Bat Trang Ceramic Village could be half day trip from your hotel in Hanoi, but in this article I am writing about how we got a great full day trip to this ceramic village. The trip features a leisure visit to the suburb of central Hanoi, aiming to offer Hanoi visitors an interesting Hanoi cultural experience.
Located on the other side of the Red River, Bat Trang Ceramic Village is just 13 kilometers south east of the city center. For about 700 hundred years, this village has been famous for ceramic items and hardworking artistries.
Shortly drive from central Hanoi, the scenery quickly changes to rural villages, old aged pagodas, and charming lakes. The village is nestling between the Red River and the dyke, which was built since the 9th century.
From your hotel in the city central, you will cross the river and follow the dyke. You can have a quick at a morning market on the way, where the sounds and sights of the city seem to be far away from the life here. The market is a good introduction to the local cuisines, gathering in the crowd is fresh vegetables, fishes, frogs, meats, and the endless stalls of street foods.
From the market you can also drive to Chu Dong Tu temple, the most well-known temple in the area. The temple was established for the worship of Saint Chu Dong Tu, who is regarded as one of the Four Immortals of Vietnamese Deities. Local people call it “the temple of love”, as it is associated with the love story between poor Chu Dong Tu and princess Tien Dung about 5 thousand years ago.
From the temple, enjoy a leisurely walk along small roads to another village, where you will meet Mr. Nguyen Van An at his house. Most visitors are impressed with An’s 150 years old house, which has been passed down to generations. Filled with bonsais, fruit trees, and large wooden beams surrounding the house, the house shows itself a typical house of northern Vietnam in the 19th century.
Follow a cup of welcome tea and interesting conversation with your host, enjoy a cooking demonstration with An’s family. They will show you how they prepare and make Vietnam’s typical dishes, especially the famous spring rolls. Under the tree shades, lunch at the family would be much tastier and meaningful with authentic Vietnamese foods, all freshly cooked with your help.
After lunch, drive to Bat Trang Ceramic Village. You will visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village’s communal house, which was built under King Le Du Tong’s period in the 18th century. We will then visit artist Tran Van Do’s workshop, a French built house, and learn about the village’s life. With the artist’s instruction, you may try your hand in making your own ceramic products.
Continue on walking along narrow streets in the village, and see the vendors collecting ornamental wares, studios with huge antique collections, craftsmen working with old kilns, and packers loading trucks with different type of house wares. Of cause, you can pick any handmade products from any workshop there and order them to ship to your port.