Textures of Vietnam

Prices from £3,295


7 Nov 2017 - 22 Nov 2017
Duration: 15 nights
Ref: 17012
With: Pat Archibald


Prices from £3,295
Single Supplement: £595
Deposit: £400

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We are delighted to offer you this unique opportunity to join Pat Archibald on our first textile holiday to vibrant Vietnam.

This special tour showcases the rich colours and cultural highlights of a truly fascinating country. We’ll visit silk farms, weaving villages and lantern workshops and stroll through markets where traditional dress is still very much a part of everyday life. Along the way we’ll meet with skilled craftspeople and also get a chance to try our hand under their guidance. We’ll also spend a memorable afternoon in Mai Chau visiting the White Thai minorities who still work on their traditional silk weaving looms.


As well as the weaving villages of Mai Chau, we’ll also enjoy visits to the Van Phuc silk village where the weaving of silk started over 1,000 years ago. In the area around Sapa we’ll spend time in local villages, viewing textile collections and learning more about indigo dyeing, the use of hemp in textiles and batik work. We’ll visit a silk farm in Hoi An and also get the chance to make a lantern at a workshop.

Also included are two workshops led by Pat, giving you the opportunity to get creative after being inspired by the many wonderful sights you have seen.

There will also be time to visit colourful markets to shop for traditional handicrafts, textiles and ceramics.


We’ll get to know Hanoi with an included city tour. The tree-lined streets are resplendent with French colonial architecture including the exquisite, restored Opera House. We’ll see the Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the Temple of Literature. A cyclo ride will reveal the sights and sounds of Hanoi’s Old Quarter too. Also included are visits to the Women’s Museum and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnography.


Inhabited by Thai and Hmong ethnic minority groups Mai Chau is a mountainous area of outstanding beauty, a 4 hour drive from Hanoi. As well as visiting the extraordinary weaving villages you’ll also have time to enjoy your unique surroundings and enjoy a taste of rural life.


Located near the Chinese border this rugged, mountainous region seems a world away from urban life. Formerly a French hill station, its character is now dominated by the local ethnic groups who travel from the surrounding villages. Surrounded by vistas of Vietnam’s highest peaks the region is home to terraced hills and countless mountain trails. We’ll experience the visual feast that is Bac Ha Market, one of the most interesting markets in South East Asia. Here locals gather in huge crowds to exchange the latest news, gossip, shop and eat a copious lunch. Visits to local minority villages and hill tribes and walks along the lush terraced hills are also included.


We’ll enjoy an unforgettable overnight cruise on a traditional junk boat amongst the stunning limestone karsts that punctuate the waters of this splendid bay. Whilst on board enjoy the beauty and solitude, discover beautiful caves and grottoes and marvel at some of the most impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations anywhere in the world. Why not end the day with a cocktail as you watch sunset on deck. A seafood lunch, dinner and breakfast are all included on board.


A walking tour is the perfect introduction to this charming town. We’ll see the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, old merchant houses and atmospheric temples. There will also be the chance to try a local Hoi An cake-Banh it la Gai.


We’ll visit the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels, once a stronghold of the Viet Cong, and take a trip into the Cai Be area of the Mekong Delta, a rich fertile region of rice paddies, floating markets and enchanting landscapes. On a city tour of Saigon we’ll see the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Jade Emperor Pagoda. We’ll also have the chance to visit Mekong Quilts and the Ben Thanh Market.


Today you will board your flight from London Heathrow to Hanoi.


Your flight will arrive in Hanoi this morning and you will transfer to the Ann Hotel for an early check and a two night stay. This afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of Hanoi including visits to the Opera House, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature. A cyclo ride of Hanoi’s Old Quarter is also included and a visit to the Women’s Museum completes the tour. Join your travelling companions for a welcome dinner a local restaurant this evening.

DAY 3 - HANOI (B, D)

This morning visit the Museum of Ethnography which showcases Vietnam’s fifty-four ethnic groups. This afternoon leave the city for the drive to Van Phuc silk village. A tour will show you the working stages of production, from spinning and gluing through to weaving and the final finish of the silk wares.


A journey of approx. 4 hours takes you through beautiful countryside to the Mai Chau Valley. After lunch spend the afternoon exploring the minority villages on foot. Visit typical local houses and spend time with the women who weave silk on traditional looms. You’ll stay overnight at the Mai Chau Eco Lodge.


After breakfast you’ll return by road to Hanoi. The balance of the day is free for you to explore the city at your own pace. Perhaps return to the atmospheric old quarter for visits to textile and handicraft shops. After dinner board the overnight train bound for Lao Cai. If you are a single traveller you will be sharing a two berth cabin with one of your travelling companions tonight.

DAY 6 -SAPA (B, L, D)

After arrival at Lao Cai station breakfast will be served at a local restaurant. You will then travel by road to Bac Ha for a visit to the Sunday Market. This afternoon take the drive to Sapa through some breathtaking scenery and visit the village of Ta Phin en route. This is the home of the Red Dzao –the women are easily identified by their huge red tasselled turbans. Check in to the Amazing Hotel for a two night stay. The balance of the day is at leisure in Sapa.

DAY 7 - SAPA (B, L, D)

This morning travel by road into the countryside for a walk to Lao Chai Village. Here you’ll spend time with craftspeople, viewing their work and exchanging views. Learn about hemp production, indigo dyeing and weaving as well as batik techniques. After lunch in the village you’ll continue on foot to Tan Village, home to the Dzay minority. Later return to Sapa by road.

Join a late afternoon/early evening workshop with Pat at the hotel. Details of Pat’s project and the equipment to bring will be sent to you before you travel.


Enjoy a leisurely morning, perhaps visiting Sapa’s colourful market. Later leave Sapa for the drive to Cat Village. A lovely walk along the rice terraces and through lush rain forest will follow before a visit to Sin Chai Village, home of the Black Hmong minority. You’ll then travel back to Hanoi by road, a journey of approx. 6 hours. This evening check into the Ann Hotel for an overnight stay.


This morning transfer by road to Halong Bay, a journey of approx. 3.5 hrs. Upon arrival embark aboard a traditional junk style boat, one of the fleet operated by Pelican Cruises. Relax and enjoy the beauty of the bay and join your fellow quilters for an informal “show and tell” this evening.


Enjoy breakfast on board and continue your cruise, exploring caves and channels. Disembark later this morning and return by road to Hanoi Airport for the afternoon flight to Danang. On arrival transfer to Hoi An and check into the Palm Garden Resort for a three night stay.

DAY 11 - HOI AN (B, D)

This morning enjoy a tour of the ancient town of Hoi An. There will also be time to visit the boutiques and galleries that line the narrow streets. A highlight will be a visit to a silk lantern workshop. There will be a brief introduction to the history of the lanterns and the many stages of production. You will then have the opportunity to try your hand at making your own lantern to take home as a souvenir. Return to your hotel by boat. This afternoon join Pat for a workshop at the hotel. Details of Pat’s project and the equipment to bring will be sent to you before you travel.

DAY 12 - HOI AN (B, D)

A visit to the Champa silk village is included this morning. You’ll see the ancient mulberry garden and visit the silkworm breeding house. There will also be a visit to view the collection of Ao Dai dresses from Vietnam’s 54 different ethnic groups. See how the silkworm cocoons are unravelled and transformed into silk thread before being woven into silk textiles on ancient looms. The tour ends in the showroom where expert tailors can help you design a custom made outfit. Return to Hoi An where the balance of the day is free to relax or explore at your own pace.


Transfer to Danang Airport this morning for the flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh). On arrival you’ll visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, an amazing series of underground passages first constructed in the late 1940’s by the peasant army fighting the French, and later extended by the Viet Cong rebels. Continue to Saigon and check in at the Grand Saigon Hotel for a two night stay.


Today enjoy a full day amidst the fertile landscape and bustling waterways of the Mekong Delta, also known as Vietnam’s ‘rice bowl’. Travel by boat and sampan visiting farms, fruit plantations and floating markets and get a taste of local village life along the way. Return to Saigon this afternoon.

Join your travelling companions for a farewell dinner and an informal “show and tell” this evening.


This morning enjoy a guided tour of Saigon. Visit the Reunification Palace, now a museum marking the historic events of 1975. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral, admire the striking French colonial era post office and Hotel de Ville and stop at the Jade Emperor Pagoda. The tour ends at Ben Thanh Market where you can browse for last minute gifts. If you choose you can also visit Mekong Quilts located close by. The balance of the day is at leisure until the evening transfer to Saigon Airport for the return flight back to the UK.

DAY 16 - UK

You will arrive back in the UK this morning.

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Important Note: A tour in Vietnam is always an adventure. We recommend you are of a reasonable fitness as this tour often involves long walks and uneven surfaces; this tour is not suitable for those who require special assistance.


  • English-speaking Tour Manager to accompany the tour throughout
  • The company of UK Textile Artist and quilt tutor Pat Archibald who will accompany the tour throughout
  • 13 nights’ accommodation on a half-board basis in 4 Star hotels. Dinner will usually be at a local restaurant
  • Lunches in local restaurants on Days 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 14
  • All workshops and visits as detailed in the itinerary
  • All transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Internal flights from Hanoi to Danang and Danang to Saigon
  • Overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai in shared twin berth accommodation
  • Porterage at hotels

Important Note: Your local guide will not accompany the Halong Bay cruise and you will be looked after by the cruise director and crew whilst on board.


Optional excursions, drinks, meals other than those specified, travel insurance and items of a personal nature, i.e. telephone calls, laundry etc.


A visa is required for your holiday to Vietnam. For further details please see the Embassy of Vietnam website. There are many visa handling agencies which can be found online, such as The Travel Visa Company


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Worldwide - £75


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


For single travellers who are interested in our trips, but don’t have a friend able to come with them why not join our "Stitch Together" programme to help with the costs of a single occupancy room? We have designed a way for you to find someone to share a room with on any of our Stitchtopia Holidays.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>

The Ann Hotel - Hanoi

Located close to the Old Quarter the Ann Hotel is ideally located for exploring Hanoi.


  • En suite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea/coffee maker
  • TV
  • Minibar
  • Complimentary WiFi


Facilities include restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, fitness centre, business centre and laundry services.

Mai Chau Eco Lodge - Mai Chau

Set amidst mountains and lush green paddy fields, Mai Chau Ecolodge is the perfect base from which to explore the villages of the Mai Chau Valley.


  • En-suite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Balcony and seating area
  • Mini bar
  • Hairdryer
  • Complimentary WiFi


Facilities include restaurant, bar, outdoor pool and in-house spa.

The Amazing Hotel - Sapa

The Amazing Hotel is located just a short walk from the centre of Sapa and enjoys lovely views of the mountains and surrounding landscape.


  • En suite facilities
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Minibar
  • TV
  • Complimentary WiFi


Facilities include restaurant, bar, indoor pool, fitness centre and spa.

Palm Garden Resort - Hoi An

The Palm Garden Resort is set in landscaped gardens on Cua Dai Beach, a 5 minute drive from the centre of Hoi An.


  • En suite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Balcony
  • Tea and coffee maker
  • Safety deposit box
  • TV


Facilities include restaurant, bar, café, swimming pool, spa, and complimentary shuttle service to Hoi An Town.

Grand Saigon Hotel - Saigon

The restored colonial Grand Hotel is located in District 1, in the heart of Saigon and conveniently located for shopping and restaurants nearby.

  • En suite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea and coffee maker
  • Minibar
  • TV


Facilities include restaurant, café bar, swimming pool, sauna, business centre and casino.

Fanxipan Express Train

Wood panelled cabins feature air-conditioning and individual reading lights. A WC is located in each carriage and drinks and snacks are available on board during the journey. Accommodation will be in shared twin berth cabins for the overnight journey.

Halong Bay - Pelican Cruises

You will sail through Halong Bay aboard one of the Pelican Cruise vessels, built in a traditional oriental junk style.


  • En suite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Private balcony
  • Hair dryer
  • Safety deposit box


On board facilities include sun deck, restaurant and bar. Morning Tai Chi classes, foot massage services, use of kayaking and snorkelling equipment.