5 traditional villages in Hanoi for a weekend visit
For visitors, you may spend some hours or even days at the end of your trip buying souvenirs for your friends and relatives. When it comes a place for souvenirs, Dong Xuan market or shops in the Hanoi Old Quarter may immediately pop in your mind. But when shopping, have you ever thought of where those ornate things come from or how they are made?
There are around 1,200 traditional villages in Hanoi. In the past, the economy of “do it yourselves” inspires the birth of many trade villages. Nowadays, those villages still make their traditional products for selling and also serve as a great place for visitors who wish to explore the past of this 1,000 year-old city.
Here, we would like to suggest you various traditional villages for your choice. The selected villages bring a wide choice for different crafts which satisfy different needs of visitors from a place of food to places of sophisticated handicrafts.
Top 5 traditional villages in Hanoi
Bat Trang Ceramic village:
Bat Trang is about 13 kilometers away in the southeast of Hanoi center. The traditional village is said to build in the 14th or 15th century. This place is widely famous for its ceramic products. The products here are divided into 3 kinds based on the purposes of users. That is, utilitarian wares include plates, bowls, teacups, wine bottles, kettles, flower pots, jars, vases, etc. What differentiates the products is that they are thicker than ones made in China. Worshiping wares are another kind comprising candle holders, lamp stands, altar boxes, incense burner, swords. The last kind is decorative objects such as altars, statues, house models and architectural fixtures. When you visit the village, let’s try to create your own products with the careful guidelines from the craftsman.
Thach Xa bamboo dragonfly village:
Thach Xa, which is located in Tay Phuong, about 35 kilometers from Hanoi city, is home to colorful and elaborated bamboo dragonflies you may see a lot in the local markets. The bamboo dragonflies are well-designed and eye-catching and can keep balanced themselves with their head on a small fulcrum. They are called bamboo dragonfly because they are made from bamboo with many long dots and a few termites. You want to know how this item is made? First, the makers split a long piece of bamboo, then they sharpen its body to form the wings of dragonfly. Next, they make the peak, fit the wings and use colors to decorate the final product. Among those steps, the most difficult one is to fit the wings which requires the makers to calculate thoroughly so that the dragonfly can perch on its own. After making sure that the dragonfly is balanced, the makers will use glue to stick and decorate it. Normally, there are three types of dragonfly depending on its size: small, medium and big with 12, 15 and 18 centimeters long respectively. Why don’t we try to make one by ourselves right?
Chang Son fan village:
About 30 kilometers to the northwest of Hanoi city, this is the place of Chang Son fan village located in Chang Son commune, Thach That suburban district of Hanoi. The village has been more than 100 years of operation. Since 19th century, the fans were shown in the galleries in the glamorous Paris by the French. For the best fan makers in the village, they will be named as “Ba Ho” – a feudal rank for a village’s rich man or notable.
Chang Son fans are well-known for their beauty and durability. To produce the best fans, the workers have to choose the best materials: the bamboo needs to be flexible with no moth; the rattan needs to be bright, long and not so tough.
What makes the fan making difficult is that the workers need to calculate accurately every small details on it which requires the workers to generate extreme caution. The fan is often printed with pictures of landscape or people. Thus, the folds have to stand in the center in order not to hinder the patterns printed on the fan.
Dao Thuc water puppet village:
Dao Thuc traditional village offers an intangible traditional product which is only “consumed” at the time of making. This is water puppet show. The village is now located in Thuy Lam commune, Dong Anh district, Hanoi. The father of this water puppet in the village is dedicated to Nguyen Dang Vinh.
The workers not only produce the puppets but also participates in the show. Some famous plays in the past include “Len Vong Xuong Nuoc”, “Ba Khi Giao Tro”, “Trau chui Ong”. Nowadays, if you visit the village, let’s ask for “Ruoc Anh Bac Ho”, “Tang Hoa Ngay Hoi”, or “Hanoi 12 days and nights” which give best give you about the glorious history of the country.
The time at the end of the year or at the beginning of the year is the most suitable time for enjoying water puppet show. During this time, there are about 20 plays being performed monthly. On such special occasion, the display place for water puppet shows is at the beautiful communal house near the pond.
Van Phuc Silk Village:
For handicraft lovers, Van Phuc silk village is a can-not-miss destination during their stay in Hanoi. The traditional village sits on the banks of Nhue Thi river, in Nguyen Trai road, near Ha Dong district which is about 8 kilometers to the southwest of Hanoi.
Van Phuc village is widely famous for its silk products, traditional weaving and sericulture. When visiting here, you are lured by a bunch of beautiful crafts, T-shirts, ties, dresses and many more made from silk. The special point is that, the village silk is made by so simple looms which is the traditional way Vietnamese makes silk.
Tourists cannot say no to the appealing of various silk products from raw materials to high-end products, accessories. If you wish to buy something from Vietnam as gifts for your family, silk and their products available around in the traditional village will best meet your demand.
When you want to discover something new besides the bustle spots in the city center, traditional villages will never fail to satisfy you. Now, which destination comes first in your itinerary?