Quang Phu Cau village in Ung Hoa district, 35 kilometres from downtown of Hanoi, is famous for its century-old craft of making incense.
|Everywhere in Cau Bau, Phu Luong Thuong, and Dao Tu hamlets in the village, the streets have blazed pink and red of incense sticks.|
According to local elders, the craft of making incense has been practiced in Quang Phu Cau around 100 years ago. It was first practiced in Phu Luong Thuong hamlet, before being expanded to the remaining hamlets in the commune, including Xa Cau, Quang Nguyem, Phu Luong Ha, Cau Bau and Dao Tu.
Beginning as a part-time job, the craft now generates incomes to nearly 3,000 households, accounting for around 70% of the total households in the village
Streets in the villages are filled with bunches of blazed red and pink incense sticks
As incense sticks are made from bamboo, Quang Phu Cau villagers consume around 200 tonnes of bamboo a day, which are mostly transported from Bac Kan, Lang Son, Thai Nguyen and Thanh Hoa provinces.
The making of incense sticks include many steps, including chopping bamboo, dipping the sticks in pink dye, letting them dry outdoor, and producing incense paste
A worker uses a machine to apply incense paste to the bamboo sticks. The process was done manually in the past, but recently many have switched to machines, which help to increase productivity
The craft can generate an income of VND5 million - VND6 million (US$215 – USS$258) a month. Those who have more experience can earn up to VND6 million –VND 8 million (US$258 – US$345).
Quang Phu Cau's incense sticks are not only favoured by domestic customers but they are also exported to many foreign markets around the world.