Van Phuc silk village (or familiar name as Ha Dong silk village) is located in Van Phuc ward, Ha Dong district, approximately 10km away from Hanoi City. Famous with its unique silk weaving tradition of more than 1,000 years, Van Phuc silk products have lured every tourist arrived here by their sophisticated design patterns and it’s most long-standing history in Vietnam.
Especially, in Van Phuc silk village, you can see how the traditional silk be woven from the natural silk material, giving a soft, smooth touch and sophisticated looking which you can find in nowhere. May be for that reason, Van Phuc silk was chosen to make national costume in Nguyen dynasty. Between 1931 and 1932, Van Phuc silk was on displays in international exhibitions for the first time in Marseille, then Paris and was highly appreciated and preferred by the French. From 1958 to 1988, Van Phuc silk mostly was exported to Eastern European market, and since 1990, it has been known widely in many countries all over the world.
Situated right in the middle of Hanoi city, suffering so many changes during the industrialization and modernization of Hanoi, Van Phuc still keep its ancient features of a normal Vietnamese village like the old-century trees, stone wells, communal houses and ancient altars, etc.
To visit this famous silk village, you can go along the Le Van Luong road or Nguyen Trai road then turn to Van Phuc road at the Nguyen Trai’s crosswards. It is easily to realize Van Phuc silk village sitting on the Nhue riverbank by its main gate “Van Phuc village”)
Right beside the main village’s gate is Van Phuc Pagoda. Let mix into the normal silent atmosphere of Vietnamese pagodas, inhale the frankincense and incense smoke, the cluster of flowers, green grasses, and wooden bridge across the lotus pond will make you feel familiar and relaxed.
Walk on the small path leading to the Exhibition House of traditional silk products; you will see the very old wooden loom dated back to 19th century on your left side. Nowadays, when the weaving machines have been replacing almost of ancient looms, this is one of rare ancient loom that still be preserved.
Inside the Exhibition House, there are many sophisticated products made from silk like: scarves, shirts, wallet. Van Phuc silk has been known for its high quality, smooth, light weight, and elegant appearance. Especially, a traditional kind of silk called Van Silk made in Van Phuc make the wearers feel cool in summer and warm in winter. Today, to satisfy various demand for silk of the market, Van Phuc silk producers have expanded their silk and garment goods like embroidered silk, wrinkled silk, double layers and more colors for silk products. At the same time, you can also have chance to study the silk weaving production via loom samples.
One of the most famous and prestigious place for your discovery is the silk workshop of Trieu Van Mao craftsman. This is quite an interesting place for you to visit and enjoy a cup of coffee before continuing your journey.
On your trip to discover more about Van Phuc silk village (you can combine with a visit to Duong Lam ancient village or Perfume pagoda tour), you will arrive to the Tutelary God Temple which is not too far from the Van Phuc pagoda. As per the legend, about more than 1,100 years ago, Mrs. La Thi Nuong – a wife of General Cao Bien who is a Chinese Governor of Giao Chi, once lived at Van Bao farm (nowadays renamed as Van Phuc). During her lifetime here, she taught the villagers the Chinese’s method of planting mulberry trees, breeding silkworms and weaving silks. After her death, the villagers honored her as the Van Phuc’s Tutelary God. Luckily that nowadays, not only the local villagers but also the foreign tourists can contemplate the history written on stone and the ancient wooden loom – the prominent evidence of a traditional handicraft village.