Tucked away just a short distance from the beautiful Hoi An ancient town, Thanh Ha pottery village offers a glimpse into the world of pottery-making that has been passed down for centuries. It’s a must-visit place for anyone who’s fascinated by traditional artistry and the rich cultural history of Vietnam.
Below is my review of Thanh Ha village, including information and tips to plan a great trip there.
Before visiting Thanh Ha Pottery Village
Before we start, let’s plan a bit for your trip there.
- Where to stay: Nestled near the ancient town of Hoi An, Thanh Ha Pottery Village is conveniently accessible. My suggestion? Stay in Hoi An. This quaint town offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly homestays. Don’t forget to book your stay early to secure the best options!
- Itinerary: To make the most of your day, I suggest that you start with a visit to My Son Sanctuary. This UNESCO World Heritage site, with its stunning ancient Hindu temples, offers a profound contrast to the traditional Vietnamese pottery village you’ll explore later. So, you’ll get to experience the best of both worlds in one action-packed day.
- Travel insurance: I cannot emphasize enough the importance of travel insurance for any trip. For further details and recommendations, check it out here.
Thanh Ha Pottery Village – A Deep Dive into Traditional Pottery-Making
Dating back to the sixteenth century, Thanh Ha Pottery Village is one of the oldest pottery hubs in Vietnam. Nestled on the banks of the Thu Bon River, a mere 3km away from Hoi An, this village has a nostalgic charm that reflects its age-old craft.
At Thanh Ha, pottery is more than just an industry – it’s a cherished tradition that has been kept alive for more than five centuries.
Unlike many pottery studios that use molds, the artisans here shape each piece by hand and foot pedal, giving every item a distinctive and unique touch.
Today, the majority of Thanh Ha’s products are used as decorative pieces, gracing homes and spaces with their unique aesthetic.
How to make the pottery
What I find most heartwarming about Thanh Ha is that the entire village is involved in pottery-making. There are 23 households that engage in this trade, employing over 100 locals. Each year, these talented artisans create around 400,000 pottery items – a testament to their hard work and skill.
The pottery-making process here is fascinating. It begins with brown clay sourced from the Thu Bon River, which is shaped using traditional pottery wheels. The products are then sun-dried before they’re baked in wood-fired kilns for about 7-8 hours.
You’ll get the chance to witness this mesmerizing process firsthand, adding an extra layer of appreciation for the skill and craftsmanship involved.
How to get to Thanh Ha Pottery Village from Hoi An
Thanh Ha pottery village is located at the edge of the city, but it’s easy to get there from Hoi An.
From Hoi An old town, you can follow Tran Hung Dao street and then continue on Hung Vuong street until seeing the Thanh Ha market at the intersection.
Continue about 3 minutes on Duy Tan street until you get to the ticket booth.
From Hoi An’s old town, follow Tran Hung Dao street and continue on Hung Vuong street until you reach Thanh Ha market at the intersection. A further 3-minute drive on Duy Tan street will bring you to the ticket booth. For a more scenic route, consider taking a leisurely boat ride from Hoi An to Thanh Ha.
To aid navigation, I suggest downloading an offline map like Maps.Me or purchasing a local SIM card for internet access.
Thanh Ha Pottery Village entrance fee
There are two sections in Thanh Ha – the pottery village of the villagers and the private Terracotta Park. You can buy a ticket for one section or for the whole village, costing about 30,000 VND ($1.5). This small fee offers great value as it includes:
- Observing the skilled ceramic artisans at work.
- Visiting the historical Xuan My Temple.
- Trying your hand at pottery-making.
- Receiving a ceramic souvenir to take home.
Things to do in Thanh Ha Pottery Village Hoi An
Explore the village
Thanh Ha’s rustic charm is evident in its simple, earthy architecture. Pottery adorns the low tree fences and decorates the houses, creating a unique and appealing aesthetic. Strolling around, you’ll see the locals’ creativity and love for their craft at every turn.
Visit Thanh Ha Terracotta Park
This park is a true highlight of Thanh Ha. It features stunning ceramic miniatures of iconic landmarks from around the world. Do note that the park has a separate entrance fee, which may vary at the time of your visit.
Craft your own pottery with the locals
Engaging in hands-on pottery making is an absolute must-do here. I loved trying to shape my own pottery under the watchful guidance of the locals. The experience was a blast, from learning the technique to giving it a go myself.
This activity is included in your entrance ticket. Look for houses with “making your pottery” signs and step in to join the fun!
Shop for ceramic souvenirs
While exploring the village, you’ll have the opportunity to pick up unique ceramic souvenirs. The village’s signature item is “To He,” a ceramic animal figurine that makes a sound when blown. The delightful variety and affordable prices will leave you spoilt for choice!
Enjoy Thu Bon river sunset
Being located along the Thu Bon River offers a fantastic opportunity to witness a breathtaking sunset or enjoy a peaceful evening stroll. Along the riverbank, you’ll also find zodiac statues – see if you can spot yours!
Visit Xuan My temple
While wandering, I stumbled upon Xuan My Temple along the riverbank. It is a fascinating place that preserves the nostalgic images of old-time Vietnam, including the banyan tree, water wharves, temple, and religious beliefs.
Relax at a cafe
After a day of fun and exploration, there’s nothing like unwinding at a cozy local café. Enjoy the tranquility and try some local food and drinks. Look for the unique signboards made from Thanh Ha pottery!
Receiving your gift
Before you leave, don’t forget to collect your ceramic souvenir gift – just show your entrance ticket at the shop.
Where to stay in Thanh Ha Village
If you plan to spend a night or two in Thanh Ha, the Terracotta Homestay is an excellent option. You can enjoy the local culture with an interesting experience.
Thanh Ha Pottery Village tour
While I chose to explore Thanh Ha Pottery Village at my own pace, I noticed many visitors opting for guided tours. These tours seemed a bit rushed and left little room for leisurely exploration or spontaneous detours. So, unless you’re on a tight schedule, I recommend taking your time to savor all the experiences Thanh Ha has to offer.
However, if you prefer guided tours, there are several options available. They usually include transportation, a guided tour of the pottery village, a visit to the terracotta park, and sometimes even a pottery workshop. But remember, nothing beats the joy of exploring at your own pace and taking time to interact with the locals.
Thanh Ha Pottery Village is a place where time seems to slow down, where ancient traditions are still vibrantly alive, and where every corner is filled with fascinating history and artistry. From wandering around the serene village to engaging in pottery-making, every moment in Thanh Ha promises a unique and rewarding experience.
As always, I’m thrilled to share with you another one of Vietnam’s hidden gems. Please feel free to share your thoughts or any additional tips you may have in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more travel tips and guides to exploring beautiful Vietnam. Happy travels!