After 1 hour drive and board a ferry across the Cau River, you’ll get to Tho Ha village, one of the best examples of an old village in northern Vietnam. The village retains the traditional architecture with a communal house, banyan trees, a small market and especially, the unique tradition of making rice papers.
The people of Tho Ha was always generating pottery products for centuries. And back in the late 80s, when Vietnam opened its door to the world, the profession showed signs of decline, probably due to competitiveness. The natural market demand headed people into doing something else: Rice papers, an integral part of Vietnamese Spring Roll.
The task takes place from very early in the morning, when the rice is ground and mixed with water. This mixture is then poured onto a hot, steamy surface and after half a minute or so, it’s cooked into a thin layer of paper-like substance, this is the early stage of rice papers, or “wet rice paper”. The wet rice paper is then hung on bamboo lattices and placed outdoor for drying. If weather permits, the process is done by around 10:00 am. The village is most photogenic in the morning, when these bamboo lattices are placed everywhere: above village roads, out in the village communal yards, or on top of houses. Walking through the village alleys under these lattices, which are brightly lit by sunlight, is truly memorable and photogenic.
Why not take half a day to join us for this photography tour out of Hanoi, to capture the traditional lifestyle of picturesque Tho Ha?
Travel to the outskirt of Hanoi and get to see the scenes of northern delta countryside along the way. We get to Tho Ha after an hour driving. The village lies by the side of the Cau River.
Tho Ha is a good example of a Vietnamese village that somehow escapes urbanization. Here, life goes on the way it has been for many years. You’ll get to walk through the village gate, sit underneath the banyan tree, pass by the communal house, etc. The design of the village follows the Vietnamese architecture with narrow alleys winding way through the community. Among the special things, are the coffin walls. Many of them are built from…ceramic coffins (well, no corpse inside). Once upon a time, they were made for sale.
People of Tho Ha have long involved in making rice paper – an integral part of the famous Vietnamese “Nem” or Spring Roll. It is truly photogenic when seeing the local hanging rice paper on bamboo lattice racks, and then putting these racks on house roofs, village alleys or any open space for drying. In certain light, these rice papers make perfect golden patches for your shots.
During the trip, we make our way along the narrow village paths, pay random visits to different households in search of photogenic scenes. The friendly local doors are wide open once knowing we’re here to visit. This morning, we will see into our different camera modes and check what we can do at different light conditions to generate the best shots possible.
This 5-hour trip will easily fit your schedule well while enriching your travel and photography experience.
Tour cost includes
– Licensed photography guide
– Transportation in private car/van (fuel included)
– Ferry & admission fees
Tour cost excludes
– Anything not listed in “Inclusions”
Your lens is your choice. Due to the fact that our photography mostly taken inside the village, where you can’t see for great distance (your vision is blocked by walls, houses), we suggest wide angle lens. A 85-mm lens or shorter (for full frame) will be great for portrait or people during their daily activities
The local people are friendly and our staff will of course respect them by asking for permission to go inside, where you can witness the life and the work of the local. Step out of your comfort zone by breaking the thought of privacy invasion, since the concept is translated as “friendly visits” by the local.