#1 The Pottery Village of Bat Trang

In the week since returning to Hanoi, so many randomly beautifully, bizarre events have happened that I’ve decided to create a weekly post with my favourite story from each week.

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Coming back to Hanoi was amazing, the hectic traffic, cheap street food, pushy locals, condensed milk coffee, sinkholes with trees planted in them and live music every night however, the pollution, oh wow;  reaching levels on par with Chinese factory cities!

So one morning we got on the bikes and drove half an hour out of the city to the ancient pottery town of Bat Trang. It has seven centuries of ceramic making in its history and produce general household items for daily use, which is really nice because I remember seeing pieces like this in my Grandma’s house and it was only for best, never to be touched.

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Local women rushed to greet us as we arrived at the gates of their ancient town, insisting we parked outside their houses and they would teach us to make a tea pot for $2.5, it’s not that we weren’t interested in doing that but our main objective was to let the dog run in grass and dangle our legs over the rivers edge.

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We wondered around looking for some nature and enjoyed the sights and smells of a new place discovered, after sitting, watching boats slowly make their way past, carrying building materials up and down the Red River, we were satisfied and were ready to face the city again.

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The thing is with Vietnam is that it seems to surprise you in the lovelies of ways and just as we were leaving we saw some pretty teapots amongst the rubbish and lo and behold after a bit of digging and bag opening, we found bowls, plates, teapots, ashtrays and cups. The locals came rushing over, surprised that people, especially foreigners would be going through the trash, so as they took their pictures and videos but also gave blessing, we rummaged until we had caused such a scene that it was time to quickly load up backpacks and make a swift exit.

Vietnam is such a contrasting being, in that people here will continue to fix something until it is almost disintegrated and yet throw away flowers before they’ve bloomed and perfectly usable pottery.

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Never judging, just observing.  x

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