late Tran to early Le Dynasties), cracked enamel (under the late Le Dynasty) and royal blue enameled items (under the late Le to Nguyen Dynasties).
You have the chance to learn about pottery and make your own ceramic products under the guidance of local artisans. Besides, there are many shops selling ceramic products, from traditional ones to very modern and cute animation characters and animals made of pottery. You will have a good time shopping for souvenirs and gifts.
Van Phuc Silk Village
Van Phuc silk village
Van Phuc silk village is located in Ha Dong district, about 10 km from Hanoi center. It is well-known for traditional sericulture, weaving, and silk products. You will be amazed by the process of local people making silk and other products made of silk such as shirt, scarf, dress, etc.
In the past, silk was considered as one of the best luxurious and royal material and was normally used by the kings and royal families. And Van Phuc was one of the most well-known village making silk and clothes from silk for the kings. Local people here have their own special methods to weave silk. And the quality of the silk is very good.
Coming to Van Phuc, besides exploring the making of silk of locals, you can shop a lot of silk products. In the village, 90% of the households do the business of silk products. On the road in the village, there are a lot of shops selling silk which can make you overwhelmed. You can shop different products with different styles and colors such as clothes, scarf, ‘ao dai’ (traditional Vietnamese dress), etc. Your Hanoi day tour will be fascinating when exploring Van Phuc Silk Village.
Dong Ho painting village
Dong Ho paintings
Your Hanoi day trip will be more interesting if you visit Dong Ho painting village. This is a very special handicraft village because local people here are great painters and artisans. Dong Ho painting village has stood for centuries and become one of the most famous places to produce amazing traditional paintings. Dong Ho is located in Bac Ninh Province, only 35km from Hanoi. Though the village is not in Hanoi, it is very easy to get to Dong Ho in your Hanoi day tour because of its short distance.
In the past, Dong Ho paintings were drawn and sold in the Lunar New Year. And they were both used by rich powerful people and the farmers. The paintings were made on ‘diep’ papers with natural colors taken from half-baked bricks, tree leaves, powder of ground burned tree – roots and a background made from a mixture of lime. The paintings reflect the wish of people for peace, prosperity, and happiness. You will be amazed at the beauty of these paintings and the diversity of colors used in these old paintings.
Visiting Dong Ho, you will have the chance to experience the ancient art of Vietnamese people and enjoy the very ancient paintings. You can visit the galleries of artist Nguyen Huu Sam and Nguyen Dang Che – the two masters in making traditional paintings in Dong Ho.
Time passed by. A lot of traditional handicraft villages disappeared. However, some still maintain and become precious cultural heritages of Vietnamese people. If you plan to make a Hanoi day trip and still do not know where to go in Hanoi, you should consider a cultural tour to explore these handicraft villages. You will see very interesting things about Hanoi.