Escaping the hustle and bustle of central Hanoi, many locals and tourists enjoy a quick day trip to visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village. Located in a suburb of the city, Bat Trang Ceramic Village is one of the must-visit places for all tourists when traveling in Hanoi if they want to get some fresh air and sightsee the lives of the locals. Throw yourself into a whole new scene of the vintage and traditional architecture of the ancient village, watch the whole process of making ceramics made by Vietnamese artisans, and create your own clay masterpiece here.
A corner at Bat Trang Ceramic Market
About Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Lying just outside of the capital city of Vietnam (around 10 kilometers southeast of Hanoi), located on the banks of the Red River, Bat Trang Ceramic Village is a famous stop for many tourists when traveling in Hanoi. When you visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village, you have the chance to witness the meticulous process of crafting ceramics by skilled hands, from clay molding to glazing and firing in traditional kilns. The artisans take pride in preserving the ancient techniques handed down through generations while also embracing modern innovations to cater to the evolving tastes of domestic and international markets. Also, there are plenty of activities for tourists to explore all day in the ancient village. Bat Trang Ceramic Village is a recommended stop for backpackers, groups of friends, or families with kids.
Some basic information about Bat Trang Ceramic Village that you can save to your notes:
- Address: Bat Trang Ancient Village, Gia Lam District, Hanoi
- There are no entry fees when visiting Bat Trang Ceramic Village. Some activities have extra fees, such as the entry fee for Bat Trang Ceramic Museum
Visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village today
A brief history of Bat Trang Ceramic Village
When you visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village, you will be surprised by the rich history dating back up to a thousand years, under the Ly dynasty, of this village.
There are different stories about the formation of Bat Trang Ceramic Village. Based on many historical records, when King Ly Cong Uan, who established the Ly Dynasty in 1009, moved the capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh province) to Thang Long (the former name of Hanoi capital city), the pottery craft in Bo Xuyen and Bach Bat villages in Ninh Binh led many skilled artisans and their families to move from their rural villages to the new capital. They came to Bach Tho Ward, where white clay was abundant, which was an essential raw material for pottery production.
However, the people of Bat Trang ceramic village today pass down a different legend. During the Ly dynasty, there were three Thai Hoc Sinh (equivalent to doctoral degrees nowadays) sent on a diplomatic mission to China. After completing their task, on their way back through the present-day Guangdong region of China, they encountered a severe storm and had to take shelter. During their time staying here, there was a renowned pottery kiln, and the three scholars visited and learned some ceramic-making techniques, which they later brought back and shared with the local people in their homeland.
An old photo of Bat Trang Ceramic Village in the past
Bat Trang ceramics are renowned products that have appeared in many Vietnamese proverbs and poems. With skillful craftsmanship and exquisite techniques, the artisans of Bat Trang have elevated the pottery craft here to new heights. They can produce various precious and unique ceramics that are famous both in Vietnam and abroad, such as jade-glazed ceramics (during the Ly, Tran dynasty), brown-glazed ceramics (late Tran – early Le dynasty), crackle-glazed ceramics (Le-Trinh dynasty), and blue-and-white ceramics (late Nguyen dynasty).
The 15th to 17th centuries marked a prosperous and thriving period for Bat Trang Ceramic Village. The products made in Bat Trang village were exported to many countries, such as Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and some European countries, such as the Netherlands, Portugal, England, and France. However, in the later years of the 18th century, due to trade restrictions and competition with Chinese ceramics, the production of Bat Trang ceramics faced significant challenges. Nevertheless, the production continued to persist, even during the French colonial period and after the Doi Moi era (after 1986).
Nowadays, Bat Trang Ceramic Village has undergone significant transformations in its operations. Some pottery workshops have innovated into companies, while others continue to maintain small-scale, traditional family production. Bat Trang Ceramic Village has become one of the largest ceramics production centers in Southeast Asia. Its reputation has contributed to the development of tourism, making it an attractive destination for both locals and international tourists. The application of technology has helped the artisans restore and develop some traditional ceramic products with designs and glazes from the Ly, Tran, Le, and Mac dynasties, as well as modern designs to meet the demands of markets in Europe and Asia.
A Bat Trang artisan
How to get to Bat Trang Ceramic Village from central Hanoi?
There are several means of transportation to visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village. Each has its own benefits. For example, riding a motorcycle can help you explore more places around Bat Trang ancient village, while a car or taxi might suit large groups or a family.
Starting at Tran Nhat Duat bus stop, you will reach Long Bien transit point by taking bus no. 01 or no. 02. After getting to the Long Bien transit point, you get on bus no. 47 to visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village. The bus will stop at the entrance gate to the village.
The average ticket for a bus getting to Bat Trang Ceramic Village is 7.000 VND. It might take up to an hour to get there by bus.
You can rent a car or motorcycle to get to Bat Trang Ceramic Village yourself. Exploring the streets of Hanoi while getting to the suburbs is a must-try experience.
Starting from most places in central Hanoi, you will follow the route to pass Chuong Duong bridge or Long Bien bridge. From there, you keep going on the road along the Red River to reach the ancient village. You can follow the suggested route on Google Maps to find the fastest way to reach Bat Trang Ceramic Village.
You may need to find the right place to park your vehicles to avoid price gouging. The parking fee for motorcycles is 5.000 VND.
The entrance gate to Bat Trang Ceramic Village
You can ask the hotel receptionist to book a taxi to Bat Trang Ceramic Village. To get the best deals, you can compare the prices on other apps, such as Grab, Be, or Xanh SM – popular taxi apps in Vietnam.
Some travel agencies offer a short day trip to Bat Trang Ceramic Village by boat on the Red River. You can see the beauty of both the urban area and the suburbs from the boat. The prices can be high, as they might include other activities, such as having meals on the boat.
What to do when you visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village?
Take a tour around Bat Trang Ancient Village
The Bat Trang Ancient Village captivated tourists with its nostalgic vibes and traditional architecture. Many tourists take a tour around the village on a buffalo-drawn carriage for less than 100.000 VND. With the slow pace of the buffalo, you can take more time sightseeing and enjoying the peaceful landscapes.
You can spend more time visiting the ancient house of Van Van. Located in a small alley near Bat Trang Ceramic Market, the ancient house of Van Van displays the ancient ceramics made in the 15th century that were carefully preserved until today, making it the treasure of Bat Trang village. The opening hours of the ancient house are 08:00 AM – 05:30 PM.
Take a buffalo tour around the ancient village
Buy authentic Bat Trang porcelain and ceramics
Bat Trang Ceramic Market has over 100 stalls specializing in household items, worshiping utensils, and decorative items. This market is also a major wholesale hub, distributing ceramic products to various regions across Vietnam.
There are plenty of souvenirs that you can find here at very affordable prices, ranging from 5-50.000 VND. Tourists are suggested to take a quick tour around the market before making decisions, as their favorite products might have lower prices or better conditions compared to other stalls. Especially with high-end products that can cost millions or tens of millions of VND, tourists should carefully consider their choices. The opening hours of the market are 08:00 AM – 07:00 PM.
Explore hundreds of ceramic goods around the Bat Trang Ceramic Market
Explore the making of ceramics
When visiting Bat Trang Ceramic Village, one of the most interesting activities that all tourists want to join is making their own ceramics. There is a clay yard in front of the market entrance, where tourists can have all the materials, such as the clay and the wheel rotating table (turntable), to get on with the work like a real Bat Trang potter.
You can see many youngsters and even children enjoying creating their own clay masterpieces here. There are skilled potters working at the clay yard who will give tourists careful instructions, so don’t worry that you don’t know where and what to begin with.
After working at the turntable, your artwork will be taken for firing. The clay, when fired at the ideal temperature, will be dried, preserving its permanent shape. Afterward, you can retrieve your artwork and embellish it with unique colors and patterns of your own creation. You can choose to glaze or not glaze your artwork. Glazing is recommended to make your artwork more durable.
The prices might depend on the size of your artwork, ranging from 20-60.000 VND.
Create your own clay masterpiece
Visit Bat Trang Ceramic Museum
The Bat Trang Ceramic Museum is a place for you to learn more about the historical and cultural values of the fine works made by Bat Trang artisans. The museum is made up of seven funnel-shaped buildings, with the outer walls carved with multi-layered patterns, making it an extraordinary architectural work. This design is said to be inspired by the pottery turntable, a signature tool of ceramic artisans. When exploring all six floors inside the museum, you will see gorgeous ceramics and clay artworks categorized into collections of distinctive traditional styles, as well as many activities and events held occasionally.
- Ticket prices: 50.000 VND/each (visiting 1st, 2nd, and 4th floors); 50.000 VND (visiting 3rd floor)
- Opening hours: 08:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Inside Bat Trang Museum
Try local cuisine at Bat Trang Ceramic Village
There are many local snacks and dishes you can try when wandering around Bat Trang Ceramic Village. They are all popular cuisines in the northeastern region of Vietnam.
- Banh san nuong (grilled cassava): Cassava is a common food source for Vietnamese people, closely associated with memories from tough times when people had to eat cassava as a substitute for rice. It is easy to catch a stall selling grilled cassava on many streets around Hanoi, as well as in Bat Trang Ceramic Village. This cake is made of cassava, desiccated coconut, coconut milk, sugar, or condensed milk.
- Banh te: Banh te is made of rice, filled with minced pork, onions, and wood ear mushrooms, wrapped with banana leaves, and tied with bamboo strings. It tastes much better when you add chili sauce or fish sauce. The Vietnamese often take banh te as breakfast or afternoon snacks.
- Canh mang muc (squid and bamboo shoot soup): The process of preparing a bowl of squid squid ando shoot soup involves sourcing ingredients from various regions: the bamboo shoots (mang), procured from Tuyen Quang Province, 150 km north of the village; the dried squid, collected from Thanh Hoa Province, 170 km south of the village. This dish is best served for groups of tourists or families to experience traditional Vietnamese dishes, as they often have high prices and are served with other dishes.
You should try canh mang muc with other Vietnamese dishes
Is Bat Trang Ceramic Village kid friendly?
You can visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village with your family, especially when you have kids. There are plenty of places they can play here, from creating their own artwork at the clay yard to buying cute clay goods at the Bat Trang Ceramic Market. A day trip to an ancient village is a good experience for all children to explore the world around them, with many interesting stories about the history and the techniques of making ceramics, as well as making new local friends here.
You can bring kids to Bat Trang Ceramic Village
Bat Trang Ceramic Village is a recommended place for anyone to explore the atmosphere of the countryside in Vietnam. With many exciting activities, you can visit Bat Trang Ceramic Village yourself, with a couple of friends, or with your family and kids. If you’re thinking of souvenirs to buy, take a quick tour of the Bat Trang Ceramic Market, or you can create your own handmade clay goods for your loved ones at home.