Location and History
Van Phuc Silk village enchants not only the hearts of Vietnamese people but also the international travelers from all around the world. Van Phuc Silk village belongs to Van Phuc Ward, Ha Dong District, Hanoi. From the city centre, it usually takes about 30-minute ride to reach the village. There are many ways to travel to the silk village, you can either choose riding the motorbike, take a taxi or take the bus.
More than 1,200 years ago, from the Le Dynasty, Mrs. La Thi Nga was the pioneer and promoter of silk making in Van Phuc village. At that time, silk clothes and silk products are made only for the royals and the rich people. Silk clothes used to be worn on special occasions like royal festivals or wedding ceremonies. In the Nguyen Dynasty, silk costumes had been considered as extremely precious handworks which had been chosen to be the national dress, specially tailored for royal members and aristocrats for hundreds of years.
The road inside Van Phuc Silk Village.
What to see and do in Van Phuc Silk Villages
Van Phuc silk has been known for its smooth, light in 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. During the ancient time, silk is weaved by traditional looms from the cocoons of the silkworms. However, since the industrialization period, old silk looms have been mechanized into power-looms. The methods of processing silk thread and dying have also been changed for higher capacity which tourists can directly witness the whole process from threading to turning them into fabrics.
Silkworms' cocoons to weave silk.
Taking a further walk inside the town, almost all the houses on both sides of the path have turned into silk shops. The village is now the home for more than 1280 households and 90% of whom are involved in silk production and silk business.
Nowadays, to satisfy a 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 which are also shown to tourists how-to processes.
Shopping for silk products
Silk products have changed along with today’s fashion trend which is not only limited to only dresses. Silk is used in making scarf, handkerchief, cravat, dresses, “ao dai” – Vietnamese traditional dress, bags,… Tourists may buy available nice souvenir and clothes in the shop, or select the most suitable materials to then get customized products. The sellers are very friendly and can speak a little English and French to communicate with foreign tourists.
Dyeing silk process in Van Phuc Silk Village.
Silk products come in different colors and patterns.
The price range is wide; nevertheless, the minimum price often starts from $2.5 - approximately 33,41 Rand for a handkerchief and $10 - approximately 134 Rand for a pajama. Tourists can also bargain because shop owners usually overcharge for international buyers.