THE TIMING MASKS WORKSHOP HOI AN
Are you after a Hoi An activity that’s …
Well, guess what, you’re in luck. Welcome to the Timing Masks Hoi An Workshop!
A family business headed by bald-headed patriarch Mr Phong Bui, the Timing Masks Workshop aims to preserve one of Vietnam’s oldest cultural activities: the art of mask making. A skilled artisan and mask maker, Bui emanates a Dalai Lama-like all-knowing calm. But there is a quiet strength too as he commands the attention of tourists and visitors through his passionate desire to share this tradition.
Apart from souvenir masks on sale, The Timing Masks Workshop offers two types of workshop:
- a 1 ½ hour intensive course in all 4 stages of mask making
- the less structured, Folk Mask Painting workshop where you can let your creative juices flow and paint a mask to your liking or pick a mask to copy.
With a hyper-active 6 year-old in tow we chose the latter and my kids and I were smartly shoved in front of over 200 masks on show and told to choose. Selection and size of mask complete, the designs were pencil drawn by staff under the ever-watchful eyes of Bui.
How did the 6 year-old hold up?
Amazingly, this activity under the constant guidance of staff kept both my children (the other is 12) absorbed for 1 ½ hours. The little one’s mask was touched up by the man himself in clever pretence of showing her what to do. So, amidst banter of ‘who’s is the best?’, we all ended up with a superb mask souvenir.
There are many things to do in Hoi An but I urge you to do the Timing Masks Workshop whatever your age. What could be better than your own little piece of Hoi An culture, perhaps made by your own hands, to take home as a gift for a family member, a friend, or to simply prize as your own as a lasting memory of this beautiful little town?
And psst: mine was the best!
Ask the staff to mount the mask on a basket as we did; it really touches it off and looks amazing. The extra $US 3 more is worth it.
Why is the company called The Timing Masks?
The family chose this name in honour of the 30-year time period their father, Phong Bui, worked to become the incredible artisan in mask making that he is and in honour of his keeping this increasingly dying tradition alive.
Timing Mask Workshops are suitable for all ages
Timing Mask 1 ½ hour workshops: $US18
Times: 8.15am, 10.45am, 2pm, 3.30pm (times can also be rearranged to fit in with group schedules) / 7 days
Folk Mask Painting Workshop
Times: 8am – 6pm / 7 days (1 – 1 ½ hours but duration is adaptable to fit in with your needs)
Medium sized from $US 8
Don’t miss one of the cultural performances that are held daily at 5pm to really understand the tradition of masks and theatre. Held in an intimate setting with only 55 seats you will see traditional dance, folk and opera performances – and masks!
Entry: 100,000vnd ($US 4 approx)
Time: 5pm – 5.30pm / 7 days
Add: 66 Bach Dang Street, Hoi An Old Town
Tel: (+84) 235 395 9159
Keyword Research: kids attractions and activities, tours, kids, beaches, Dingo Deli, Art & Gifts