Vietnam is one of the most popular and favorite destinations in South East Asia. It is not only because of the beautiful landscape but also the longstanding traditional craft villages. These villages have been well preserved from generations to generations and existed for centuries. Their products have been well known in both domestic and international markets.Vietnamese customs, traditions, and cultures, all can be seen through these products. So, if you have a chance to visit Vietnam, don’t forget to add one of the below traditional craft villages in Vietnam to your list.
I. 8 Traditional Craft Villages in Northern Vietnam
1. Bat Trang Pottery Making Village (Hanoi)
Highlights: Taking advantage of the clay-rich area, Bat Trang village has created fine ceramics. The products from the village are highly rated by not only the domestic but also international markets including Chinese, Japanese, and Western. They are widely used for daily household use and worshipping as well as decoration purposes. At Bat Trang village, there are plenty of activities for tourists, including directly making pottery products, taking a walk around the village, or joining a buffalo tour for shopping and sightseeing. Visitors can easily get here by taking a 20-minute drive from Hanoi center.
Location: Bat Trang commune, Gia Lam district, Hanoi
2. Quat Dong Embroidery Village (Hanoi)
Highlights: 20 km from Hanoi, Quat Dong embroidery village is famous nationwide for its unique embroidery technique. For most Quat Dong villagers, embroidery is considered as their long-standing tradition. The intricate needlework was done by all villagers, regardless of gender or age. Everyday, they will spend a dozen hours creating their lively artwork. Witnessing how the villagers do their work, you can admire how the wonderful art has been created from the simple cloth to marvelous and beautiful pieces. The magic lies in the colorful threads and the small needle and the passion of the local villagers. Without the passion, no one can sit for hours and use the needle to make such aesthetic cloth. The products have different designs such as folktale scenes, flowers, countryside landscape, or a beautiful woman.
Location: Thuong Tin district, Hanoi
3. Van Phuc Silk Village (Hanoi)
Highlights: Mentioning about silk weaving techniques in Vietnam, there is nowhere else to visit than Van Phuc silk village. Established more than 100 years ago, it is one of the most visited traditional crafts villages in Hanoi. The silk village is home to hundreds of local artisans, massive banyan trees, communal houses, and ancient wells. Its silk products have gained popularity for its light weight and smooth texture. Van Phuc village does not only sell the silk products to locals and tourists but also export to many countries in the world. Just a short drive to the village, you will have a chance to step back in time and get perfect handicrafts and souvenirs at a reasonable price.
Location: Van Phuc ward, Ha Dong district, Hanoi
4. Kim Son Sedge Mats Village (Ninh Binh)
Highlights: Located 30 kilometers from Ninh Binh city, Kim Don village is well known for high quality sedge handicraft products. Thanks to a vast alluvial soils, it is an ideal condition for villagers to grow sedge plants. The freshly harvested sedges are cut before they are dried and brought in the market. Then, they will be woven into mats and other products that you can admire upon arriving in the village. The mats made by Kim Son villagers are beautiful, very durable, and hard to find in other places. Nowadays, the products from the sedge get more diverse and rich, including lanterns, carpet, boxes, cups, handbags,… So, don’t forget to buy one for you and your family.
Location: Kim Son district, Ninh Binh province
5. Dong Ho Folk Painting Village (Bac Ninh)
Highlights: Dong Ho Folk Painting village is the place that will surprise many art lovers. As its name suggests, the main product of the village is impressive folk paintings. The village is quite small and there are no more than 200 households here. Villagers get their main income from making paintings. Looking at their products, you will surely get a deeper insight into the beauty of Vietnam as well as the traditional customers and Vietnamese festivals. These paintings used to be precious decorations during the Tet holiday. Dong Ho paintings are so unique as they are printed on poonah or Do paper (made from the powders of Do trees). There are 5 main colors used in the paintings, including green, red, yellow, black and indigo. These colors are mostly created from natural materials like bricks, flowers, straw, and different trees,…
Location: Dong Ho commune, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province
6. Chuong Conical Hat Making Village (Hanoi)
Highlights: Conical hat, along with “ao dai”, is considered as the iconic symbol of Vietnamese women’s costumes. Have you ever wondered how Vietnamese conical hats are made? Let’s head to Chuong conical hat making village located on the west of Hanoi. Many generations in the village have worked quietly to keep and uphold this long standing custom of making traditional conical hats. Obviously, you can easily buy a conical hat in other places; however, the products of Chuong village are still the best. Made from palm leaves from Quang Binh province, silk thread from Trieu Khuc village, and bamboo from Hoa Binh province, these hats are stunning and robust. You can use the conical hat to shelter from the rain and sun, as well as give it to your friends as a souvenir.
Location: Phuong Trung commune, Thanh Oai district, Hanoi
7. Vong Green Young Sticky Rice Making Village (Hanoi)
Highlights: Speaking of culinary culture in Hanoi, it would be a miss if not mentioning green young sticky rice – a specialty of Hanoi. This specialty is a favorite elegant food in the fall season. The special taste of green sticky rice will be a great gift for many travelers. This food can be eaten by hand, and usually served with ripe bananas. Eating green sticky rice slowly, you will appreciate the scents, the tastes, and the sweet, buttery, and nutty taste of the young rice. Vong village is the best place to see the process of making the sticky rice to get the best taste.
Location: Vong village, Dich Vong ward, Cau Giay district, Hanoi
8. Lang Van Rice Wine Village (Bac Giang)
Highlights: Lang Van rice wine has been well known for local wine lovers. The wine is said to be glassy and beautiful as the sunlight in the summer. The wine must be made from the Golden flower glutinous rice (so-called Nep cai hoa vang) that is planted in the fields of Van Xa village, Van Ha commune, Bac Giang province. The wine will add a special essence to your meal. And, it is also a favorite gift to buy in this province of Northern Vietnam.
Location: Van village, Van Ha commune, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province
II. 5 Traditional crafts village in central Vietnam
1. Bau Truc Pottery Making Village (Ninh Thuan)
Highlights: If you have a chance to visit central Vietnam, don’t forget to visit Bau Truc pottery making village – the oldest pottery village in Southeast Asia. Located about 10 km from the south of Phan Rang town, it is home to more than 400 families, of which about 85% make a living by traditional pottery making craft.
The village has existed for over 200 years and most of the households are Cham people. Bau Truc is also named after the original name Paley HamuTrok – meaning the part at the end of the river. Its pottery craft started by a Cham man called Poklong Chan and has remained well until now. Unlike other traditional craft villages, Bau Truc looks very spacious and modern with concrete-paved streets, houses with red roofs, and stores. Coming here, you will see all the households busy with their works as well as instructing other visitors. Every product from the village is identical, featuring the daily life of Cham people. Decorated with available items like simple flowers, seashells, or hand-made paintings, the products still look impressive.
Location: Phuoc Dan Town, Ninh Phuoc district, Ninh Thuan province
2. Yen Thai Poonah-paper Making Village (Quang Binh)
Highlights: Papermaking has existed in Quang Binh for more than 6 centuries. Yen Thai village has been famous for producing different kinds of paper, including edict papers (writing royal edicts) and order papers (writing the King’s orders). The material for making these papers are taken from the poonah trees which are typical in the northern provinces of Vietnam. Yen Thai villagers have to go through many precise and complicated processing steps, from selecting good materials to soaking them in water, pounding and flattening,…. The products are widely used for writing Han scripts, printing folk paintings and books.
Location: Yen Thai village, Quang Binh province
3. Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village (Da Nang)
Highlights: Coming to Danang, don’t miss your chance to visit Non Nuoc stone carving village – an unique craft village in central Vietnam. Proud of the long history covering more than 200 years, the carvers in Non Nuoc village are well aware of maintaining the relic site and protecting their traditional skills. The craft products were initially made to serve the daily life of local people, including grain grinders, rice mortars, and tombstones. Recently, the products have been expanded and become one of the highest value exports of the city. There are thousands of carvers with more than 300 carving businesses in the village.
Location: Non Nuoc stone carving village, Hoa Hai ward, Ngu Hanh Son district, Da Nang.
4. Kim Bong Carpentry Village (Hoi An – Quang Nam)
Highlights: Kim Bong carpentry village is one of the famous craft villages that marks unique cultural values and many artistic works. The village attracts many domestic and international tourists by its beautiful and impressive products made from wood. Started from the 16th century, Kim Bong carpentry’s style is a great mixture of China, Japanese, Cham kingdom, and the talented hands of Vietnamese craftsmen. There is no entrance fee to the village. Here, you are free to get to know the work of real carvers and visit the souvenir shops of local people to buy small items for your fiends.
Location: Kim Bong carpentry village, Cam Kim commune, Hoi An, Quang Nam
5. Phuoc Kieu Bronze-casting Village (Quang Nam)
Highlights: On your trip to Hoi An ancient town, there is no reason to visit Phuoc Kieu village which is well known for traditional bronze casting. Founded in the 16th century, the skillful hands of local villagers have made various bronze products like ancient vases, burners, and lamp holders. Besides, it also produces numerous instruments, especially “gong” for ethnic communities in Vietnam. Visiting the village, you can observe the whole process of making bronze products, from scratch to final products. Different to other villages, observing the process in Phuoc Kieu village is more fun with bronze musical performance from the artists. It is quite a worthy experience to visit the village to get to know about one of the oldest traditional crafts in Vietnam.
Location: Dien Phuong commune, Dien Ban district, Quang Nam province.
III. 3 Traditional crafts village in southern Vietnam
1. Tan Chau Black Silk Village (An Giang)
Highlights: Back in the 20th century, clothes made of Tan Chau silk was the dream of any Vietnamese ladies. Taking a tour to this village and touching the product with your own hands, you will understand why it is so famous. Tan Chau village is located in the northwest of An Giang province. Visiting Tan Chau, you can see the immerse green of mulberry stretching along the banks of river to the field, from a village to another village. The friendly villagers will teach you the steps of making the silk. In some steps like turning the silk, you can try to do it yourself under the instruction of local villagers.
Location: Tan Chau town, An Giang province
2. Ben Tre Coconut Candy Village (Ben Tre)
Highlights: When you are near the coconut village, you can smell the typical taste of coconuts. Ben Tre coconut candy village is truly a memorable and must-visit traditional craft village in Vietnam. Though there are countless candy villages in Mekong Delta, Ben Tre coconut candy village is the first one that creates and develops the art of making coconut candy. The distinctive flavor of Ben Tre village is created by using different materials such as sugar, malt, coconut milk,… The candies show the great value of local culture as well as the traditional manual labor.
Location: Mo Cay town, Mo Cay district, Ben Tre province
3. Ba Dai Ship-crafting Village (Dong Thap)
Highlights: The culture of Mekong Delta might be best represented in Ba Dai ship-crafting village. As the area is formed by a huge network of river and canals, sampan or boats are the most used transportation for the locals. With more than 200 families, Ba Dai village produces up to 10.000 junk boats annually. Ship making craft has existed for a century here and is recognized as a national cultural heritage in the southwestern region. Unlike other boats, Ba Dai boats are quite popular and known as the best brands for appealing looks and high quality. Coming here, apart from finding a new look in the list of Vietnamese crafts, you also can make a souvenir on your own and give it to your friends and family.
Location: Long Hau commune, Lai Vung district, Dong Thap province
With the above list of traditional craft villages in Vietnam, we hope that you can choose a favorite one to visit. We are sure that they will make your trip in Vietnam more sparkling and memorable.