Lai Thieu ceramics a timeless beauty

This week, Jackfruit team had a chance to visit Lai Thieu town, a lovely and historical area in Binh Duong city which is 20km away from Saigon – Ho Chi Minh city center. You can either go by motorbike or more adventure, a ho chi minh city cycling tour to travel to Lai Thieu. 

Saigon Lai Thieu map

What to do in Lai Thieu – Binh Duong

Lai Thieu town what to do in ho chi minh

  1. Chua Ba Lai Thieu 
Ba Lai Thieu Pagoda is an ancient pagoda built in the early years when the Chinese community migrated to Lai Thieu to live and do business. The temple is located opposite the river bank, bringing luck and peace to the boats and businesses of the people here.
Although it has been around for a long time, the pagoda is still very well preserved and every year on special occasions or festival seasons, many people come here to go to the pagoda and pray.
chua ba lai thieu
The entrance of Chua Ba Lai Thieu pagoda

2. Lai Thieu ceramics 

Lai Thieu ceramics are a renowned domestic and foreign brand in the ceramic industry. Together with Bien Hoa Pottery (Dong Nai), Cay Mai Pottery (Saigon) and Lai Thieu Pottery (Binh Duong), they have created a nationwide reputation for the Southern ceramic industry from past to present. Lai Thieu is an ancient land with a rich Chinese history and culture because the majority of Lai Thieu residents are Chinese who migrated here to live. And most of the pottery kilns in Lai Thieu are also owned by Chinese people. That’s why Lai Thieu pottery also has a strong Chinese style with many delicate patterns or images painted according to many ancient Chinese stories.

Lai Thieu ceramics village
Visit the river bank area where all the ceramics has been store here before shipping away

Lai Thieu ceramics were born around the mid-19th century, and are a combination of Southern Chinese ceramic making techniques and South Central Vietnamese ceramic traditions. Lai Thieu ceramics along with Bien Hoa ceramics – Cay Mai ceramics form a famous ceramic triangle of ceramics in the Southern region.

lai thieu binh duong ceramics


Binh Duong is blessed with natural mineral resources of clay and kaolin that are very suitable for pottery making. That’s why many ceramic artists from Cay Mai pottery village – Ben Nghe have attracted many ceramic artists to come here to live and establish their careers.

Inside a wholesale ceramics family store
Inside a wholesale ceramics family store

There is a lot of controversy about the cradle of Binh Duong pottery. Some people say the cradle of Binh Duong ceramics is in Tan Phuoc Khanh (Tan Uyen). There is also an opinion that the cradle of Binh Duong ceramics is in the Constellation (Bung) area of Hung Dinh commune. There is an opinion that in Suoi Sau (Hoa Thanh) Thuan An is the cradle of Song Be ceramics, Binh Duong. Up to now, this issue is still a controversial issue among ceramic researchers

Lai Thieu pottery has been around for a long time, at least since the first half of the 19th century and was founded by the Chinese, initially the Fujian school, then Lai Thieu pottery also has a combination of The three schools of Southern Chinese pottery are:

  • Guangdong school (Quang kiln): specializes in producing all kinds of decorative statues, flower pots, elephant pedestals of many types, large ones are often used for sitting, small ones are used for interior decoration. The highlight of this school is the use of colorful enamel, the patterns are often stylized, beautiful and elegant.
  • Chaozhou school (Tieu kiln): specializes in producing household ceramics, serving daily needs such as: cups, plates, bowls and vases used to arrange flowers… this school often uses blue and white enamel , richly diverse drawings. They pay attention to drawing simple patterns, charming landscapes, images of animals such as dragons and chickens; Trees such as pine trees, chrysanthemums, bamboo… have a sensual artistic quality.
  • Fujian school (Fujian furnace): specializes in producing wine jars, water jars, utensils such as pots, ducks… this school often uses black enamel, eel skin, vivid decorative patterns and create a beautiful shape.

Nowadays, the schools of ceramics are almost no longer as clearly defined as before. Due to the development of technology and market requirements, the schools have mixed and infiltrated each other. together. If production facility owners want to survive and develop, they must continuously improve designs and innovate technology, so that their products can compete with famous products from Japan, China, Europe…

Lai Thieu ceramics have been around for a while, and have quickly integrated and developed over time. Lai Thieu potters take inspiration from real images of the Southern region such as chickens, crabs, fish, banana trees, chrysanthemums, herbs, and more to create innocent, attractive, and lively ceramic paintings. Along with the art of expressing contrasting colors and vivid, skillful penmanship, it makes users love and admire it.

Although there has been a little influence from foreign ceramics in certain genres, Lai Thieu pottery still retains its tradition. Lai Thieu ceramics still retains its own nuances during its existence and development to this day. Therefore, the products made always create a place in the market as well as contribute to enriching the ceramic genre in the Southeast region in particular and Vietnam in general.

At Jackfruit our Ho chi minh city cycling tour bring you to those amazing alleyways to feel the city life of Saigon city on our route. Contact us today for more activities to do in ho chi minh saigon city.

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