Looking for memorable cultural experiences along with hands-on craft workshops? These traditional handicraft villages near Hanoi should definitely be on your travel list.
Discover one by one and you’ll be impressed by the skilled craftsmanship and refined products that Hanoi locals have cultivated.
Bat Trang Pottery Village
Vietnamese name: Làng gốm Bát Tràng
Location: Bat Trang commune, Gia Lam district, Hanoi – 20 km southeast of central Hanoi.
Highlights: Located 20km southeast of central Hanoi, Bat Trang pottery village should definitely be your next destination. With a rich history and a great reputation in the culture of pottery making in northern Vietnam, Bat Trang pottery curators are sure to amaze visitors with their skilled craftsmanship.
A wide collection of porcelain and ceramic artworks is always at your fingertips: from kitchen utensils (vases, bowls, plates, etc.) to charming souvenirs and more sophisticated works of art.
A super plus point why you should visit Bat Trang Village is that many pottery workshops are open in a day. With personalized instruction from the artisans, you can make your own piece of pottery and have it fired and glazed.
Transportation: As the destination is not so far from the center of Hanoi, you can have three choices: bus, motorbike or taxi. The cheapest way to get there is to take bus No. 47 from the city center, which only costs VND15,000.
Those who know how to drive a motorbike can rent one and enjoy the road map by themselves. For more convenience, you can opt for taxi, which costs from 200,000 VND.
Notes: If you buy a considerable number of porcelain or ceramic products, be sure to remind sellers to wrap and secure your product carefully. You don’t want them to break when you get home.
Van Phuc Silk Village
Vietnamese name: Làng lụa Vạn Phúc
Location: Van Phuc ward, Ha Dong district, Hanoi – 8 km southwest of Hanoi.
Highlights: One of the most exquisite fabrics on earth is silk. If you agree with me on that, you can’t miss Van Phuc Silk Village, which is just 8 km southwest of Hanoi.
Established over 100 years ago, Van Phuc has cultivated finely tuned silk weaving techniques, creating one of the most sophisticated silk garments. Once your skin touches Van Phuc silk, you can feel its light and irresistibly soft texture.
Among the traditional silks of the people, the most significant one is Van silk. It is a unique silk, with soft flowers on the surface of the silk, and sunken flowers that are only visible when exposed to light. If it were not for the hard work and endurance of the master craftsmen in difficult times, Van silk would have disappeared.
Strolling through the silk village, you will see the homes of hundreds of local artisans next to huge banyan trees, communal houses and ancient wells. In a short trip to the village, you will have a chance to visit the past and get delicate handicrafts and souvenirs at a reasonable price.
Transportation: Just like getting to Bat Trang, you can choose from the above 3 options, but as it is much closer to Hanoi, the fare of each option will be cheaper.
Note: Never worry about the size not fitting your body or the color not matching your skin tone. If you want to have your own silk clothes, just order it and the professional tailors at Van Phuc Silk Village will customize it to your liking.
Chuong conical hat making village.
Vietnamese name: Làng nón Chuông
Location: Phuong Trung Commune, Thanh Oai District, Hanoi – 30 km west of central Hanoi.
Highlights: Conical hat – Non La, along with “ao dai”, has always been the heart and soul of Vietnamese women, representing the soft and delicate charm. As simple as the Non La looks, it takes time and skill to master the working process behind it.
For those who yearn to learn about this process, the Chuong conical hat making village is waiting around the corner for you to discover.
There is no doubt that you can find and buy a conical hat in any shop. But after all, the best one is Chuong Conical Hat Making Village.
Made from palm leaves from Quang Binh province, silk thread from Trieu Khuc village and bamboo from Hoa Binh province, these hats meet all requirements: from soft texture and secure structure to intricate workmanship and quality. The conical hat can be used for protection from rain and sun, as well as a unique souvenir for friends and family.
Transportation: About 30-40 km west of central Hanoi, Chuong Conical Hat village is easy to reach. You can take a bus, call a taxi or ride a motorbike from Hanoi to Chuong village.
Dao Thuc Puppet Village
Vietnamese name: Làng rối Đào Thục
Location: Dao Thuc commune, Dong Anh district, Hanoi – 20 km from the center of Hanoi.
Highlights: Dao Thuc village, nestled in Dong Anh district, is famous for its 300-year-old water puppets. Thuy Dinh, a replica of a temple façade of traditional northern architecture set in a beautiful pond surrounded by green banyan trees, is the main stage for water puppet shows during the day.
In Dao Thuc water puppet village, the puppets were created by the villagers themselves representing characters from Vietnamese folk tales. Each puppet is usually about 30-40 cm high, made of wood and painted on the outside to make it waterproof.
If in other puppet pavilions, puppets can only enter the racks by going backwards or diagonally, in Dao Thuc, the artisans can master the puppet to the left, to the right and enter the racks by turning around.
As the performance unfolds before the curtain, the puppeteers stand in waist-deep water behind Thuy Dinh, separated from the front stage by a split bamboo screen, and operate the puppets with bamboo rods, strings, and pulleys hidden underwater.
Each puppet maneuver is skillfully manipulated to be naturally synchronized with the speeches of the characters, as well as the melodies and rhythms of the background music.
With plots closely related to Vietnamese folklore or daily routines, visitors can learn more about Vietnamese countryside culture.
Cu Da Vermicelli Village
Vietnamese name: Làng miến Cự Đà
Location: Cu Khe commune, Thanh Oai district, Hanoi – 13 km from the center of Hanoi.
Highlights: Cu Da ancient village is not only famous for being a unique cultural site, which still preserves a collection of old Vietnamese-style buildings with impressive architecture, but also a place known for its largest noodle production in the Northern Delta.
Vermicelli, glass noodles, or as we call them “miến” in Vietnamese, can be found in many special dishes such as pho, spring rolls, noodle soups or can be served with grilled meat, but nowhere are they more present than in Cu Da village.
The people of this village make very good use of their space, as you can find white and yellow glass noodles hanging everywhere, covering roofs and walls, and just about any surface you can hang noodles from.
At first, Cu Da villagers only made noodles as their own food, but with its real quality, it became so popular that it became the main business of the village, with hundreds of tons sold every year.
Quang Phu Cau incense making village.
Vietnamese name: Làng Quảng Phú Cầu
Location: Ung Hoa District, Hanoi – 35 km from the center of Hanoi.
Highlights: Quang Phu Cau village in Ung Hoa District, 35 km from downtown Hanoi, is famous for its centuries-old incense-making crafts.
Throughout the villages of Cau Bau, Phu Luong Thuong and Dao Tu, the streets have been dyed pink and red incense sticks. Here, dozens of craftsmen work hard every day dyeing, drying and cutting bamboo to make incense sticks for the Lunar New Year.
Sales skyrocket every year before and during the New Year, between mid-January and mid-February, when people visit temples and light incense or burn sticks on the ancestral altar at home.
The people’s products are bought not only in Vietnam, but also in other Asian countries – India, China, Malaysia, etc. On average, Quang Phu Cau uses about 200 tons of materials per month and produces 50 tons of incense.
Many images taken here by talented photographers have won high places in international photography competitions.
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