Hoi An

Thanh Ha Pottery Village $

pottery villageWant to do something different?  Then head 3 kilometres out of town to Thanh Ha Terracotta Park and Pottery Village to paint your very own souvenir Vietnamese theatre mask followed by a bit of pot making and enjoy a little bit of history in between.   This is a fun day for adults and kids alike.

pottery village figure 3 (1)You begin with a delightful Gulliver’s Travel walk through the Lilliputian garden display at the newly opened Thanh Ha Terracotta Park. Featuring waist high terracotta models of iconic monuments from around the world this is a fun game of test your knowledge (or lack of).  There’s the Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, Stonehenge, Sydney Opera House, Pyramids, Lincoln Cathedral, the Whitehouse, the Vatican and much more including a miniature replica of Hoi An Old Town.

Helpful, exuberant guides are on hand every step of the way to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and brief you on all aspects of the park and inside museum: the clay comes from the Hoai River, the masks you paint come from Son Hau (a Vietnamese classical drama composed around the end of the 18th Century); ceramic pottery inside the building depicts legendary figures and so forth.mask painting pottery village

There is much to see and admire but when you’ve got four crazed children who’ve heard there are masks to be painted, there’s only one way out and that’s a running jaunt down the stairs to where the action starts.

Upon completion, your Monet masterpiece will be bubble-wrapped and bagged and staff will happily give directions to your next port of call – the Pottery Village.

Dating back to the 15th Century, this tiny village with its narrow alley ways is a captivating step back in time.  No motors spin the pottery wheels here – it’s foot pedals all the way.pottery village pot making arlie

As is the case with so much of Hoi An, this little village on the water’s edge is incredibly pretty so make sure you take a good walk around before succumbing to one of the many villagers vying for your budding pottery skills.

The pots come out surprisingly well too (with the diligent help of an artisan’s guiding hands).  They also come out wet and will take at least a day to dry.  If you want to fire it up in the kiln you will need to wait a month because they only light it on a monthly basis.

At the end of the day I really wondered why I’d never come here before and vowed that next time I’d come without the crazed kids so I could paint splatter a mask and cake my fingernails too.

Price Guide in VND

Taxi:   80,000 (approx.) from the Old Town.  (Get the driver’s number or arrange a time for him to return and pick you up.  It took us around 3 hours total to see all.)

Mask painting: 50,000 (small); 100,000 (big) & 20,000 for paint.  You can also donate 30,000 extra that enables the Museum to fund free mask painting for poor village children on Children’s Day.

Entry to Pottery Village: 50,000 adults (children free) however the ticket sellers are frequently nowhere to be seen so wander in and pay if you see them. 

Cost to make pot: 20,000  – 25,000 

 

Add:  Thanh Ha Terracotta Pottery Park, Nam Dieu, Thanh Ha Ward, Hoi An

Tele:   +84 (0) 235 3963 888

Web:  www.thanhhaterracotta.com

(Directions: cabs will know where to go but if you want to go make your own way there – take Hung Vuong Street out of town until you can see the river clearly on your left.  When you come to a fork in the road keep left. Continue for about 1 km and turn left at Pham Phan – the Terracotta Pottery Park and Pottery Village is about 15 metres further down on the right.)

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