Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Vietnamese Lacquer Art - WW


After travelling for more than two hours on a bus, we took a toilet break at a rest stop on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh city. While waiting for the rest of the tour members, I wandered around the area and discovered a lacquer art painting demonstration.

It was fascinating watching the artists worked.


A young artist was drawing the outline with chalk and apply crushed egg shell.


materials for the lacquer art - eggshells


shells, mother of pearl


Rubbing and polishing after the painting has been completed

During the three-day trip in Vietnam, our tour guide sneakily included souvenir shops selling expensive lacquer ware and Vietnamese products in our tightly scheduled itinerary.

As a result, we missed visiting the famous Saigon Notre Dame Basilica and Saigon Central Post Office because she insisted on visiting a lacquer factory when we had only an hour before our dinner on a cruise ship. Her 15-minute stop turned into an hour long of shopping. ISH. *feeling frustrated*


  1. Must have been very interesting to see how that works ! The fact that you missed the Basilica and the Post Office, made me think of a tour I had done around Morocco where we had to watch how oriental carpets are made and then hadn't enough time to visit the rest, lol ! The same happened in Turkey and Tunisia for pottery too, they want you to buy things which is normal. My friend even had bought a carpet and they had sent it to Belgium.

    1. It was amazing watching the young artists work. Their lacquer paintings are so beautiful.

      I dislike going on guided tours because the tour guides would bring us go shopping to earn their commissions. I went along this trip because of my friends. I love to explore new places, see how the people live and experience a little of their lifestyle. I would buy souvenirs for my relatives and friends if I see local products but I would not go out of the way to get those through a middleman.

  2. Pity la the guide so sneaky like that!

    But I also experienced it before. Our free time got wasted because of an extra shopping trip squeezed in by the guide.

    1. I didn't get to visit Saigon Notre Dame Basilica and Saigon Central Post Office although I was in HCMC and don't have photos of them because we were hijacked to a factory to spend money. What a waste!

  3. I think most tourist guides do that eventually, they just want to earn that extra "allowances"

  4. sounds like the tour guide might get paid by the artist shops to bring customers there.

  5. That's the main reason why I dislike following tour on my travels. I try to avoid tours as much as possible. They will always bring you to souvenir shops to earn those commissions!

  6. That's good. My family also likes making craft. They prefer it than famous tourist spots.