If you happen to be in Vietnam during the Tet New Year or you plan to visit the country during this holiday season, then you better visit the village of Quang Phu Cau, also known as Vietnam’s incense village. Located in the outskirts of Hanoi, Quang Phu Cau is home to a number of incense factories where hundreds of workers can be seen dyeing and drying down bamboo sticks to be made into incense sticks. On the days leading to the lunar New Year, the village turns into a vibrate shade of pink as millions of scented incense sticks can be seen being dried outdoors.
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Here’s everything you need to know about the Quang Phu Cau, dubbed as Vietnam’s incense village.
Where Is Quang Phu Cau?
Quang Phu Cau is located just outside of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. So if you plan on visiting this village, it is best to book a flight going to Hanoi. There are lots of international flights that go directly to Hanoi daily. If you’re coming from other cities in Vietnam, you can either take the train, bus, or take a domestic flight going to the capital city.
The village of Quang Phu Cau is about 40 km away from Hanoi. You can either hire a private car that will take you to the village or book a taxi from the city. The travel time should be one hour or less. There are also lots of public buses that travel to the village. If you want a more convenient way of exploring the village, you better book a private tour that will take you to the village along with other tourists. For those who are adventurous enough, you can rent a scooter and drive your way towards the village.
What To Expect in Quang Phu Cau?
The best time to visit Quang Phu Cau is during the last week of January, on the days leading to the Lunar New Year. This year, the Lunar New Year is on February 5th and as early as now, hundreds of villagers are already busy making millions of red incense sticks to meet the high demands. The lunar New Year or Tet is a big celebration in Vietnam and during this time, locals would light incense sticks as part of the tradition. Incense sticks are lighted during New Year’s Eve to offer prayers to ancestors and are placed on the home altars.
When visiting the village of Quang Phu Cau, you’ll be able to witness the process of making the incense sticks up close. It’s a painstaking process where workers must first split the bamboo into splints. After which, the splints are dried and are fed into machines that will produce the tiny sticks. The sticks are then dyed and dried outdoors and this is why you’ll encounter so many incense sticks upon arriving at the village. These sticks are also exported to neighboring countries of India, China, and Malaysia, who are also known to celebrate the New Year.
Tips to Visiting Quang Phu Cau
It is best to arrange your transportation or tour as early as possible when visiting the village of Quang Phu Cau during the Tet holiday. Tet is one of the most important national holidays in Vietnam and most businesses are closed during this time. Therefore, if you plan on visiting the country during the holiday season, you better plan your trip well.
A large number of Vietnamese would travel during Tet so taking the public transportation might be a challenge. Most hotels are also booked during the holiday so better book your stay as early as you can. It may be best to book a private tour with a local when planning to visit the village of Quang Phu Cau. Your local guide can arrange for your accommodation, transportation, and can walk you through the incense factories in the village while sharing a bit of history about the Tet celebration.