Exploring Vietnamese Lacquer in Ha Thai Handicraft Village

Located 20km from Hanoi’s center in Vietnam, Ha Thai Lacquer Handicraft Village is renowned for its exquisite lacquer craftsmanship. The village has a rich history dating back to the 17th century, originating from the famous “Son son thep vang Cu Trang” craft village. Initially celebrated for crafting royal utensils, it earned the moniker “offering to the king” due to its exceptional work.

The gate of Ha Thai village.

The lacquer paintings of Ha Thai village employ traditional materials like lacquer resin, mother-of-pearl, and gold leaf, predominantly set against a black backdrop. By incorporating lacquer polishing, a unique technique, leaving an indelible mark and establishing the village as a renowned destination for lacquer art.

Initially, the village mainly produced decorative panels and essential household items like screens, trays, and dishes for noble families. By the 20th century, artisans began experimenting with lacquer materials, expanding to bamboo, wood, lacquer paintings, inlay work, engraving, lacquer on eggshells, and plastic. Advancements integrated modern techniques into the lacquer application process. Some products entail up to 15 – 16 layers of lacquer to ensure quality and durability.

Inside a lacquer factory for export.

What sets Ha Thai’s lacquer craft apart is its inspiration from nature, using simple materials to create rich products – something unique to this village. With creative innovation, modern artisans have crafted a diverse range of beautiful, practical items closely associated with daily life, exporting these lacquer products to various European and American countries.

Experience the lacquer craftsmanship tour

Visiting the village, one feels tranquility amidst the lacquer scent and bustling machinery sounds. The town comes to life in the morning and becomes more active from 2 p.m. onwards. Among the workshop-lined streets, skilled artisans can be seen diligently honing their craft. The village is home to 300 households with around 1,000 artisans engaged in the lacquer craft.

Apart from preserving traditional craftsmanship, Ha Thai is renowned for its potential to develop experiential tourism within the community. Leveraging Vietnam’s unique lacquer painting material, Ha Thai Village attracts local and international tourists eager to explore lacquer paintings. Visitors immerse themselves in the space, learning about lacquer products and their applications in daily life, witnessing the production process, and experiencing one of the lacquer craft techniques.

Meet the artist with a passion for lacquer.

For those seeking hands-on experience, a secluded workshop away from the hustle offers visitors a chance to create their lacquer masterpieces under skilled artisans’ guidance. Here, visitors can meet an artist who moved to Ha Thai to pursue their passion for lacquer paintings, pioneering the establishment of experiential tourism for this craft.

The space where visitors experience lacquer making techniques.

365 Travel invites you to explore this unique aspect of Vietnamese culture through a thoughtfully designed tour. Each visitor gets to try applying eggshell or silver leaf on pre-prepared lacquer paintings, resulting in a unique creation reflecting their precision, preferences, and talents.

Contact us today to book your unforgettable lacquer craftsmanship tour experience!

Tags : First touris group to Hoi an
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