Vietnam Art Tour – 11 Days / 10 Nights

Water Puppets
Water Puppets

Our Vietnam Art Tour is individually designed for schools/colleges, which is interested in interested in traditional and contemporary art of Vietnam. The tour includes an Art class, architecture walk tour, a pottery and ceramic village in Hanoi, a lantern making class in Hoi An, visit to art galleries in Saigon…No problem if you want to make the tour longer or shorter, just let us know and we will adjust the itinerary accordingly.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Arrival at Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, teacher and students will be greeted then transferred to hotel. After a short rest, we enjoy a 1-hour cyclo tour of the French inspired “old quarter”. We will then sit down to enjoy a performance of the city’s famous Water Puppets. After the show, we will have welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant in town.

Day 2: Hanoi City & Art Class (B, L, D)
Today we will venture out to explore Hanoi. First up we will drive to the Ho Chi Minh complex where we will spend time at Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and One Pillar Pagoda. After that, we will visit Fine Art Museum, Green Palm gallery, Propaganda art shop.
After lunch, we join an art class. Firstly, we stop at Nguyen Art Gallery, have a short talk with Art Collector then we move to the Temple of Literature for our art course. We will spend the night in Hanoi.

Fine Arts Museum
Fine Arts Museum

Day 3: Wood carving village – Pottery Village – Food Tour (B, L, D)
This morning, we join our food tour. We will not have breakfast at hotel then we have many opportunities to taste Vietnamese food such as: Beef/chicken noodle, banh xeo, banh cuon, bun cha, spring rolls, café sua da, Vietnamese tea and many food gifts of Vietnamese people.

After that, we travel to Southwest of Hanoi to visit Canh Nau Wood Carving village. It’s 30km from Hanoi. Here, we listen to the history of the village, come to visit the handicrafts and sculptures. In the afternoon, we visit Bat Trang Ceramic village where we can visit and do the pottery by ourselves. In the late afternoon, we will transfer back to Hanoi for overnight accommodation.

Day 4: Hanoi – Halong (B, L, D)
Today we set off to the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Vietnam’; Halong Bay. Arriving before lunch we will board our boat and then set sail, cruising amongst thousands of extraordinary limestone karst formations. Halong Bay was voted one of ‘The New 7 Wonders of Nature’ in 2011, and once here you will know why it was included in this group.
On arrival in Halong, we will embark on V’Spirit Classic Cruise followed by a short cruise briefing. We will then savor a delectable lunch while V’Spirit Classic cruises among the limestone islands. In the mid-afternoon, we will kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Bo Nau Cave area before going back to the V’Spirit Classic and continue cruising to Soi Sim Island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay.
In the evening, we will cruise back to the main boat for a shower before having dinner and spend the night on board.

Day 5: Halong – Hanoi – Danang – Hoi An (B, L)
Wake up early in the morning and start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt before having breakfast. After that, we will explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the nicest cave in Halong Bay. After that, we will return to the boat, freshen up and check out of your cabin. Continue your cruise exploring the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more. While heading back to the habor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch. We will disembark at round noon and find your car is waiting and take you back to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi for an evening flight to Danang. On arrival, students and teachers will be greeted and transferred to our hotel in Hoi An where we will spend the night.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay

Day 6: Walking tour & Cooking Class (B, L, D)
In the morning, we have walking tour around the ancient town to visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Pottery Museum, Tan Ky old house, the Cantonese congregation, the silk street of Hoi An, the temples and pagodas of Chinese appearance.
Later this afternoon we commence our cooking class at the Red Bridge Cooking School. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours with each dish first being demonstrated by the Red Bridge’s master Chef before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving and plate decoration. After the lesson, we will sit down and enjoy what we have just prepared for dinner.

Day 7: Farming & Fishing Eco tour – Lantern making tour (B, L, D)
We have an early start this morning as we head off to our Farming & Fishing Life Eco Tour. Today we get a personal insight into the local farming communities. We set about joining the farmers in preparing their land for sowing, helping to fertilize the garden using seaweed from the local river and watering it in using huge tin cans strapped to our backs. Following this, we will begin our leisurely cycling tour through the countryside witnessing local Vietnamese rural life first hand. Late morning we will board our Hoi An Eco-tour boat for a river cruise. Here we will meet and witness local fishermen working their craft, before enjoying a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. We then transfer to a Vietnamese bamboo basket boat for a quick race and ride down a coconut palm lined waterway. Lunch today, is on board our boat which is prepared using vegetables picked earlier at the Village.

After lunch we have short lantern making tour. We will get to take lantern home with us (which is just as well if we are a bit clumsy with the bionic glue they use to apply the silk to the frame). Be warned though, that the lanterns we make in these classes are just tealight sized, which is good for luggage, but they look a bit, well, crap really.

Day 8: Hoi An – Transfer to Hue – city tour & boat trip (B, L, D)

Hoi An
Hoi An

This morning, we transfer northward to Hue. Along the way we will stop to contemplate the stunning views North, to Lang Co Beach. In Hue, we board the Dragon Boat on the romantic Perfume River heading out for the countryside. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded with ancient tombs of emperors past, and a visit to the most beautiful tombs will be on the itinerary for today. The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. We will enjoy a great view on the Perfume River and surrounding area. Thien Mu Pagoda is considered the symbol of Hue, and of Buddhism in Vietnam.

After lunch, we visit King Khai Dinh’s Tomb and King Tu Duc’s Tomb. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to visit Hue Imperial City – the home of Vietnam’s last royal Dynasty, and then we go to Dong Ba Market to see the daily life of local people. We will spend the night in Hue.

Day 9: Hue – Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L, D)
Today we take morning flight to Saigon where we visit Cu Chi tunnel in the afternoon. We will set off for the Cu Chi tunnel system; a complex maze once home to Communist guerrillas in their wars against the Japanese, French, Americans (and Australians). Before entering the tunnels, we will watch a short introductory video (a great example of propaganda and one which History students could analyse particularly with respect to perspective, reliability and usefulness) and then explore Cu Chi. Also on display are various mantraps, the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters created by 500lb bombs dropped by B52 bombers. Later afternoon we head back to Saigon. We spend the night in Saigon.

Cu Chi Tunnel
Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 10: Saigon city (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we meet tour guide and driver for our tour of this vibrant city. First stop the Reunification Palace (the former Presidential Palace of the President of South of Vietnam), and then spend time at the War Remnants Museum where we will see countless artifacts, photographs and pictures documenting the tragic Vietnam War. Before stop for lunch, we stop at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office for photos shooting…
In the afternoon, we visit some galleries such at Apricot Gallery, Lotus Art Gallery, Le Xuan Art Gallery. To finish the day we will have a great time trying to snap up a bargain at the Ben Thanh Markets. Dinner and overnight accommodation will be in Saigon.

Day 11: Saigon departure (B)
Time will be free until our car arrives to take students and teachers to Tan Son Nhat airport in good time to board the departure flight. Tour ends.