Vietnam’s Palette: Exploring the Arts of Vietnam – 11Days & 10Nights

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Welcome to Hanoi! The capital city of Vietnam which is over 1000 years old! You will be greeted with a warm smile from our 4UTOURS INTERNATIONAL local expert as soon as you come out of the baggage claim and customs area. Your luggage will be transported to the car for you and you will then be driven to your luxury hotel while you get an introduction to the motorbike frenzy from the comfort of your luxury transportation. We know traveling is arduous so take the rest of the day to rejuvenate and prepare for Day 2.


Our discovery of arts will start with a morning tour of Hanoi visiting the Temple of Literature, One Pillared Pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Museum of Ancient and Modern Art. A museum curator will guide you through the museum introducing you to Vietnamese art both ancient and modern.  We will have lunch at one of Hanoi’s top tables followed by a Cyclo ride through the old quarter.  This afternoon you will visit the Vietnamese Ethnological museum.  Your curator guide will introduce you to the arts and crafts of many of the 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam. You will have a little time to rest before heading out to a fantastic dinner at the Artists’ Restaurant, popular with local Vietnamese artists, actors and singers.  Rest well this has been a long day!


On today’s exploration of arts we will visit two local craft villages.  Bat Trang, a ceramic village, as established in the 11th by Thanh Hoa potters.  The secrets of these master potters have been carefully passed down from generation to generation.  The beautiful ceramics produced today are made in the age-old tradition of the Thanh Hoa potters.  The artisans of Bat Trang say that the traditional notions of yin and yang, and the incorporation of the five basic elements of metal, wood, water, earth and fire are essential to the production of their fine pottery. You will learn about Vietnamese ceramics from the potters and painters of Bat Trang. You will have the opportunity to create your own ceramic project while we visit Bat Trang! We will have a traditional local lunch followed by an afternoon excursion to Dong Ho village. For 400 years and over 20 generations, the extended family of Nguyen Dang Che of Dong Ho village mastered the art of producing woodblock prints.  Many of the woodblocks used today are original and carefully preserved by Mr. Che.  The paper and inks used are made in the same manner as by the traditional way their ancestors created them!  Mr. Che who has been recognized by UNESCO for his dedication to preserving this ancient art form will welcome you to his village and introduce you to the history and beauty of woodblock printing.  We will return to the hotel and enjoy the scenic drive back to the city. This evening we will attend a performance of Vietnamese Water Puppets at the Thang Long Theater, an theatrical performance that features traditional music and instruments as well as an elaborate puppet show that’s created in the water!


This morning, we will make our way towards the airport for a flight to Hue, the imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty.  Ruling from 1802-1945 the Nguyen emperors were the last kings of Vietnam, but the classical music, art and architecture continues to thrive.  Your exploration starts with a romantic and scenic boat ride on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda continuing to the beautiful mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang. Make sure to have your cameras ready! Lunch will be enjoyed at one of the lovely riverside restaurants.  This afternoon you will visit the School of Fine Arts at Hue University.  A special dinner of Hue specialties will be served this evening together with traditional classical Hue music. After dinner take a walk along the riverside to see the local handicrafts being sold by artisans!



Our morning will start with an excursion to the Imperial Purple Palace, patterned after the Forbidden Palace in Beijing, you will learn about the tradition of Hue conical hat making; this is the traditional hat you see farmers wearing in the rice paddies.  Although found throughout Vietnam, Hue is famous for the beautiful hidden designs and art that are the trademark of their hats.  At sunset, we will visit the Tomb of Khai Dinh which is located in Chau Chu Mountain followed by a Royal Hue Feast Dinner with tastes of local Hue cuisine. Some would argue that it is the best food in Vietnam! It is the heart of central Vietnamese cuisine!


Time to say goodbye to Hue, don’t be sad, we have an amazing journey ahead of us yet to come! We will cross the Hai Van Pass through beautiful scenery where the mountains look down on the ribbon of white sand dotted with small fishing villages bordering the South China Sea.  We will enjoy a traditional seafood lunch at the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co, before arriving into the well-preserved 600-year old town of Hoi An.  It is a living museum with its eclectic mix of restored homes, winding streets and ancient bridges. Enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An. Time to explore the antique shops, art galleries and markets on your own. The evening is on your own, head into the old city to catch a great meal or relax at the hotel and take a walk along the beach.


On this amazing day we will visit the Cham Sculpture Museum with the curator as your guide.  This open-air museum houses the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world.  We will continue to the Sculpture Garden of sculptor Pham Van Hang, followed by a visit to the artist’s studio and local gallery.  We will drive out to the beach in Danang where lunch is waiting on the ocean terrace of the beautiful Furama Beach Resort.   We will transfer to the airport after lunch for an afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We will have a short orientation tour around the city center so you can get your bearing straight before checking into the hotel. Tonight is on your own for exploring, head down to the Ben Thanh market where you can find local crafts by local artisans as well as anything else you may be looking for!


This morning you will enjoy a panoramic tour of Saigon, the temporary home to famous writers such as Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene.  Feel the French influence in the lovely architecture of City Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office and feel the power of recent history in a visit to the Presidential Palace, renamed Reunification Palace.  Continue to the History Museum and meet with a local sculptor and painter who will discuss the revolution in modern Vietnamese art.  Light buffet lunch will be served at one of Saigon’s fine art galleries.  Meet with local artists who will talk about their art.  A visit will be scheduled to the studios of one of Vietnam’s internationally known artists.  This evening starts with a cocktail in the topiary garden of the Rex Hotel followed by dinner and folk show at the Rex Royal Court Restaurant.  After dinner, head up to the 5th floor of the Rex hotel for live music and entertainment. 


This morning you will visit one of Saigon’s well-known   lacquer ware workshops where you will be guided through each intricate step in the labor intensive art of producing Vietnam’s finest lacquer ware.  Your afternoon is free to explore on your own.  Our evening will include dinner served at Binh Quoi Village where you will be entertained with modern Vietnamese music, dance and folklore.


You will take a morning drive to the Mekong Delta, referred to as the “Rice Bowl” of Vietnam to explore its thriving agrarian economy, river culture, and spicy cuisine.  Upon arrival in Cai Be, you will board a motorized boat to visit a local family and nearby floating market. You will continue by boat towards An Binh Island through small shade-lined canals, stepping ashore to visit an orchard farm. You will learn about cultivation and the nursery for longan trees, while enjoying a lunch served with local specialties and exotic delta-grown fruits. After lunch, you will visit a pottery factory and candy making cooperative. In the afternoon you will return to Ho Chi Minh City. This evening, we will have a farewell dinner onboard a boutique dinner cruise ship on the Saigon River.


We want to thank you for choosing4UTOURS INTERNATIONAL and we hope you had an amazing journey and have learned a lot about the Vietnamese arts. For those that are flying home this day we wish you a safe journey, for those that are continuing on with us for a post extension trip, you will be given your departure details in advanced. Thanks again and safe journeys no matter where the wind takes you!