If you come Vietnam, you absolutely have to come to see Bat Trang Ceramics Village, where has become one of the most favourite destinations of visitors. Here, you can make pottery by your own hand under the guidance of adept craftsmen. And finally, you can take it back your home town as souvenirs. That must be cool!
How you can find Bat Trang in Hanoi?
Just 15km to the west of Ha Noi, It is a place renowned over centuries for its silk-making and silk products – Van Phuc village in Ha Dong of former Ha Tay, Hanoi.
About Bat Trang’s history
Located in an area rich in clay, the village has advantage of ingredients to create fine ceramics. Moreover, lying besides the Red river, between Thang Long and Pho Hien, two ancient trade centers in the north of Vietnam during 15th-17th century, Bat Trang’s ceramics were favorite products not only in domestic market, but also foreign ones thanks to Japan, Chinese and Western trading boats that passed by.
There are always two stories concerning the village origin. One of these tells that under Ly dynasty, in 1100, when the nation was in its independence and initial growth period, there were 3 scholars who came back from their mission trip to China bringing the ceramic craft industry learned there back to Vietnam and taught the people of Bat Trang.
In the other story, in the village history dates back to the 10th century, when King Ly Cong Uan relocated the capital in Thang Long. With the establishment and development of the capital, many businessmen, crafters from many areas come to settle down here to work and trade.
Unique products that only Bat Trang has…
Process: To produce a complete product, one must follow 3 steps. The first step is making the product frame. The artists select the suitable clay, treat it and start making a raw product. It must be repaired to get the best appearance.
Secondly, they decorate and cover it with glazes. Last but not least, the raw products are baked in 3 days and 3 nights. There are several kinds of kiln, yet the temperature must be at 12000 or 13000. After baking, products are brought out, classified and repaired in case there are mistakes. And now we have the perfect product.
Popular product types
- Utilitarian wares: including plates, bowls, teacups, kettles, wine bottles, flowerpots, vases, jar… What differs is that they are thicker than Chinese ones.
- Cult wares: comprise lamp stands, candle holders, incense burner, altar boxes, swords… These are valuable for collectors because of inscription of the production years, the names of the producers and the potters.
- Decorative objects: house models, altars, statues and architectural fixtures.
- Exciting activities you can do in Bat Trang
Visiting Bat Trang, tourists can take a walk or join a buffalo tour for sightseeing and shopping. Besides many ceramic stores along the road in the village, tourists should visit Bat Trang Porcelain and Pottery Market where they can directly make pottery products by themselves. Many youngsters and foreign tourists are interested in in this pottery- making experience, and spend a whole day in the market to make a gift for family or friends.
Bat Trang ceramic village has become a popular destination for the young living in Hanoi (college or high school students) to visit during weekends. It has also become famous among foreign tourists who want to understand more about the historical and traditional values in each handicraft product. There are a lot of travel agencies that offer one day tour from Hanoi to the village at reasonable prices. Choose a tour that best fits your time frame and visit this beautiful village and may be buy some ceramic goods as souvenirs for your trip in Vietnam.
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