Hanoi is one of the oldest capitals in the world with the age up to over 1000 years old. That is also the reason why people coming here have the same feeling of the combination between something new and old, noisy and quiet, open and close everywhere.
To make this thing clearer to you, in this article, we will take you around Hanoi to visit some well-known old villages to see that another side of Hanoi that is so old, simple but so charming as well.
And, some places that we would love to introduce you are: Bat Trang traditional ceramic village, (Gia Lam Town), Van Phuc silk village (Ha Dong District) and Duong Lam old village (Son Tay Town) are must-see during your Vietnam tour.
As you know, almost of villages in Hanoi is famous for not only their old and unique architecture of houses, temples or simple and friendly lifestyle of residents but also their traditional jobs that have been maintained generations by generations. It is the thing attracting many people inside and outside Vietnam coming here each year.
Bat Trang traditional ceramic village
This is the first place coming up in my mind when thinking about this topic. Bat Trang is an old village in Gia Lam District,about 10 km to the south – west of Hanoi. It is convenient for you to reach here by motorbike or take the bus number 47 from Hanoi to Bat Trang at the bus station near Long Bien Bridge.
According to some history documents, the village was established in the 14th – 15th century with the traditional job of making ceramic products from household appliance as bowl, dishes or cups to decorative things as flowerpots.Until now, after over 5 centuries, the job of ceramic production here has maintained and become so popular that Bat Trang is the first name called whenever people think about this kind of material in Vietnam. This brand name is also more and more familiar in some foreign markets. It is hard to give anexact answer for the question about how many constructions use the products from Bat Trang as material because of its high applicative ability.
As its traditional job, every household in Bat Trang Village has their own workshops with pottery kilns, turntables, etc for their production that you can see round the village. However, in recent years, when the trend of Hanoi traditional job village tour is hotter and hotter day by day, tourists are interested in visiting these workshops, watching artisans making products and trying to make something by themselves. It seems an interesting thing that no one can refuse to try at least one time.
Van Phuc Silk Village
Van Phuc is the name of an old village in Ha Dong Distric, about 10 km from the city center. As Bat Trang, these villages has been famous for its own traditional job of weaving and high standardize products made from silk such as clothes, crafts, bags or pockets since Nguyen dynasty. After the first time introduced at the Marseille International Fair (1931), Van Phuc silk are more and more popular. It is hard for anybody who visit Van Phuc silk village without buying something.Because these products are so amazing. This material is so light, soft; colorful that brings customers the comfortable feeling but also luxurious and elegant appearance. Moreover, the designs are so various from traditional to modern style and the price is suitable. With the amount money of 200,000vnd or 300,000 vnd you have got acheongsam or blouse from premium silk.
Until now, Van Phuc still protects and remains many things that are characteristic of a thousand – years – old village lying on the side of Nhue River. Visitors need little time to find out an ancient banyan tree, well around the village. However, the most attractive thing here is that people have chance to see old looms in operation. For many foreign tourists this is so strange and amazing. They are keen on giving the questions about how these loom work. Despite the fact that the residents need modern weaving machines for production requirement, many of them still keep these old ones as a proof of history. That is the way for the residents think of the past. Beside, Van Phuc traditional festival taking place annually on the 11st and 13rd, January is an expected event. There are many activities to honor the contribution and promote the traders to keep going on for the brighter future of the village.
Duong Lam old village
This is the last destination for our tour today and is different from others. Duong Lam does not mention as a traditional handicraft but ancient village and is the first one in Vietnam to become theNational cultural heritage in 5/2006.
Duong Lam village is next to 32 National high way, located in Son Tay town to the west of Hanoi. At the weekends, thousands domestic and foreign tourists reach here for the aim of understanding more about the life of ancient Vietnamese. Beside, people wish to keep away from the modern, stressful and noisy daily life to enjoy fresh air, peaceful and simple one here. How cool!
Actually, the term of Duong Lam ancient village is not about itself but also other villages. Particularly, the ancient Duong Lam includes Dong Sang, Mong Phu, Cam Thinh, Doai Giap and Lam Mo with the total old houses up to 956 that retains almost of feature of a model Vietnamese ancient house. It means that these houses are made from blocks of lateritic so their main color is red as well. it is sure that other characteristics of an old village such as wells, port villages, temples, courtyards, etc are everywhere in Duong Lam. Especially, the roads rounding the village has the shape as the bones of fish.
Because of its old, simple and meaningful beauty, Duong Lam becomes an attractive place for many couple conducting their wedding album. People would love to take their happy photos here with the expectation of their love will exit for a long time as houses here.
In conclusion, just by calling at top 3 old villages, all of us have a strange feeling about Hanoi. Whatever the life change, the past with all of its beauty and value always is one of the important part that need protecting and maintaining.