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Apr 18, 2023 / 15:24

Thuy Ung handicraft village recorgnized tourism destination in Hanoi

The village, which specializes in handmade horn combs passed down from father to son, is expected to be an exciting destination for visitors to the capital city.

Thuy Ung horn carving village, about 30 kilometers south of Hanoi, has been listed in the tourism destination map of the capital city thanks to its villagers' efforts in preserving and promoting traditional handcraft passed down from generation to generation.

Located in the outskirts district of Thuong Tin, the village has become the first one of the Hoa Binh Commune to have qualified for tourism services.

 Local visitors join a trade fair at Thuy Ung craft village in Thuong Tin District. Photos: Thuy Ung craft village

Nguyen Xuan Huy, who has witnessed the ups and downs of the craft village over the past 400 years, said his family had been involved in making horn combs for five generations.

"Through the ups and downs, the handicraft villagers like our family are very proud of the products. We have not only maintained the 400-year-old craft but also improved the living conditions from the craft," he said happily. "Our family has created regular jobs for 40 workers in the village."

On average, Huy's family buys more than three containers of raw materials each month, mostly buffalo horns from India and some African countries.

He added that the bone and horn industry in Thuy Ung village has gradually developed in recent years. Each household has invested in modern machines such as horn-cutting machines and hydraulic horn presses and expanded the production scale to create products with high quality and variety of designs.

"Thuy Ung's handmade horn combs are popular in domestic and foreign markets, such as South Korea and Japan," he said.

According to Nguyen Thi Xuyen, a bone and horn craftswoman, the recognition of Thuy Ung as a tourist attraction is essential for the villagers to continue developing and preserving traditional crafts.

 A 77-year-old artisan at work in the Thuy Ung horn carving village.

Chairman of Hoa Binh Commune People's Committee Hoang Van Thang said that as Hanoi recognizes Thuy Ung craft village as a tourist destination, this is an opportunity for Thuong Tin District to promote the strengths of the district's tourism potential and participate in preserving and promoting cultural values, producing typical tourism products of the city.

He added that to meet the criteria to become a tourist destination, the local government has divided the village into tourist areas, including an administrative center, a cultural and sports center, with an area of nearly 4ha, a shopping destination combining food services and other convenient services, two remaining areas covering 61.2ha and focusing on craft households, shops displaying and selling products of Thuy Ung horn comb craft village.

Visitors coming to Thuy Ung horn comb craft village can explore community houses, pagodas, ancestral churches, ancient wells, shrines, and heritage banyan trees, experience the stages of horn comb handicraft production, and visit the exhibition area showcasing the village's handicraft products.

Thang added that the district authority is focusing resources on road infrastructure to develop handicraft village tourism.

Local artisan Nguyen Van Su said he hoped the Hanoi Department of Tourism would support the development of handicraft village tourism, including organizing experience tours, training staff working in tourism, and promoting tourism professionals.

He called on the city's Department of Industry and Trade to support vocational training, and evaluate and honor artisans, and have policies to nurture young talents in the locality.

 A fair displaying products of Thuy Ung craft village attracts a large number of visitors.

Nguyen Manh Than, Chairman of the Hanoi Tourism Association, said that Hoa Binh City should regularly coordinate with other departments and agencies and the Department of Tourism to organize professional training courses on tourism in the field. In particular, the local government needs to set up training and professional plans for the tourism site's management board and tour guides.

"It is necessary to call on organizations, individuals, and businesses to utilize the potential and advantages of Thuy Ung tourism site and invest in building tours, itineraries, and creating new and attractive tourism products that meet the needs of tourists," he said.

Speaking at a recent meeting in Hanoi in March, Tran Trung Hieu, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Tourism Department, said: "Thuong Tin District must build itself into a complete tourist destination based on historical and cultural relics, handicraft villages and typical scenic spots."

Hanoi authority has recognized four tourist attractions of Thuong Tin District, including Hong Van ornamental creature village (Hong Van Commune), Ha Thai lacquer village (Duyen Thai Commune), Thuy Ung craft village, and Van Diem carpentry village (Van Diem Commune). The city’s target for the 2022-2025 period is that each locality will have at least one to three community-based tourism services and tourist attractions, with the participation of farmers, cooperatives, households, and businesses.