During their stay in Hanoi, most tourists insist on a trip to Van Phuc Silk Village, the famous silk village of Hanoi to contemplate the genuine traditional silk-making industry.
Van Phuc Silk Village is situated on the banks of Nhue Thi River, Nguyen Trai Road, near Ha Dong city, 8 km southwest of Ha Noi. It takes you only 30 minutes by motorbike to go there from the centre of Hanoi. The village has been much well known for its traditional sericulture, weaving, and silk products. Tourists coming here are lured by various beautiful shirts, crafts, ties, dresses and many other things made of silk available in the village. What is special is that the silk is made by very simple looms, which is the genuinely traditional Vietnamese way of making silk.
The cradle ofVietnamese Silk
For centuries, silk has always been considered an extreme luxury, on par with rhinoceros horn, ivory and precious handworks in Vietnam. It has long been a universal byword of luxury, often worn by the richest, most powerful citizens. Most visitors somehow have heard about the significant role of this kind of material in Vietnam, yet might wonder where the cradle of Viet silk is. The mentioned Van Phuc Silk Village is proud to be the origin of best silk and silk-making industry of Vietnam, which is attached to a long-lasting history of more than two thousand years. Though passing by lots of ups and downs, during the recent years, the village’s craft has enjoyed revival due to a surging demand for silk in both the domestic and foreign markets.
Today, the fine and lustrous cloth that originates from the cocoon of the silkworm is more affordable for "ordinary" folk. Furthermore, silk is currently enjoying a fashion renaissance, particularly since its many varieties can be made into a wide range of designs suitable for all facets of modern life. Should you intend to have a silk pair of formal clothes made, just come here and select your suitable materials, and professional tailors here will bring you satisfaction!
Ideal place for silk products and souvenirs
Like other visitors to the village, you will be surprised at this “silk shop town”, where almost all houses along the paths have been turned into shops selling silk products. Specifically, the village is now home to 1,280 households, 90% of whom are involved in silk production and business. The village makes more than 2 million meters of silk per year. Yet, more than that, you are offered a good chance to explore the Vietnamese traditional industry of silk-making.
No tourists here are uncontented with the glisten of various silk products. They are always confronted with an initially bewildering array of silk products, from raw materials, to garments, and a myriad of silk accessories. The local silk is known for its smooth and lightweight appearance, and qualities that enable it to be dyed more colors to suit a variety of skin tones. In order to cater for the changing demands and tastes of customers, Van Phuc silk producers are expanding their silk and garment repertoire: traditional glossy, embroidered silks, double layers, wrinkled silks, and of course, more colors, hues and weights, for which they have invented new techniques in dying and thermo-processing the threads.
If you are going to buy something from Vietnam as gifts for those at home, silk and clothes made of silk are available around in the village for your choice. Though the days when Vietnam's silk was reserved for nobility are long gone, what would never change is the sense of romance and luxury imparted by silk, a luminous cloth type. With 2000 years of history behind them, the silk weavers of Van Phuc Silk village are still busy, weaving dreams.
How to get there? With a view to reaching Van Phuc village, tourists should travel south west out of Ha Noi on Nguyen Trai Street until they reach the border of Ha Dong District. Then turn right and dive for about 3km. The village is on the left, some 8 km from central Hanoi. Motorbike, bus, or taxis are all of good use.