Timeless clay village, Phu Lang pottery village

Discussion in 'Vietnam culture' started by Jerry, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Jerry Priority

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    A traditional pottery village in northern Bac Ninh Province creates pieces that capture the heart and soul of Vietnam.

    Phu Lang is a must-see for tourists who travel to Bac Ninh Province to admire its natural surroundings and ancient houses.

    At the foot of the majestic Son Mountain on the banks of the Cau River, only 18 kilometers northeast of Bac Ninh Town and 60 kilometers from Hanoi, the village is known nationally and internationally for its handicrafts.

    The village has been making pottery for 800 years since its patron Luu Phong Tu taught the locals the techniques in the 13th century. About half the residents produce clay pots, jars and a multitude of other clay products.

    The products of Phu Lang are much sought-after by customers throughout the country due to their durability, diversity and unique enamel colors of eel-skin brown, purple, pink, black, yellow and frog-skin green.

    Pots are baked in kilns at initial temperatures of 600 degrees centigrade, rising gradually to around 1,200 Celsius degrees. Once the clay has cooled, potters add their trademark coat of thick eel-skin brown enamel, which dries to the brownish-yellowish hue of an eel’s stomach.

    Apart from its spectacular scenery, Phu Lang Village is a beauty spot in its own right. The houses have moss-green tiles, and the village roads are lined with a medley of ceramic goods propped against the shop fronts.

    Many tourists like travelling to the village because they have a chance to make ceramics themselves. Clay, the material used to make ceramics, is transported to the village by boat. Tourists can stay at villagers’ homes to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and contemplate the kilns along the waters edge or the low hills near the dreamy Cau River.

    “The village is a good place not only because you can meet and make friends with the locals and make original gifts for friends and relatives,” one foreign visitor said. “It’s also a place to relax, where you can enjoy the natural beauty and nostalgic moments of the past in old buildings."

    Reported by Thuy Nhien
    Source Thanh nien

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