Bát Tràng (literally: bát is bowl and tràng is workshop) is an old, well established village in the Gia Lâm district of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. It’s about 13 kilometers south east of Hanoi, on the Red river. It has been famous for its ceramics for a thousand years, particularly dinnerware and ornamental ware. The Bat Trang producers export ceramic goods annually to the value of over $40 million a year.
Located in an area rich in clay, the village has advantage of ingredients to create fine ceramics. Moreover, lying besides the Red river, between Thang Long and Pho Hien, two ancient trade centers in the north of Vietnam during 15th-17th century, Bat Trang’s ceramics were favorite products not only in domestic market, but also foreign ones thanks to Japan, Chinese and Western trading boats that passed by.
In the18th and 19th century, due to restricting foreign trade policy of Trinh, Nguyen dynasty, it was difficult for pottery products in Vietnam to be exported to foreign countries, and some famous pottery making villages like Bat Trang, or Chu Dau (Hai Duong province) went through a hard time. Since 1986, thanks to economic reforms and development, more attention has been vested in the village and the world gets a chance to know more about Vietnamese porcelain through many high quality exported Bat Trang’s ceramic products.
Visiting Bat Trang, tourists can take a walk for sightseeing and shopping. Besides many ceramic stores on the road in the village, tourists ought to visit Bat Trang ceramic ware and Pottery Market wherever they can directly create pottery product by themselves. several children and foreign tourists are interested in in this pottery- creating experience, and spend a full day in the market to make a present for family or friends.
POPULAR PRODUCT TYPES
Bát Tràng products are divided into 3 kinds based on the purpose of use:
+ Utilitarian wares: including plates, bowls, teacups, kettles, wine bottles, flower pots, vases, jar… What differs is that they are thicker than Chinese ones.
+ 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.
+ Decorative objects: house models, altars, statues and architectural fixtures.
Bat Trang ceramic village has become a popular destination for the young living in Hanoi (college or high school students) to visit during weekends. It has also become famous among foreign tourists who want to understand more about the historical and traditional values in each handicraft product. There are a lot of travel agencies that offer one day tour from Hanoi to the village at reasonable prices. Choose a Bat Trang ceramic village tour that best fits your time frame and visit this beautiful village and may be buy some ceramic goods as souvenirs for your trip in Vietnam.