Yandabo Pottery Village
Yandabo is a small village situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River, and between Bagan and Mandalay. Despite of being a famous historical site where the Yandabo Treaty was signed to end the first Anglo-Burmese war, the village is also famous for pottery making tradition and the villagers'
There are roughly more than 400 houses in Yandabo, most of which can house up to from 5 to 10 people in one family. Among households, only around 30 of them produce pottery while the others are fishermen, farmers or raw material suppliers for making pottery. Making a pot requires two women co-operating together. The first person shapes the pot while the other one uses a treadle to control the spinning wheel. After that, they also decorate these pots and dry them under the sun. Next, thousands of pots are baked at the temperature of about 1200oC in layers covered with a large pile of ash, straw and wood for three to four days. Once the pots are finished and yield the brilliant red color, they can be decorated more with various designs. After finishing, all final products are conveyed to the riverbank and ready for shipping to all over Myanmar. Producing pottery requires the contribution of the entire village from the first steps to finished products, which became the spirit of this village.
Coming to Yandabo pottery village, tourists have a chance to observe the entire manual process of pottery production, from shaping to baking and shipping. Another nice thing here is that the local people are not so interested in selling the pots to tourists. They would rather enjoy the social interaction with tourists and make friends with them. Thus, tourists can comfortably visit these houses without being obligated to buy anything or afraid of being ripped off. They also willingly instruct visitors to make their own unique pots. Visitors can freely experience creating pots or buy the pots as souvenirs.
To reach this village, tourists can travel by cruises from Mandalay to Bagan along the Ayeyarwady river and stop by the village. The peaceful landscape of the river is another bonus point for the trip. Like anywhere else in Myanmar, the best time to make a trip here is the dry season which range from November to April. During this time, the warm and sunny days are ideal for sightseeing throughout the country, and it is best to avoid rainy season when sightseeing can become difficult. Visiting Yandabo pottery village is surely a wonderful experience. Making pottery entirely in a traditional way is a rare sight in our new world where technology and automation take place. The calm scenery of the rural area and the friendly residents make this village is a great destination to take a break from the busy modern world outside and refresh yourself.