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Why Ban Chan Pottery Village is special ?
This village is famous for its traditional pottery-making, where you can watch pots being hand-thrown and fired in old ovens. The village's lamps and pots decorate the small streets of Luang Prabang's old town, and are known all over northern Laos.
In ancient times, Laotian people used pottery for all kinds of purposes at home and in the fields. They needed strong, waterproof jars to store food, drinks such as rice alcohol or to keep rice dry and away from humidity and mice. By visiting this village you will learn the story of pottery in Laos, its role in daily life and how these jars are made, as well as the different shapes that the potter can transform the clay into. A short walk along the Mekong will allow you to visit Wat Chompet, a temple located 2km away, just in front of Wat Xieng Thong.
The raw material is taken from the surrounding area, mixed, processed, handled, shaped and fired on the site. Everybody participates in this activity, even the children amuse themselves by creating small objects representing animals, vases and ash trays… Prices can easily be negotiated for these small items.
Source : mekongresponsibletourism.org
What to explore at Ban Chan Pottery Village?
If you insist, you can try and create something for yourself with help from little expert Laotian hands.
The local manufacturing techniques have stayed a natural craftsmanship and are worth while seeing. To heat the ovens, they need at least 4 whole days, during which time, they work out a relay system to burn several dozen wooden beams (see photo).
When the ovens have reached the right temperature, that is stocked enough heat, it’s time to put the items in the oven. When they’ve been fired, they are left to settle, several days below ground (see photo). This is a process that has been done in this way, for generations.
How to get to Ban Chan Pottery Village?
The village is just on the other side of the Mekong. Take the local car ferry across for 5,000 kip and follow the path heading southwest for a kilometre, or charter a boat to take you directly there for 20,000 kip.
- Ban Chan Pottery experience
- A specialized ceramic village
- Good way to discover the countryside of Luang Prabang
- Interesting place to explore
- What a real Laos life
Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang, Laos
Tips for you
The village is just on the other side of the Mekong. Take the local car ferry across for 5,000 kip and follow the path heading southwest for a kilometre. There was no sign of a ferry or “local boat”, just a few wooden canoes tied up and a man fishing in his canoe a few yards off shore. It is good idea to tell the boatman where we wanted to go, rather than just pointing to the other side.Transportation
We took the boat to the other side of the Mekong river and walked a good half hour to Ban Chan Pottery Village. If you are a true pottery fan, the walk is totally worth it! We had the privilege to see three couples make big coil pots. We were asked if we wanted to try ourselves, but didn't as we didn't want to ruin their beautiful pot ;-). We bought some small clay pots and walked around the site. It was interesting to see their underground kiln as well. The site is quite small, but very interesting and the fact that we were the only people there made it even more special!