Travelogue: The Artisan Treasures of Ba Be National Park

Hello friends! Today, I'm taking you to a hidden paradise in northern Vietnam, Ba Be National Park. Imagine breathtaking landscapes, lush mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and above all, an incredible cultural and artisanal richness. We are about to dive into the artisan treasures of this region, and believe me, you're going to love it!


pac-ngoi-villagePac Ngoi Village and its Traditional Handicraft workshops

The Tay and the Art of Thread and Color

Let's begin our adventure with the Tay, the majority ethnic group in the region. These artisans are masters of weaving, creating textiles that seem straight out of a fairy tale. In fact, a local legend tells the story of a fairy who taught this art to a young Tay girl named Mai. With a magical loom given by the fairy, Mai learned to create intricate patterns that tell the stories of her culture.Featured Products:

  • • Silk scarves with geometric patterns
  • • Embroidered tablecloths depicting daily life
  • • Naturally dyed cotton bags

My tip: During your visit, don't miss the mini weaving workshops offered by the Tay artisans. You can even create your own woven bracelet!

tay-women-sewingSewing contest in Ba Be!

The Dao and the Stitched Stories of Golden Threads

Now let's move on to the Dao, known for their colorful embroideries and traditional clothing. One day, I met an elderly Dao woman who explained that each embroidery stitch is a prayer for happiness and prosperity. Imagine the amount of good wishes in a single traditional dress!
Featured Products:

  • • Embroidered headpieces with floral motifs
  • • Jackets adorned with pom-poms and coins
  • • Embroidered lucky charms

Did you know? Each color in Dao embroideries carries a specific meaning. Red symbolizes luck, green represents growth, and yellow signifies royalty.

tay-women-weavingTay women weaving

The Hmong, Masters of Wax

Finally, let's discover the unique art of the Hmong people: wax batik.

Did you know? It is said that the art of Hmong batik originated from an impossible love between a Hmong girl and a forest spirit. Unable to be together, the spirit taught the girl the art of creating patterns with wax, so that she could express her love through her creations.Featured Products:
  • • Pleated skirts with geometric patterns
  • • Indigo-dyed hemp scarves
  • • Batik wall tapestries

My tip: Some Hmong villages offer workshops where you can learn the basics of wax batik. A perfect activity to bring back a unique souvenir!

bbnp-basketryThe ancestrail art of basketry

Other Artisanal Products in Ba Be


Basketry is an art practiced by several ethnic groups in the park, including the Tay and the Nung. During a visit, I met an elderly Tay basket weaver who explained that each basket tells the story of the forest. The patterns represent the rivers, mountains, and animals of Ba Be.
Featured Products:

  • • Bamboo fishing baskets
  • • Woven conical hats
  • • Decorative rattan baskets

My tip: Try your hand at basketry in some villages. It's more challenging than it looks!


Although less widespread, blacksmithing remains an important craft, particularly among the Nung.

Did you know? A local story tells of a Nung blacksmith receiving the secret of metalworking from a dragon living in the depths of Ba Be Lake.
Featured Products:
  • • Traditional kitchen knives
  • • Finely crafted agricultural tools
  • • Silver and copper jewelry

Wood Carving

Although not specifically considered a traditional art of Ba Be, wood carving is practiced by several ethnic groups, each with their distinctive style.

A Dao sculptor once told me that before starting to carve, he meditates to "listen" to the tree and discover what form it wants to take.
Featured Products:

  • • Totemic animal statues
  • • Carved kitchen utensils
  • • Ceremonial masks

bbnp-craftHandicraft in Ba Be

Integration into the Local Ecosystem

These crafts are not isolated activities but integral parts of Ba Be's cultural and natural ecosystem. Basket weavers work with farmers and fishermen, creating tools adapted to their needs. Blacksmiths produce the necessary tools for woodcarvers, who create handles for the blacksmiths' tools. This interconnection reflects the philosophy of harmonious living with nature among the ethnic groups of Ba Be.


The crafts of Ba Be National Park are a living testament to the creativity, ingenuity, and harmony with nature of the people who live there. Whether it's through weaving, embroidery, batik, basketry, or wood carving, each piece tells a story and perpetuates centuries-old traditions.

By discovering these crafts, you're not just bringing back a souvenir, but also becoming a part of preserving these unique skills.
So, which artisanal technique would you like to try on your next visit to Ba Be?


Although there are no official craft workshops, you will find Tay weaving and embroidery workshops in Pac Ngoi and Coc Toc. Din Do, in the commune of Nam Mau, specializes in the making of brocades and embroidery. Coc Tam, in the commune of the same name, is known for its manufacture of wooden furniture and sculptures. As for the village of Phu Na, also belonging to Nam Mau, it specializes in the making of silver jewelry.

During your walks... Be curious!
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