A man in the central province of Quang Nam has been making big money from building bamboo-framed bikes which have attracted many foreign customers.
Vo Tan Tan, 38, whose father is a famous bamboo carpenter, has a great love for the material and has made souvenirs since a very young age.
He’s done different kinds of jobs, from working in an electronics assembly factory in nearby Danang City to being employed as a staff member at a tourism company in his hometown. He has always spent time working at least part-time in the bamboo factory.
In 2013, he left his job to stay at home to open a workshop which specialises in making bamboo products.
“I had to spend many years with lots of sleepless nights, to make bamboo bikes. He often nearly gave up the idea. ‘A great love for bamboo encouraged me to continue,” he added.
Tan said that, “Initially, many customers thought that his bamboo bikes were just souvenirs, but when they got on to test them, they were good enough to operate, so many of them were happy to spend thousands of USD to by one.”
Despite having bamboo frames, the bikes are very strong. Many foreign customers ride them around Hoi An Town. The average life-span of each bamboo bike is 20 years and he offers a 10-year warranty.
Besides bamboo bikes, his shop displays more than other 30 products made from bamboo such as beds, tea pots, tables and chairs.
To date, Tan exports more than 100 bamboo bikes to many foreign countries, particularly Europe and America at prices ranging from VND10-40 million and a customized one can be priced at more than VND100 million. This year, he plans to expand his workshop to create more jobs for local people.
Tan said he can make around 50 bamboo bikes a year, meeting only a very small portion of the huge demand for the environmentally-friendly products.