About 20 km from the center of the capital, Son Dong craft village (Hoai Duc district, Hanoi) is a very special tourist destination. Coming here, visitors seem lost in the space of wooden statues, especially worship statues and worship objects. Here, visitors can also buy many lovely wooden souvenirs.

From the center of the capital, follow Highway 32 to Tram Troi town and then turn left for more than 1 km and you will arrive at Son Dong handicraft village. This place is considered the capital of making worship objects or handicraft carvings. Son Dong craft village currently has more than 1,000 skilled workers and many talented artisans, not to mention many carvers from other places. Legend has it that Son Dong craft village is about 1,000 years old with a tradition of sculpting worship statues, worship objects such as: Hoanh Phi, Cau Doi (parallel sentences), altar tables... and sculpting and decorating interiors in traditional style.

Right from the beginning of the village, visitors can hear the pleasant clicking sound of chisels and the scent of precious woods. Everywhere, people also encounter statues such as Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha, Avalokiteshvara Buddha, Saint Tran Hung Dao, statues of Mr. Good, Mr. Evil, statues of Arhat... and countless others. Other types of handicraft worship items. There are wooden statues of Buddhas and Saints several meters high, delicately crafted.

Worship statues are the most difficult products to make. The first step of carving statues begins with choosing wood. The common raw material for making Buddha statues is jackfruit wood, while making altarpieces there are also doi wood and yellow heart wood. Jackfruit wood has the characteristics of flexibility, softness, and fine grain, thereby avoiding mistakes while chiseling. Jackfruit wood is also highly durable, rarely cracks, and easy to peel. Son Dong people have to buy jackfruit wood from provinces such as Phu Tho, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An... The wood transported has all the senses removed, only the core is used to chisel.

Each statue that meets the requirements must depict the nuances of each person and rank in that religion, as well as highlight their charisma. Therefore, the craftsman must understand the history, personality, and position of each statue, combined with mastering specific esoteric techniques to "breathe soul" into each statue.

Observing the craftsmen also brings interesting experiences. Wherever the chisel lines go, the shaping features appear. Many people say that flowers, leaves, dragons and phoenixes "come out" from the chisels. An important step in making statues that attract tourists is painting the statue. Nowadays, many people use industrial paint, but many households also keep traditional painting methods. The painter will mix alluvial soil and then "paint bundles" to "cut the statue". After each stage, the statue is polished with stone and water. The process is repeated many times, helping the paint on the statues last up to several hundred years.

Many parts of the statue or sculpture are plated with gold or silver. This is also a very fascinating process. Plated gold is imported from Kieu Ky craft village (Gia Lam district). The worker applies the outer layer of paint after many layers of paint. When the paint is still sticky, he sticks plated gold and silver. Statues that were originally rustic became magnificent in just a moment.

There was a time when religious and spiritual activities were not given due attention, so the craft village faced difficulties. From 1980 onwards, the craft village has been restored. Due to the great demand of society, craft villages are increasingly developing strongly. Asiatica Travel. Currently, products of Son Dong handicraft village account for more than 50% of the market share nationwide.

One thing that attracts visitors is that they can order any type of statue, from Buddha statues, Saint statues to family worship statues, or personal portrait statues... Customers just need to make a request and address. Just a few days later, the ordered sculptures will be delivered to your home. Depending on the size, material, and complexity, the price of the ordered statues will vary. Although tourism infrastructure is not yet developed, thanks to its geographical location near the city center, Son Dong fine arts village is a favorite destination for many domestic and international visitors.