Famous for the land of handicraft villages, Hanoi has many famous villages in the suburban area, one of these is Bat Trang Pottery village. About 13km to the south of Hanoi, Bat Trang – the village of bowls which is indeed the oldest and best known pottery village of Vietnam, is now an interesting attraction in Hanoi that tourists should not ignore.
Bat Trang village is said to be established in 14th or 15th century in several documents. However, according to the villagers, the village perhaps appeared earlier. In a story told that in the 10th century, when King Ly Cong Uan relocated the capital in Thang Long. With the establishment and development of the capital, many businessmen, crafters from many areas come to settle down here to work and trade. In Bat Trang, there was a lot of white clay, so that many potters came and built the kilns here. As time went by, the village’s products have developed and become well known for the best quality, style and glaze, both inside and outside of the nation. Many of these are now customized for aristocratic families and religious needs. It is also exported to popular foreign markets like Japan, the Netherlands, Britain, Portugal, Southeast Asia and so on.
Bat Trang products are divided into 3 categories based on purposes of use. Utilitarian wares include plates, bowls, teacups, kettles, wine bottles, flowerpots, vases, jar and so on. Cult wares comprise lamp stands, candle holders, incense burner, altar boxes, swords… These are valuable for collectors because of inscription of the production years, the names of the producers and the potters. The final kind is decorative objects which include house models, altars, statues and architectural fixtures. One thing that makes Bat Trang products different from others is the glaze which is of high quality and a variety of colors, such as blue, brown, white, moss green, in both breaking and melting glazes. Another thing is diversified decorations on products with a lot of different special design.
Bat Trang pottery Village is worth to visit. Stroll along the Red River and visit the pagoda in the heart of the village passing through narrow alleys. Travelers might discover several pottery workshops and enjoy seeing artists working. You even could try your hands on it.