Hanoi is famous for not only an old but crowded city but also many around villages. While visitors may be introduced about Bat Trang, or Duong Lam old village, we will recommend you a village seems to be strange to hear: Thach Xa village.
Local are making bamboo dragonflies
Coming here, you will get overwhelm with the old background full of bamboo dragonflies, which you cannot find in any other places.
Coming to Thach Xa village, the first impression tourists can get is the image of local kids playing the bamboo dragonflies,. Different from big cities with a lot of modern toys, the children here still love this bamboo toys like in the early days.
Throughout 20 years, Thach Xa village has become famous for making bamboo dragonflies and attracted a huge number of visitors coming here and exploring the process of making a bamboo toy. With the increasing demand, there are more and more families are getting involved in making the dragonflies.
A family produce bamboo toys in a traditional way
To make a colorful bamboo dragonfly, the craftsman has to go through a process with a lot of stages
The material is quite important to the craftsman as to ensure the durability and flexibility for its product. They spend a lot of time in Vinh Phuc, Hoa Binh, Tuyen Quang…finding the bamboo with the required standard quality of thin but solid.
Then the craftsman have to split bamboo to make each part of a dragonfly as body and wing. Then they make mine and wing assembly.
The stage of splitting bamboo to a dragonfly shape
This is the most difficult stage as to assemble the wings to the body to ensure the perfect balance on the sticks or twigs.
The last stage is decoration to make a lively and colorful bamboo dragonflies then they are ready to be on sales.
How they color the bamboo dragonflies
In the beginning, the bamboo dragonflies were just a type of toys for children. After 20 years, with the developed craft, the toys became a souvenir for tourists to memorize Vietnamese countryside image
As Mr Tai, a craftsman who owns the most famous souvenir shop in Thach Xa village, said that the bamboo toys with the image of dragonflies or other animals are made as a lively symbol of Vietnam as these animals can easily be seen in Vietnamese countryside.
The reason make bamboo dragonflies become unique is the way it can balance and perch on anything. This requires the efforts, meticulousness, and precision in every details of the craftsman.
The toys similar as real animals are balancing on a stick
According to Mr Tai, the bamboo dragonflies from this village are now available across the country, especially in major tourist destinations such as Hanoi, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh City as they are more beautiful than in other places in terms of colors, durability and particularly precision.
Moreover, the US, France, Germany, UK, and Japan now has imported the bamboo toys because they are curious and find it interesting to see how the toys perch on any kind of material, even just a string.
Colorful bamboo dragonflies in many shapes
II.2. Meaning to local, tourists
Not only Thach Xa locals but also Hanoian has been proud of the village as a place preserves a tradition, producing a Vietnamese souvenir. The drawing on each bamboo dragonfly is not just a simple pattern but also a symbol, an image of the countryside.
A local is arrange the toy on a panel
To locals, Thach Xa village helps them to see and understand the way a unique Vietnamese souvenir is produced. Moreover, they can explore lives in the countryside rather than just a crowded urban city.
III.1. Basic information
III.2. Local tips
A morning in weekday would be suitable for tourists, especially foreigners to visit here due to the low number of visitors, and the cool weather in the morning.
Several last months of lunar calendar is the perfect time in a year to visit as this is the time they producing for the demand of many New Year festival. The village would be full of bamboo dragonflies which makes an overwhelm background.
With the distance about 25 kilometers away from Old Quarter Hanoi, Thach Xa village is easy to be reached by bus or taxi. You can search the number of bus can take you to the village on the internet.
Tourists are possible to travel by motorbike but we do not recommend this transports due to long distance
Tay Phuong pagoda: A pagoda was built in 6th- 7th century, where houses the rare masterpieces of religious sculpture
Address: Tay Phuong pagoda road.
Tay Phuong pagoda front view