QUOTE(soberon @ Dec 12 2011, 04:36 AM)
Hi, do you know a nice, small village or natural surrounding around Hanoi. I don't mean the well known so-called artisanal (touristy) villages but something more agricultural. I read a lot about the Mai chau-area, but that is 2-3 hours of driving and I'm looking for something half that time. Hope you know something and can help. Thank you. Erik - email@example.com
Many options U can choice ,
Option 1 :
Characteristic: The area of Tay Ho, Quang Ba, Ngoc Ha, Huu Tiep, Dai Yen were the flower-growing land. Overtime, Hanoi has come into its times of modernization and industrialization. The traditional surrounding flower villages have been turning into "villages within the city".
Growing flowers has long existed in Vietnam, but became a traditional profession in Hanoi with the renowned villages of flowers, such as Nghi Tàm, Quảng Bá, Ngọc Hà and Nhật Tân…
Referring to the traditional flower villages in Hanoi, people speak the most of Ngoc Ha, and it has been appeared in folk verses such as:
Ngọc Hà’s well is clean and fresh
Ngọc Hà’s garden brings its perfume every where
I would like to ask the gardener
Whether you permit any one to come in here ?
It had become a flower village since the establishment of capital city. This village has developed continuously by the experience of history and time, and has always been considered as a big flower village supplying fresh flowers for Thang Long - Hanoi City and its vicinity. In 1954, there were in this village up to 500 households involved in planting flowers. In Ngọc Hà flower village there are many kinds of flowers originating from temperate regions like the peach blossom, daisy, violet and lily. Especially during winter to spring, with the drizzling rain and the cold wind, the temperature is suitable for the growth of these flowers. Every morning, from the early time, the Ngoc Ha flower market was full of buyers and sellers, even coming from Vong Village (Dich Vong - Cau Giay District) with their tuberoses.
Due to the expansion of city and fast growth of population, the traditional flower villages like Ngoc Ha, Huu Tiep... are getting limited, the flowers-growing area remains only in small gardens between the buildings. Meanwhile, many new flower villages around the capital have been gradually set up and developing, such as Tay Tuu (Tu Liem District), Vinh Tuy (Thanh Tri District), Dong Anh township and Phu Thuong (Tay Ho District). The flower-growing area increases fast from 92ha in 1990 to over 500ha in 1999; specifically, increased by 22 times in Tu Liem District, 1.5 times in Thanh Tri District and 33 times in Dong Anh District. Among the rural districts, Tu Liem gets the highest income from flower planting compared to the other places in Hanoi (VND141 million per hectare in 1997).
Dam Village is the old name of Tay Tuu Commune (Tu Liem District); it is located 15km from the Hanoi center to the west. The village changed from rice cultivation into flower production since 1994. Presently, the flower-growing area of Dam Village comprises up to 100ha, accounting for 35 percent of its total sown area; and there are more than 1,000 households of the village, i.e. accounting for 40 percent of the total, are engaged in planting flowers. The local flower planters remember that they faced not-small difficulties when they started to change from rice into flowers, especially in terms of seeds. Beside the varieties of seasonal flowers, so familiar to the population of Hanoi like rose, yellow and white chrysanthemums, peony, violet ... they have tried to import many kinds of stranger flowers, such as queen, prince and princess chrysanthemums, marigold, Dalat rose, French rose,...
If there are more varieties of chrysanthemums in Dam Village, then there is a larger area devoted to growing roses in Vinh Tuy. The Vinh Tuy Village has an area of 100 mau (1 mau = 3,600m²) reserved for planting flowers, of which up to 55 mau for roses. Roses are grown everywhere, in gardens and on fields. For this purpose, each household has at least tens square meters or a whole plot. In the recent time, the local rose planters have mainly worked with varieties of Dalat roses; but now there are more than tens of new varieties coming with tourists to Vietnam.
The quality of flowers grown in villages around Hanoi is getting higher. A short time ago, flowers sold in Hanoi shops were mainly provided from Dalat and foreign countries; but now the shopkeepers also try to take flowers right in Hanoi.
Flower is native product with its own economic value as well as cultural and artistic value. It is becoming an industry of considerable profit for many countries in the world. Recently in Vietnam, the growing of flowers has experienced strong development, bringing enormous interest for society, the economy as well as for the environment. However, the planters have to try to create new varieties of nice and unique flowers along with the familiar varieties like chrysanthemums and roses.
Hanoi is actually taking an interest in planning the development of flower-growing in the suburbs in order to set up a flower ring around Hanoi, making the "city of peace" more colourful.
Options 2 : Bát Tràng ceramic village
VGP - Bát Tràng, a small village in the north of Việt Nam, is about 13 kilometers southeast of Hà Nội center, on the other side of the Red River. The village is famous for ceramic and pottery products of high quality.
If you have known about Việt Nam, you may not be surprised that Bát Tràng’s vases, bowls, dishes, and many other kinds of ceramic products have been exported worldwide.
Bát Tràng Village is said to be established in the 14th or 15th century in several documents.
However, according to the villagers, the village perhaps appeared earlier. There are always two stories concerning the village’s origin. One of these tells that under Lư Dynasty, in 1100, when the nation was in its independence and initial growth period, there were three scholars who came back from their mission trip to China bringing the ceramic craft industry learned there back to Việt Nam and taught the people of Bát Tràng.
In the other story, the village history dates back to the 10th century, when King Lư Công Uẩn relocated the capital in Thăng Long. With the establishment and development of the capital, many businessmen, crafters from many areas come to settle down here to work and trade. In Bát Tràng, there was a lot of white clay, so that many potters……….
Accordingly, Bát Tràng has gradually changed from a normal ceramic and pottery village into a famous ceramic and pottery center until now.
As time went by, the village’s products have become well known for their best quality, style and glaze, both inside and outside of the nation. Many of these are now customized for aristocratic families and religious needs. Their popular foreign markets are Japan, the Netherlands, the UK, Portugal, and Southeast Asia, etc.
To produce a complete product, one must follow three steps. The first step is making the product body. The artists select the suitable clay, treat it and start making a raw product. It must be repaired to get the best appearance. Secondly, they decorate and cover it with glazes. Last but not least, the raw products are baked in three days and three nights. There are several kinds of kilns, yet the temperature must be at 12000 or 13000. After baking, products are brought out, classified and repaired in case there are mistakes. And now we have perfect products.
Bát Tràng products are divided into three kinds based on the purposes of use such as utilitarian wares, cult wares and decorative objects.
Thanks to a long–lasting history and development, the village’s works have been accumulated with a lot of different special designs. One more thing that makes them distinguished is the glaze, which is of high quality and a variety of colors, such as blue, brown, white, moss green, in both breaking and melting glazes.
In fact, there have appeared a number of competitors both domestically and internationally who take advantages of high technology.
Yet most customers prefer the craft products that contain historical and traditional values. Hence, it is no surprise at all that Bát Tràng is still found in busy days and works. More importantly, the village is now so popular that it absorbs a huge annual number of tourists to visit and buy ceramic goods./.
Option 3: Mai Chau Village
it's so far from Ha Noi, May be U Spend 2days to exploxing and sharing dinner with local people, wave of emotion !
have a nice trip !