Vietnam is known for its impressive array of traditional craft villages that are dotted around the countryside. A sizable amount of these villages are still flourishing while many are dwindling as younger generations are not interested in pursuing the craft passed on through generations.
In Vietnam you don’t stumble upon villages, the settings of these craft hubs are in homes and off main routes. Driving towards these towns you do get an indication of the craft, as all villagers make effective use of the any unclaimed area which often happens to be the road fringes and community hall entrance slabs.
Once entering the humble village, grass in all forms are about. Bushels of ‘guet’ grass is carted, stacked, washed, hung and dried all over the place with much activity all around it. Sedge, corn leaves, rattan, bamboo and water hyacinths are popular alternative mediums to use in constructing baskets and products. Dwellings double up as workshops by day and back to family homes at night.
The village portrays a laid back and peaceful atmosphere on the surface however a vibrant activity takes place behind the scenes with multiple orders from around the globe.
Children are everywhere, some helping while others play alongside their parents at their workstations. Children just out from school follow us on bicycles as we amble along from one house industry to the other, laughing and practicing their English while giggling at some trying unsuccessfully.
There are several tour operators that will take you out on this excursion, keep in mind that it is at least a 5 hour trip there and back which includes the time spent at the little industries. Although it is only 45 km outside of Hanoi it could take you at least 1.5 hours to get there. We used amazing Thanh for this trip, she has in depth knowledge of most of the craft village with awesome English.
Her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org