Popular among locals and visitors and one of the cornerstones of Vietnamese culture, the handicraft industry continues to set the tone for what has made the country such an established name in the tourism industry. Using ancient techniques and trying to avoid including a completely machine-made end product, artisans around the country have stayed true to something that cannot be left aside when visiting. A famous region of the cradle of ceramic lies just outside Hanoi with all the material they need to fabricate pure master pieces from the lands and the nearby Red River and nearby ancient trade centres. Bat Trangs history and its prominent place in the world of fine ceramics expand across close to seven centuries, blending influences from regional traders and international visitors into their design.
This half day tour can both be booked in the morning or in the afternoon and commence with a pick-up from your downtown Hanoi hotel by an English speaking guide and head straight to Bat Trang. Situated in the Gia Lam district of Hanoi, the drive (around 20 minutes, depending on traffic and weather conditions) will take you through the outskirts of the capital, the location of setting up Bat Trang ceramic village is no coincidence: all ingredients for making high-end ceramics lies just at the doorsteps of this community alongside its old trading routes for domestic and international export. Aside from local household products, Bat Trang has gained a reputation for having expanded their ceramic production techniques to decorative items and small trinkets that make excellent souvenirs. All these novelties in producing Vietnamese porcelain has fortunately not diminished the quality and this makes it a popular shopping spot for locals and visitors, looking for quality in wholesale format. Skilled artisans are eager to demonstrate the ways on how they turn raw material into stunning examples of ceramic as you weave through the stalls and markets to bear witness of the immense assortment of pottery and porcelain items. Avid shoppers and those appreciating the finer art of ceramic making tend to extend their stay at Bat Trang, simply because there is so much to see and happening.
Before we move back to Hanoi, we make a stop at another cherished form of handicraft wood carving. The Dong Ky community, like the Bat Trang village, has kept generations-long traditions in turning wood into traditional Vietnamese furniture and household good alive. Wood carvers here especially have mastered combining wood carving with adding mother-of-pearl inlays, giving it its Vietnamese flair. This region has been established centuries ago where the wood carving techniques are carried over from generation to generation.It is time to head back after this 4-hour touring some of the great examples of Vietnamese handicraft and you will be brought back to your booked hotel in Hanoi.