One of these tells that under Ly dynasty, in 1100, when the nation was in its independence and initial growth period, there were 3 scholars who came back from their mission trip to China bringing the ceramic craft industry learned there back to Vietnam and taught the people of Bat Trang. In the other story, in the village history dates back to 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, among whom was Nguyen Ninh Trang family, came and built the kilns here. Accordingly, Bat Trang has gradually changed from a normal ceramic and pottery village into a famous ceramic and pottery centre until now.
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. Its popular foreign markets are Japan, the Netherlands, Britain, Portugal, Southeast Asia, etc.,
The famous ceramic & pottery products
Production Process. To produce a complete product, one must follow 3 steps. The first step is making the product frame. The artists select the suitable clay, treat it and start making a raw product. It must be repaired to get the best appearance. Secondly, they decorate and cover it with glazes. Last but not least, the raw products are baked in 3 days and 3 nights. There are several kinds of kiln, yet the temperature must be at 12000 or 13000. After baking, products are brought out, classified and repaired in case there are mistakes. And now we have the perfect product.
Popular product types. Bat Trang products are divided into 3 kinds based on the purpose of use.
- Utilitarian wares: including plates, bowls, teacups, kettles, wine bottles, flowerpots, 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.
The special trait is the diversified decorations on the products. Thanks to a long–lasting history and development, the village’s works have been accumulated with a lot of different special designs. One more thing that makes them distinguished 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.
In fact, there have appeared a number of competitors both domestically and internationally who take advantages of high technology. Yet most customers prefer the craft products that contain historical and traditional values. Hence, it is no surprise at all that Bat Trang is still found in busy days and works. More importantly, the village is now so popular that absorbs a huge annual number of tourists to visit and buy ceramic goods.
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.
Notes: Open daily, all year aroundexcept Tet Holiday
Location: 13 kilometers south east of Hanoi center, on the other side of Chuong Duong Bridge, Hanoi
Entrance fee: Free of charge
Visiting Bat Trang, tourists can take a walk or join a buffalo tour for sightseeing and shopping. Besides many ceramic stores along the road in the village, tourists should visit Bat Trang Porcelain and Pottery Market where they can directly make pottery products by themselves. Many youngsters and foreign tourists are interested in in this pottery- making experience, and spend a whole day in the market to make a gift for family or friends.