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Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

By Minh Duc   July 16, 2022 | 03:31 am PT
In Hoi An, three villages have nurtured their particular trade craft and vocation for hundreds of years, adding tourism value to the ancient port town.
Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

The Thanh Ha pottery village on the banks of the Thu Bon River, three kilometers to the west of the town, has been plying its craft for over 500 years and it has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

The main material for pottery in Thanh Ha is brown clay taken from the shores of the river. The village's ceramic products, including bowls, plates, vases and jars, are completely handmade.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

Unfinished vases dry in the heat of a summer afternoon sun. The village has two main product lines: brown earthenware and red ceramic.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

These days, visitors can try their hand at pottery and visit the Terracotta Park, where famous Vietnamese architectural works and world wonders are recreated by pottery artisans.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

About 5 km to the east of Thanh Ha is the Kim Bong carpentry village. Established in the 16th century, Kim Bong is famous for household and construction products, especially shipbuilding.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

Located downstream of the Thu Bon River, the shipbuilding craft kept going till early 21st century. Today, Kim Bong is promoting its carpentry craft as a tourism draw.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

Walking around the Kim Bong riverside and watching ships being pulled ashore by a system of pulleys and rails, enjoying the wind and looking at Hoi An from other side of the river is an experience to remember.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

If the eastern part of Kim Bong specializes in shipbuilding, the west specializes in fine art. The talented artists paint meticulously detailed, picturesque landscapes that are sold on the village's main road.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

From Kim Bong, 9 km to the north, past the center of Hoi An, stands the 400-year-old Tra Que village that cultivate organic vegetables. Tra Que has also been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

Apart from admiring the healthy, green ambience of the village, visitors can learn the cultivation process and enjoy dishes made with vegetables picked from the gardens. Tra Que vegetables are nurtured with manure and seaweed picked up at the lower end of the Thu Bon River.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

A farmer waters herbs with handheld sprinklers, a sight that is getting rarer by the day. Interested visitors can also try their hand at sowing seeds and watering the gardens.

Although the cultivation process is gradually automated, villagers are being encouraged to maintain the traditional identity of the village and its centuries-old vocation.

Three guild villages in Hoi An still in business after centuries

Interested visitors can also try their hand at sowing seeds and watering the gardens.

 
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