1. Bat Trang Pottery Village
Location: Bat Trang Commune, Gia Lam District. Lying on the left bank of the Red River, it is situated in the south-east of central Hanoi for over 10km.
Description: Bat Trang Pottery Village has been located in Hanoi’s suburb as a handicraft village for over 5 centuries. The name “Bat Trang” was first called in Le Dynasty.
The ceramics of this village has been well-known with its fine and polished glaze since the very first days. In the past, as its popularity was rising, a large number of pottery products had spread throughout the country as well as they were traded to others like Japan and some Western nations. As time passes, Bat Trang ceramics has established a stable position in Vietnamese culture. This village is currently regarded as one of the most popular attractions in Hanoi’s suburb, which is a must-do if the tourists want to explore every corner of our capital.
What to do: While visiting this site, the guests can also have the opportunity to create their own art pieces. The price for just painting and decorating variesfrom 15.000 to 30.000 VND. If you prefer to bring your objects home, you will have to pay 40.000 to 60.000 VND, depending on whether it is take-away or burned products. Home delivery is also available if you are not patient enough to wait for your products being burned.
2. Van Phuc Silk Village
Location: Van Phuc precinct, Ha Dong district. The distance from central Hanoi is about 10 km.
Description: According to the legend, a thousand years ago, the first person who brought the notion of silk-weaving to Van Phuc village was the wife of the local administrator. After she had passed away, the local people worshipped her as the Genie of this village.
Since the ancient time, Van Phuc’s silk has been recognized as the most long-standing one of the kind. The quality of Van Phuc products was so splendid that it used to be the sole cloth under a Vietnamese feudalism dynasty, which had been worn by the mandarins and their Emperor. Along with the longevity, its silk has impressed people by the diversity of patterns. The figures on these patterns are normally things which are familiar with Vietnamese traditional culture, such as the four holy creatures (dragon, phoenix, unicorn, turtle) or our national flower (lotus blossoms upon a swamp) and the imitation of some historical sites in Hanoi. For the record, the first time when Van Phuc silk was introduced abroad had been the year 1931 at a national fair which was held in France. Thereafter, its products were gradually exported to other European countries. As a result, in 1990, silky clothes producing by Van Phuc villagers officially made its appearance in many countries worldwide.
What to do: With over 300 weaving machines are owned by the villagers, the tourists are able to order hand-made silky clothes. Furthermore, visiting their workshops and watching the processes of clothes-making are also worth to try.
3. Duong Lam Ancient Village
Location: Son Tay town, about 50 km away from central Hanoi.
Description: This is one of the rare villages in Vietnam which still maintain their ancient architectural style. The very first houses in this village were built 3 centuries ago. Its specialty has been an array of precious historical and cultural attractions, especially Ngo Quyen temple andPhung Hung communal house. Those sites display the altars of two remarkable Generalswho played great importance to the country’s liberation under the feudalism system. Another striking feature of this place is a chain of beautiful heritage houses, apart from some typical ancestors’ altars.
What to do: Occasionally, typical festivals which reflect the daily activities of Vietnamese farmers would be held in this village. You should expect to see traditional games such as fighting-cock or chess battles in some ceremonies. Moreover, a walking tour in the afternoon would be good idea as you can catch the twilight among a peaceful atmosphere of the countryside.
4. ThanhChuong Palace
Location: Soc Son district, approximately 30km from Hanoi’s center.
Description: This palace belongs to a famous contemporary artist whose name is ThanhChuong. He is most well-known for his picture which was printed as a UN stamp in 2001. After rejoining his family from a long trip to Switzerland, he ordered to construct this palace as soon as possible. Two years later, the inauguration ceremony was held in a truly joyful and artistic environment. The whole structure is estimated over 10 000 m2 in terms of its area. It is enjoyable to note that ThanhChuong was the only architect who designed the palace. Therefore, this man is not only regarded as the owner but he is also the sole creator of a great artistic mansion. On his perspective, ThanhChuong wished to somehow maintain the value of Vietnamese ancient culture as well as expressing his patriotism in the most attractive way it can be.
What to do: While visiting the palace, the tourists have the chance to see some of the owner’s artwork at the gallery within that complex. In addition, the exhibition of many original souvenirs is another piece of puzzles to create the wonderfully artistic world.ThanhChuong palace also offers the guests a professional culinary service with a variety of Vietnamese cuisines, thanks to the traditional restaurant inside this palace. Last but not least, it is quite a pity if you come to this place without trying the lotus tea at the Perfume Tea store. You will be amazed by all the fresh smell as well as its refined taste.
Written by Dinh Khanh Phuong – PR Department