Vietnam Culture ministry creates tours of River Delta ceramics villages
Cultural itineraries through six ceramic villages along the Hong (Red) River delta, will be a new trend in Vietnam's tourism, a professional workshop heard yesterday at the Vietnam History Museum in Hanoi.
The workshop, co-organised by the Ministry of Culture and Information (MCI) and Hanoi-based Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation, reviewed the first phase of a six-year (2003-09) project between MCI and the Belgian community in Wallonie-Bruxelles aiming to establish a cultural itinerary for Vietnam.
The cultural journey through ceramic villages will be targeted at those who want to learn about ceramic history, a major craft in the country.
The Red River was chosen due to it's diverse heritage, both tangible and intangible, reflecting the interaction between people a nature, as well as between different people, in both the past and present.
The itinerary starts from Chu Dau and Cay villages in Hai Duong Province. Tourists then pass through Bat Trang, outside of Hanoi, to see the village used to decorate temples and pagodas.
Visitors have the chance to meet with artisans in Bac Ninh to Province's Phu Lang Village, or specialising in domestic appliances.
Travelling to Ha Long Bay, they will enjoy the ancient pottery kiln in Dong Trieu, Quang Ninh Province.
On the journey tourists will view ceramic collections at the Vietnam History Museum, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi and the Hai Duong Museum.
However, according to Dang Vang Bai, head of MCI's Cultural Heritage Department, to attract more tourists, organisers must link the ceramic villages to other cultural villages for instance quan ho village or Dong Ky village specialising in wood furniture.
The project not only helps local people preserve and promote values of traditional craft villages, but helps tourists, both domestic and foreign, to learn about ceramic making and the exchange of products.
In the second phase of the project, participating parties will study the heritage, both tangible and intangible, of the localities. The Con Duong Moi (New Ways Vietnam) tourism company will be the first company marketing the itinerary tour.
However Phung Van Khai, the company director, is worried about the shortage of tourist guides having a deep and broad knowledge of the history, art and ceramic, as well as a proficiency in English and French.
Cultural itinerary originated in Europe 20 years ago with agreement of 48 European countries. They wanted to set up tours through time and space giving tourists a specific vision of culture. Popular itineraries include Mozart, Vikings road and San-frontier itineraries.
(Source: Viet Nam News)
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