Discovering another Hoi An

By  HOANG LY - DIEU HIEN |

(QNO) - The unusualness of Hoi An lies in the villages of Tra Que vegetable, Kim Bong carpentry or Thanh Ha pottery.

Usually, thinking of Hoi An is thinking of the Hoai poetic river or the ancient houses which are very attractive to visitors. However, the strong fascination for tourists in Hoi An is not just in the ancient beauty but in the traditional craft villages – the culture point that has been protected for a long time.

Hoi An now remains about 12 craft villages professionally producing traditional artifacts. Following is some famous craft villages that you should not ignore when visiting Hoi An.

Kim Bong carpentry village

Located in Cam Kim commune, Kim Bong carpentry village is approximately 600 years old. The name Kim Bong with sophisticated wood products used to be very well-known in the Nguyen Dynasty. Besides, the architecture of the ancient houses or pagodas in Hoi An were also designed by Kim Bong’s carpenters.

The fine-art wood products were made by Kim Bong’s carpenters.Picture: Thuy Trang
The fine-art wood products were made by Kim Bong’s carpenters.Picture: Thuy Trang

It is about 10 minutes to come here from the ancient town by ferry. The sounds from carving and shaving wood may also be one of the attractive things to visitors coming here.

The wood products here are usually gentle, ordinary but sophisticated. They consist of horizontal lacquered boards, wood statues, chairs and even the original small wood fine-art souvenirs.

Kim Bong carpentry village now no longer builds boats or houses; the craftsmen here make hand-made products instead. However, the quintessence and skillfulness of Kim Bong’s carpenters  are still strongly imprinted on each wood product.

Tra Que vegetable village

Tra Que is famous in Hoi An for its vegetables. The village is in Cam Ha commune, over 3 km Northwest of the centre of Hoi An city. 130 out of 200 farming households in this village specializedly grow vegetables on an area of 40 ha.

Faming acticites are attractive to tourists. Picture: Tri Tin
Faming acticites are attractive to tourists. Picture: Tri Tin

Visiting Tra Que, tourists have a chance to learn about over 20 kinds of vegetables and species, some of which are supposed more delicious than those in other places. Besides, visitors can experience farming activities as real farmers with farming clothing and facilities available. They are guided to dig, grow plants, water and cultivate vegetables.

After practicing farming, tourists will enjoy the delicious dishes of vegetables and Quang Nam specialties such as white-rose cakes, mixed mussel, mint and pork specialty “Tam Huu”, Quang noodle and even have a foot massage using some of the local herbs that have purported medicinal benefits.

Thanh Ha pottery village

Thanh Ha pottery village was formed at the end of 15th century. It is 3 km West of Hoi An city, in Cam Ha commune and on the sides of Thu Bon river.

A tourist’s experience as a potter. Picture:: Tri Tin
A tourist’s experience as a potter. Picture:: Tri Tin

Thanh Ha village used to provide the ancient town and nearby areas with bowls, jars, tiles and bricks. The products of this village are now more abundant and diversified, including the souvenirs with a variety of shapes and colors.

One unique point in this village is that the pottery products are made on spinned tables without any shape pattern and chemical enameling. This technique of making pottery is protected and handed down to the future generations. Therefore, with the same material of clay, the products here are lighters than those in other places.

Visiting this traditional pottery village, tourists can buy some souvenirs and learn about the traditional pottery in Vietnam.

Phuoc Kieu bronze casting  village

Phuoc Kieu bronze casting village, about 400 years old, is very famous all over the country. Coming to Phuoc Kieu, visitors can find many offerings, the things used in festivities such as gongs and daily household commodities such as pots, pans and bowls.

Phuoc Kieu’s products. Picture: Tinhtinh
Phuoc Kieu’s products. Picture: Tinhtinh

It is the special technique that makes Phuoc Kieu’s products impressive. In Nguyen Dynasty, Phuoc Kieu’s artisans used to be invited to Hue imperial city to make artistic works, household articles and even mint money.

Visiting Phuoc Kieu village, tourists can buy souvenirs and enjoy the artisans’ performances of gongs.  

By  HOANG LY - DIEU HIEN