The Hundred-Year-Old Kingdom of Red Bricks in Vinh Long

The Hundred-Year-Old Kingdom of Red Bricks in Vinh Long
Vinh Long is not only well-known as a “Land of Orchards” with laden fruit trees all year round, but also a “Land of ceramics and bricks”. Photo: Cao Ky Nhan

Stretching around 30km, Mang Thit brick village in Vinh Long is a long-standing traditional craft location near a romantic river in the Southwest. The red kilns and rows of brick mixed with the sparkling natural landscape here have captivated thousands of visitors.

Vinh Long has long been known as the most famous and largest brick production province in the Mekong River Delta region; indeed, the local people called it “red kingdom”.

In the past, Mang Thit was a prosperous traditional craft village. Due to poor transport systems, brick and ceramic products of the village were mainly transported to other regions by boat.

At present, just a few kilns in the village are working. From a so-called kingdom of bricks, the village has now become an attractive destination for tourists and photographers.

Mang Thit stretches along the banks of various rivers - Co Chien river, Cai Nhum river, Thay Cai canal and straight paved highways in Mang Thit District, Vinh Long Province. Photo: Cao Ky Nhan
The lives of the locals are closely connected to each red brick, each burning kiln. Photo: Cao Ky Nhan
The kilns viewed from the Thay Cai canal. Source: NDO

Coming to this place and taking a trip along the Thay Cai Canal, visitors have an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful landscape formed by thousands of old kilns that look like pyramids in miniature on the two banks of the canal.

The rivers in Mang Thit mostly originate from two main river courses, including Tien river (Front river) and Hau river (Back river). Therefore, the land of Mang Thit receives abundant amount of deposited silt every year which helps cultivate the primary red soil, bring great economic value to the city.

Strolling along the Co Chien River, tourists will see the egg-shaped brick kilns standing side by side with factories. These kilns are not only manufacturing facilities but also tourist destinations appealing to visitors.

Vinh Long bricks are popular and favoured because their raw material is the local red clay. Photo: Cao Ky Nhan
A kiln has an average height of 7-12 meters. Workers work hard to build a kiln. Photo: Pham Tri Nhan

The handmade potteries there are extensive, ranging from vases, pots, jars and bas-reliefs to paintings and statues.

To visit the kiln, from the center of Vinh Long city, visitors can take a boat down the Co Chien river with a journey of about 8km. Besides us, visitors can also combine road and waterway to enter Mang Thit.

From Vinh Long city center, go to Fourteen September, cross the intersection right at Dinh Khao ferry along DT902 road for about 8km. When arriving at Thay Cai canal, board the train to visit the pottery village.

Facing the risk of the brick kiln being destroyed, Vinh Long provincial authorities have developed a project entitled “Mang Thit Contemporary Heritage”.

The project affirms that the baked brick village area from Vinh Long City to the territory of Long Ho and Mang Thit districts is a valuable open-air treasure that needs to be preserved because its history has been developing for over 100 years, creating a unique architectural heritage and traditional craft.

The Nhon Phu and My Phuoc communes of Mang Thit district are home to the most brick production facilities in the locality. With talented hands, local craftsmen produce useful products for people from rudimentary soil.

Everywhere in town, the folk work diligently on the humble bricks that will then build countless houses and massive architectural works all over the country, bringing the source of livelihood for so many rural laborers.

Stages of making red brick products in Vinh Long. Source: NDO