When it comes to Hoi An – Quang Nam, local tourists as well as internationals are used to thinking about an ancient city with a tranquil atmosphere. Hoi An always drives tourists a sense of relaxation and enjoyment with a host of famous destinations, such as Cau Pagoda (aka Japanese Covered Bridge), Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An market,… Among these attraction sites, tourists should not ignore a craft village where the culture and long-lasting history of Hoi An is well preserved and developed – Kim Bong Carpentry village.
Kim Bong Carpentry village is not the only place remaining the traditional habits and costumes of Hoi An; but it is also considered the origin of craftsmen generations nowadays. Along with Thanh Ha village and Tra Que village, Kim Bong village is a testament to a bustling, long-standing and prosperous land of Hoi An – the ancient capital of Vietnam during the 16th century.
With the convenient situation and come-in-handy commune, Kim Bong Carpentry Village used to be the hustling market and the interaction of many foreign merchants in Feudalism.
Nowadays, the village retains its traditions and develops the techniques of sculpture, which is considered “the specialty” of the village. The culprit behind the popularity of Kim Bong tourist attraction is the sophistication of craftsmen products as well as the long-ago history of an ancient village. Tourists coming from all regions always desire to come to discover the pastoral beauty of nature and subtle fingers of craftsmen here.
- Location: Cam Kim Commune, Hoi An city, Quang Nam Province
Opening hours: All day long
I. History of Kim Bong Carpentry Village
Besides the rustic features of caring products, what leaves foreign travelers curiosity and pleasure is the age-old history of the village.
It is rumored that Kim Bong carpentry ancestors were originated from the groups of people living along the Northern Delta, and the North Central region. They all were the skillful woodworkers leaving their hometown and wandering to make ends meet in the 15th century. At first, only a few woodworkers could manage and sustain their daily lives. Gradually, in addition to conventional cottages, and bamboo houses, they commenced making household appliances, vehicles, such as boats and ships, which fostered them to improve the living standard.
Since the end of the 16th century, with the development of the ancient city – Hoi An, Kim Bong Carpentry also has become a commercial international port, with shifts in economics and culture.
At that time, Hoi An, particularly Kim Bong village, underwent master urbanization, which brought the locals improvement in the standard of living. Owning the exquisite skills, craftsmen of Kim Bong could meet the requirements of the state of the art architecture, religious buildings, as well as advanced types of equipment for transportation, construction, and war. In addition, the products of the dexterous craftsmen were getting commonplace during the 1800s, which was applied by the techniques from Cham peoples, Chinese, and Japanese as well.
Although the carvings of Kim Bong artists are flawless creations, the integration policy and reforming movements indeed turn the traditional village into a model of tourism nowadays. Many investment and projects have been implemented to connect the downtown Hoi An and Cam Kim commune (the location of Kim Bong Carpentry village)
In brief, coming to Kim Bong Carpentry village, tourists would have a chance to explore the famous place with an over 600-year history in order to understand the “journey of becoming a pearl of Mother” and high points of this beautiful destination.
II. Highlights of Kim Bong Carpentry Village
This village is worth mentioning as a tourist trap in Hoi An thanks to its perfect combination of location, woodwork, as well as ancient buildings.
1. The Convenience of Location and Transportation
On the grounds that Cam Kim commune is situated nearly on the downstream of Thu Bon river, the transportation of merchants is partially facilitated. Moreover, the village is opposite the Hoi An ancient town, so tourists could easily commute from the town to the village through a 10-minute ferry. Cruising along the banks of Thu Bon river, travelers could contemplate magnificent scenery and impeccable carving buildings.
If you are unfamiliar with traveling by waterways, you definitely could reach the village by crossing Cam Kim bridge, which was constructed in 2016 to bond the village and Hoi An ancient town. Admittedly, the location and transportation have created the uniqueness and popularity of the village. Whatever the transportation you use, you still admire the carving artworks during your journey to the village.
2. The Rustic Features of Carvings
Besides the accessibility of the location, the rustic features of sculptures leave an unforgettable memory for tourists. It is the name of Kim Bong Carpentry village that reveals all the beauty and typical characteristics of a craft village.
Unlike other craft villages, Kim Bong products remain distinctive techniques, which only experienced craftsmen could realize and distinguish. The locals, especially veteran artisans shared that each of the craftsmen here is into making carving products and desire to put their soul into the smallest details.
Somewhat affected by the cultural exchange of the Northern Feudal system; however, all the patterns of Kim Bong artisans always take the image of a dragon, phoenix, and flowers as symbols of power, energy, and prosperity.
One special thing about the products of Kim Bong craftsmen is the structure and content of the completed ones. Through the pictures on the carvings, tourists may have an overview and feel the daily lives of Hoi An – A town of cultural values and long-lasting history.
3. The Ancient Constructions of Kim Bong Village
Another typical feature of Kim Bong Carpentry Village is perfectly demonstrated through antique buildings and churches in Hoi An. Any tourists paying a visit to Hoi An, definitely can’t forget the majestic but rustic entrance of Kim Bong village “LANG MOC KIM BONG”.
Not only the famous buildings in Kim Bong village but almost all other renowned wood constructions in Hoi An were designed and carved by the talented Kim Bong carpenters.
In addition to the ancient town of Hoi An during the Nguyen Dynasty, carpenters from Kim Bong village, as well as those from Van Ha and Quang Nam were introduced to model the Hue Capital. Each building, bridge, or church is meticulously chiseled, carved and engraved by refined artisans.
In fact, Kim Bong carpentry village has gained a reputation for not only wonderful location, rustic buildings, but also the prominent constructions, which attracts both domestic and foreign tourists to come and discover on a yearly basis.
III. What to Do in Kim Bong Carpentry Village?
The village is mainly divided into two separate areas: the West and the East. One is famous for household appliances, meanwhile the other is specialized in building ships and boats. Escaping from the craziness of the traffic and the contaminated atmosphere in one modern city, tourists can join in a host of outdoor activities, which somehow help them to alleviate the stress of daily lives.
1. Watching the Daily Routines of the Western Artisans
Famous for the sophistication and meticulosity in each step, all furniture and products are highly appreciated by nationally-acclaimed artisan groups. The popular products in the West of the village are indoor appliances, religious statues, as well as souvenir products.
Visiting the village, tourists can directly see the different stages before the large blocks of wood are turned into useful items in almost all households through the hands of skillful craftsmen.
It is surprising that besides working as craftsmen at their house, many local artisans have decided to move to the Hoi An ancient town to preserve and recover the historical relics and houses.
2. Moving to the Shipbuilding Area in the East
From the West of the village, you could easily stroll across the East and discover the activities of the locals here. Unlike the Western area, the main products of the craftsmen are the wooden ships, which has become an indispensable part of the Kim Bong people.
Traditionally-constructed ships with high techniques are created by different materials such as wood, bricks, and metals. Moreover, along the riverside of the West, tourists could contemplate a row of old big ships, which accompanied the locals during the exploration into the humongous ocean. These old ships are also the typical symbols, which remain the tradition and culture of the Kim Bong Carpentry village in particular, and Hoi An – Quang Nam in general.
One interesting thing about this land is that apart from the new modern ships, their daily responsibility is repairing and refurbishing the discarded ones. In other words, they revitalize and recharge the battery of the old ships with a view to taking advantage of them.
3. Dropping on the Souvenir Shops
Taking the enjoyable moments in the village and stopping at souvenir stores to purchase some carving items are always an unforgettable experience for any tourists.
Alongside the road, there is a numerous shop of small keepsakes where you and your family can keep for yourself.
The price of these items is affordable, sometimes cheaper than things you buy from other places because they are directly made by getting the best out of remains when making the furniture and household appliances.
The annual exhibition is often held by the local authority, so let’s check the calendar and come here on this special occasion to watch the most leading-edge products.
4. Participating in a One-Day Workshop in the Village
If you have a sense of curiosity about making a handmade craft, becoming an “apprentice carpenter” would be the best remedy.
The locals and the experienced artisans are willing to teach and introduce to the tourists the rudimentary knowledge of carving. Dropping on the workshop, tourists not only observe the full steps to create a fully work-out product but also create their favorite ones by themselves.
IV. How to Get to the Kim Bong Carpentry Village?
Kim Bong Carpentry village is located in Cam Kim Commune, Hoi An city, Quang Nam Province
There is a mass transit you could reach the village.
The most prevalent way for tourists to come to the village is taking a boat trip, stopping at the My Son Holy land before reaching the destination. A 10-minute boat trip will offer you a memorable experience.
Another way is traveling by bike or motorbike. You must get across the Cam Kim bridge with a length of 620 meters. After leaving the Thu Bon river, continue to travel 3 kilometers more, and you will reach the village.
V. Extra Tips on Traveling Kim Bong Carpentry Village
- Check the weather forecast to avoid traveling in the stormy and rainy season, which deter you against joining in outdoor activities
- Dressing casually, because the village is considered the countryside with traditional habits and costumes. The village entrance is free of charge
- The tour is suitable for a family trip, especially for children. They could widen their horizon about history as well as a valuable culture of Vietnam.
- There are numerous means of transportation at a very reasonable price you could you to travel there
Kim Bong carpentry village is the popular destination for both domestic and international tourists when setting foot into the ancient town Hoi An. This wonderful place offers tourists a chance to discover the long-lasting history and traditions, take