First visit to a bamboo factory in Viet Nam.

In Hanoi many of the streets are arranged according to industry/products. There is the hardware street, the bedding street, the coffee street, the Chinese medicine street, silk street, hair salons and there is also the bamboo street.

Bamboo poles, bamboo ladders, bamboo bongs line the street ~ bamboo ready for purchase, as normal a purchase as any other.

man making a bamboo bong
bamboo bundled, “ready to go”

While staying in Ninh Binh at the beautiful Tam Coc gardens, we couldn’t help admire the gorgeous bamboo mat ceilings. Done with such precision and aesthetically gorgeous, we inquired as to where they were made.

bamboo ceiling

On discovering from the restaurant manager, that the factory was on the way back to Hanoi, instead of going back on the train we hired a driver to take us to the factory.

For several years now, just as we have integrated “culinary tourism” as an integral part of our travels, due to Ben’s fascination with manufacturing, we have taken to visiting factories (for products of interest) if and when possible.

The factory had one section for bamboo products and another for rattan products. The owner proudly showed us around this big factory which had been started by his grandfather and father. They have supplied Ikea in the past and today mostly supply Target.

Gorgeous bamboo and rattan products such as vases, platters, trays and so on are all displayed in the factorys showroom.  But what WE are interested in is their ability to do elements of a future “pre-fabricated amphibious bamboo house”, as well as their capability to supply product for our new company’s first customer.

Ben has signed on to be a sourcing consultant and will help a Hawaii based company maintain better control of its bamboo suppliers without having to send a US executive as often, thanks to Ben providing “on the ground” eyes and ears

Bamboo mats are made in nearby villages and brought to the factory where they are pressed and steamed into stiff panels. 

Contrast this to our vertically integrated CO2 Bambu business where we orchestrated every step of the bamboo value chain from plantation development, to harvesting, to preservation, to manufacturing to ultimately building a house. 

Such is the advantage of  a continent that has used and valued bamboo in every aspect of daily life for thousands of years. It brought home, the Herculean task of having started the bamboo industry in Nicaragua.

This mat is 4′ x 8′, perfect for a wall panel.  Ben is already staring to conceptualize our “made in Vietnam” amphibious bamboo house, which we will export to build the first low cost, bamboo amphibious house to be deployed in Nicaragua.

4 thoughts on “First visit to a bamboo factory in Viet Nam.

  1. Ezra

    I don’t understand how you navigate your way into a bamboo factory without fluency in Vietnamese language. A testament to your humanity and ability to relate to people from the heart. Love you guys, thanks for sharing these stories and images. Keep dreaming!

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