News in Hoi An Ancient Town
Drifting for over 30 minutes from a small port on Thu Bon River in Quang Nam Province, I started my discovery to Kim Bong wood carving village in Cam Kim Commune on the opposite side of Hoi An ancient town.
|An old couple watches Thu Bon River’s landscape in the mist on the way to Kim Bong village.|
The village is a popular sightseeing spot for tourists as it offers meticulous wooden products and sculptures.
From the port, tourists will see a big banner of the village’s name leading to a small path under the shades of paper flowers and areca palm trees. They can smell fresh air as well as the fragrance of wood at numerous houses in the village.
|An entrance leading to the Kim Bong village.|
The village established its carpentry reputation in the 15th century by Northern people who came there to start up something different. The wood work in Kim Bong dramatically developed in the 18th century thanks to the prosperity of Hoi An port and it divided into three major areas of construction, household appliances and boat making.
Tourists can find the mark of Kim Bong village through sophisticated carved details at altars, furniture and pillars found in ancient houses, pagodas, temples and worshipping compartments in Hoi An ancient town.
|A local artisan carves a wooden painting at her factory.|
Nowadays, local artisans turn their hand to make art wood works to export to overseas markets as well as to serve the demands of tourists, like statues, paintings, decoration items and household appliances. Some of them are expert in making boats for fishermen or joining restoration tasks for relics in the ancient town.
An artisan needs to dry wood prior to the sawing, designing and polishing processes. Some popular creations of the village are the worshipping characters like Maitreya Buddha, Phuc, Loc, Tho (happiness, prosperity and longevity) and Arhat.
|A foreigner inspects numerous wooden statues displayed at popular artisan Huynh Ri in the village.|
A tour to Kim Bong is usually combined with a visit to My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province which is normally priced at VND150,000 for a two-way tour by bus and boat.
Wood products with posted prices are from VND120,000 for an item.
A tip for tourists is to book their tours at the numerous travel agents in Hoi An ancient town as hotel travel desks charge expensive fees, sometimes two or three times higher than local firms.