ESSENCE OF VIETNAM
Grab 3 friends and take a journey into the vibrant culture of Vietnam. From the laneways of Hanoi's 1000 year old shopping district of the Old Quarter to the mountains of Northern Vietnam where you will experience the vibrant textiles and diverse cultures of the minority groups of this spectacular and beautiful part of the world. Discover the diversity of their colourful costumes and dress. Learn how the Red Dao create their unique embroidery pieces when you take a lesson from the ladies of the village and discover the secrets of hemp fabric and indigo dyes from the Black Hmong people. Fly to World Heritage Hoi An with its hundreds of tailors and shoe makers.
Day 1: Today is arrival day - your personal guide and car will collect you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel located in a quiet laneway in the Old Quarter which is a great base for exploring the amazing shopping on Hanoi.
Day 2: Today you'll take a private tour of the sites of Hanoi from the Ho Chi Minh complex, to the Temple of Literature and the wonderful Museum of Ethnology where you'll see hundreds of colourful exhibits on the costumes and cultures of the ethnic minority groups of Vietnam. There's also time for shopping at the amazing CrafLink gallery where you'll find gorgeous textiles from all over Vietnam. You'll end your day with a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter.
Day 3: This morning you'll visit the Women Museum with your afternoon free to shop and explore the streets of the Old Quarter. There's time for a shower and dinner before boarding your sleeper train which will take you to the city of Lao Cai along the Chinese/Vietnam border.
Day 4: Arriving early into Lao Cai you'll drive to the town of Bac Ha where you'll experience a kaleidoscope of colour at the Sunday market when thousands of Flower Hmong descend on the town to trade and socialise for the morning. This afternoon you'll drive further into the mountains to the resort town of Sapa, where you'll have the afternoon to relax or explore the town.
Day 5: This morning you'll embark on an exploration of the ethnic villages around Sapa - first to a Black Hmong village where you'll learn how they make and dye their hemp fabric then end your day with a group of Red Dao ladies learning the secrets of their beautiful traditional embroidery.
Day 6: Your day is free to relax. This afternoon you'll drive back down the mountains to board the train back to Hanoi city.
Day 7: Arriving in the early morning there's time for breakfast and shower before heading to the airport for a short flight to the city of Danang where you'll be met by your local guide and driver to transfer to the UNESCO town of Hoi An. Your afternoon is free to relax.
Day 8: This morning you'll take a private walking tour of the Ancient town. Your afternoon is free to explore the fabric markets and the hundreds of tailor shops around the town.
Day 9: Today is a free day to relax and do any last minute shopping. There's also the option to take a cooking class or take a lesson in silk lantern making.
Day 10: Your tour ends today after your transfer to the airport for your flight home.