The yellow sunlight at the end of the day covers the red, hundred-year-old ceramic brick kilns, located on both sides of the canal, looking like “pyramids”, creating a magical and strange scene.

From the direction of My Thuan Bridge to the center of Vinh Long city, along the Co Chien river to Mang Thit… you will see hundreds of hundred-year-old ceramic brick kilns located close to the riverbank. This place is called the “kingdom” of Southern ceramic tiles.

hundred-year-old ceramic brick kilns

The rivers in the Mekong Delta not only bring silt – a rich source of nutrients to the Southern fruit fields and orchards, but also create flexible clay, an indispensable raw material for the ceramic brick industry.

Although only a few furnaces still maintain red fire, the rest are damaged and covered with moss and dust, but they create a beauty tinged with time.

Mang Thit pottery village

The brick kilns in Mang Thit are built mainly with thousands of bricks, forming architecture with a height of 9 – 13m. The furnace has a diameter of about 6 – 8m, is cylindrical in shape and gradually becomes smaller at the top.

Mang Thit ceramic brick

Brick kilns were often built close together along canal banks to facilitate the easy transportation of raw materials and finished products. During its heyday in the 1980s, the whole “kingdom” had more than 1,000 production facilities with about 3,000 furnaces operating continuously.

Most of the products here are transported everywhere, exported to a number of countries such as Cambodia, Korea, and Thailand. Mang Thit became the largest ceramic tile producer in the Mekong Delta.

To create quality bricks, it takes many steps and takes more than a month. First, knead the clay and shape it into bricks before drying it. This stage is now supported by machines so it is faster and less difficult.

Mang Thit ceramic brick

natural brick drying process

After drying, the bricks will take about 7 – 10 days to put into the kiln. This step requires experienced people so that when burning bricks, even though the fire is only lit underneath, the bricks are still guaranteed to cook evenly from root to tip.

Mang Thit ceramic brick

the process of transporting, arranging and arranging bricks into the kiln

After being fired, the bricks will cool naturally for about 10 days before being removed. Such a brick kiln usually takes about 5-7 days to unpack with more than 200,000 bricks. Raw materials for burning bricks include firewood, rice husks… and are heated 24/7 for about 20 days to achieve quality.

mang thit ceramic brick kilns

Although, the brick-burning profession in Mang Thit gradually declined because firing with traditional materials (husk, firewood…) was no longer suitable for social development, as well as the increased cost of raw materials, so many people were gradually changed their business.

mang thit ceramic brick kilns

However, with its unique architecture, Mang Thit ceramic brick kilns is becoming a destination that attracts visitors from far away to visit, take photos and learn about traditional crafts.

Source: collected by An

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