For over 60 years, Dinh An chopping-board craft village in Lo Vap District in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap has been somewhere people can sense the hardship of locals as well as admire their dexterity, meticulousness and patience.
From HCMC, to reach the village, tourists can head on National Highway1A to An Huu T-junction, taking a turn for about 30 kilometers to Sa Dec Township, then 30 kilometers to Vam Cong Ferry.
After the crossing, travelers will turn left for about four kilometers to Dinh An Commune which is home to the craft village.
In the past, locals often traded and carried aqua products from other provinces and when they returned home, they often brought mu u – a solid wood tree which lies near the river banks – to build up their homes. The remaining wood trunks were made into chopping-boards and gradually Dinh An chopping-board production village gained fame as one of the nation’s craft villages.
To the village, tourists will experience the busy ambiance of sounds from saws, chisels, hammers and machines. Some people pull small trucks, meanwhile, others concentrate on cutting boards.
Nowadays locals also use wood from mango, tamarind and coconut trees. Creating a chopping-board looks simple but to produce it you need a number of processes such as choosing your wood, drying it, cutting, shaping and shaving.
Each household can make about 200 chopping-boards in a working day with the whole village creating around 1,000 daily.