The very best of these ‘factories’ are recognized by Vietnamese people as the best producers of a particular object; and enjoy national recognition for their handiwork. Everything from firecrackers to silk paintings; woodcarvings to ceramics and puppets to pottery are made in these locations and can make unique gifts for friends and family at home; or as an exotic reminder of your trip to Vietnam. When paying a visit; you can chat with these artisans; and even try the handiwork yourself. Bat Trang Pottery Village The Bat Trang pottery village is one of the most famous of the craft villages in Vietnam. It’s so close to Hanoi; you can visit it on a half day tour. Famous for its fired clay pottery (with a temperature of 1;200 degrees; the ceramics are well known for being difficult to break) Since the 15th century this village of the 2;000 families has been creating earthenware and ceramic creations. Ha Dong Silk Making Village Villagers gather mulberry leaves to feed the hungry silkworms. The traditional way of growing silkworms was imported from China; and today flourishes in many parts of the country. When the worms have woven a silken cocoon; the animals are boiled and the cocoon is carefully unraveled. The thread is carefully woven into all sorts of different things like placemats; shirts; etc. Chuyen My Wood Carving Village Located in the Ha Tay province; this village is famous for creating more traditional crafts related to wood carving. It’s the mother of pearl inlay that makes it so popular; and this wasn’t started until the Ly Dynasty. A visit here can be made in combination with a trip to Hoa Lu; because its 35 kilometers south of Hanoi. Dong Ho Paper Making Village This village is located in Ha Bac province; the province just north of Hanoi. It’s been made famous for the folk themes printed onto a special paper made from the Do tree. Artisans in this village carve images onto thin wood blocks that are carefully layered with paint; then printed onto the specially made paper. These designs are particularly popular around Tet.