Vietnamese Handicraft Villages
||For centuries hundreds of villages all over Vietnam have produced special crafts and products that are used for Tet (Vietnamese New Year) celebrations and other holidays. Sometimes the production of these beautiful objects can absorb the attention of everyone in the village.
The very best of these ‘factories’ are recognized by Vietnamese people as the best producers of a particular object, and enjoy national recognition for their handiwork. Everything from firecrackers to silk paintings, woodcarvings to ceramics and puppets to pottery are made in these locations and can make unique gifts for friends and family at home, or as an exotic reminder of your trip to Vietnam. When paying a visit, you can chat with these artisans, and even try the handiwork yourself.
Bat Trang Pottery Village
The Bat Trang pottery village is one of the most famous of the craft villages in Vietnam. It’s so close to Hanoi, you can visit it on a half-day tour. Famous for its fired clay pottery (with a temperature of 1,200 degrees, the ceramics are well known for being difficult to break) Since the 15th century this village of the 2,000 families has been creating earthenware and ceramic creations.
Ha Dong Silk Making Village
Villagers gather mulberry leaves to feed the hungry silkworms. The traditional way of growing silkworms was imported from China, and today flourishes in many parts of the country. When the worms have woven a silken cocoon, the animals are boiled and the cocoon is carefully unraveled. The thread is carefully woven into all sorts of different things like placemats, shirts, etc.
Chuong My Wood Carving Village
Located in the Ha Tay province, this village is famous for creating more traditional crafts related to wood carving. It’s the mother of pearl inlay that makes it so popular, and this wasn’t started until the Ly Dynasty.
A visit here can be made in combination with a trip to Hoa Lu, because it's 35 kilometers south of Hanoi.
Van Ha Puppet Making Village
Vietnamese Water Puppet shows are now popular the world over, and if you have an interest in how the implements of this art form are made, come to the Van Ha village.
Duyen Thai Lacquer ware Village
In this village, all kinds of lacquer ware products are made, including those using small slivers of mother of pearl, that are expertly placed into small grooves. The pieces are then painted with layers of lacquer. Each piece can take months to complete.
Dong Ho Paper Making Village
This village is located in Ha Bac province, the province just north of Hanoi. It’s been made famous for the folk themes printed onto a special paper made from the Do tree. Artisans in this village carve images onto thin wood blocks that are carefully layered with paint; then printed onto the specially made paper. These designs are particularly popular around Tet.
Co Do Silk Village
Sent to this village by her father, to help villagers grow silk, Princess Hoang Phu Thieu Hoa helped begin an industry that stretches all over the country today. Silk is produced by special worms that eat solely mulberry leaves, and these are gathered by children to feed the greedy animals. Once they have rolled a cocoon, the animals are boiled alive, and the cocoon is unraveled carefully to extract the precious thread. Popular designs include dragons, flowers and other Vietnamese legends.
Xuan La Chicken's toy
There is a traditonal craft to make chicken's toys in existence for more than two hundred years now in Xuan La village, Phuong Duc commune, Phu Xuyen District, Ha Tay province. It's been handed down from generations, it's not only farmers' profit-making job off-harvest-season but it's a cultural identity of Vietnam craft-villagers.
Material to make children's toys are such a little rice-powder colored in red, yellow, black, brown---Tools to use are more reudimenr\tary: Just a comb for decoration, a knife, a few coloured inks, beeswax and some small bamboo sticks. In a few minutes, a highly-skilled artisan create children's most favoutite toys both funny and fine-looking. Quan Cong ( chinesse legendary general), Ton NGo KHong ( a chiftain monkey), roses.. or even 12 zodiac animals. Sometimes, toys are made on given models. So, the artisans have to be imaginative, creative and well-read to meet customers's demands, there might be inventions but almost trustful to ordered models.
Thu Bon River Islands
While visiting the historic and ancient port town of Hoi An, stop off at some of the islands in Thu Bon river, where artisans creating woodblock prints, silk weavings and other crafts offer a uniquely central Vietnamese art experience.