Bat Trang is a village in North Vietnam about 13 kilometers south east of Hanoi, on the Red river. It has been famous for its ceramics for a thousand years, particularly dinnerware and ornamental ware. The Bat Trang producers export ceramic goods annually to the value of over $40 million.
Perhaps the most outstanding strength of Bat Trang village is its tradition of making pottery. The people are very skilful and talented, producing a product that has a distinctive look. Bat Trang traditional quality pottery includes bowl, dish, pot, cup, wine pot, a big flower-vase, leg lamp, lime-pot, big-bellied jar with glazes such as ancient pearl blaze, crackle glaze, dark glaze, indigo-blue flower glaze, grey flower glaze, melt glaze… Craftsmanship developed over many generations.
They are also able to produce high quality goods to order, meeting the demands of international buyers and their markets, manufactured using controlled processes using modern gas-fired kilns.
Wander our narrow streets and see the vendors with their artware, tableware and ornaments. Little animals, figurines, huge vases, tea sets. Studios with antique collections, craftspeople making the pots, applying the intricate designs, setting the kilns. Packers loading trucks for all parts. Walk to the river, see the old kilns and look for their red fires.
Located in an area rich in clay, the village has advantage of ingredients to create fine ceramics. Moreover, lying besides the Red river, between Thang Long and Pho Hien, two ancient trade centers in the north of Vietnam during 15th-17th century, Bat Trang’s ceramics were favorite products not only in domestic market, but also foreign ones thanks to Japan, Chinese and Western trading boats that passed by.
In the18th and 19th century, due to restricting foreign trade policy of Trinh, Nguyen dynasty, it was difficult for pottery products in Vietnam to be exported to foreign countries, and some famous pottery making villages like Bat Trang, or Chu Dau ( Hai Duong province) went through a hard time. Since 1986, thanks to economic reforms and development, more attention has been vested in the village and the world gets a chance to know more about Vietnamese porcelain through many high quality exported Bat Trang’s ceramic products.
Bat Trang ceramic are produced for daily household use (bow, cup, plates, pot, bottle…), worshipping, or decoration purposes. Nowadays, the pottery artists bring into ceramics many innovations in production techniques, and creativity in products’ features, hence many new products have been born, and even daily household items may have the beauty like decoration ones.
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.
Bat Trang belongs to Gia lam district of Hanoi. You can catch the bus 47 (Long Bien- Bat Trang) that stop just a few steps from Dong Xuan market with the end terminal in Bat Trang. The bus runs every 20 minutes. You can also ride a motorbike from the center of Hanoi to Bat Trang ( 20 minutes) – rent one or ask a Xe Om to take you there!