Textile Highlights of Vietnam

Prices from £3,445

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5 Nov 2019 - 20 Nov 2019
Duration: 15 nights
Ref: 19007
With: Karin Hellaby

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Prices from £3,445
Single Supplement: £595
Deposit: £400

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Join Karin Hellaby on this superb textile holiday to vibrant Vietnam. This special tour showcases the rich colours and cultural highlights of a truly fascinating country. Explore historic cities, walk and cycle through tranquil rural landscapes, discover villages high in the rugged mountains and stroll through local ethnic markets where traditional dress is still a part of everyday life. Vietnam's textile traditions are very much alive and you'll explore silk villages, learn about the ethnic Thai minorities' traditional weave, visit indigo farms, and see batik and the tritik technique found in the textiles of the H'mong hill tribes.

CRAFTS

This holiday visits the small communities at the heart of Vietnam’s crafting traditions. You’ll visit Van Phuc silk village whose silk weaving heritage dates back over a thousand years. See most working stages to produce handmade silks from spinning and gluing, through to weaving and finishing of the silk wares. Learn about the weaving techniques of the ethnic minority’s as you visit the weaving villages of the Mai Chau valley. In the area around Sapa you’ll spend time in local villages viewing textile collections and learning more about the indigo dyeing, and the use of hemp in textiles and batik work. You’ll visit a local silk lantern factory in Hoi And have the chance to make your own silk lantern, as well as visiting a silk farm where Champa women still use ancient looms to make silk textiles. During the holiday you’ll visit Craft Link. This not for profit Fair Trade organisation is helping Vietnam’s traditional craft producers revive their culture and improve their livelihoods through handicraft production and marketing.

HA NOI

A city of lakes, parks and colonial mansions, Hanoi retains much of its historical charm and with an eclectic mix of Asian tempo and French refinement, Vietnam’s capital is a delightful city of contrasts and perfect to soak up the ebb and flow of daily life.

MAI CHAU

This mountainous area of outstanding natural beauty is inhabited by the Thai and Hmong minority groups.

SAPA

Located near the Chinese border, the former French hill station of Sapa lies at an elevation of 1,650 metres. The region holds countless trails and provides the perfect introduction into the lives of the isolated communities in the north.

HA LONG BAY

One of the new ‘Seven Wonders of Nature’, this extraordinarily beautiful area of incomparable coastal scenery is a Vietnamese icon!

HOI AN

Once an ancient port, the sublime riverside town of Hoi An is simply charming. Numerous boutiques and galleries line the streets of its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town while colourful fishing boats bob up and down on the Thu Bon River.

HO CHI MINH

The city formerly known as Saigon is the most western of Vietnamese cities. A bustling, ultra-busy, noisy metropolis, Ho Chi Minh has a population of almost 8 million people and an almost equal number of scooters, mopeds and motorcycles!

THE MEKONG DELTA

One of the country’s most enchanting landscapes, the Mekong Delta - a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands with Khmer pagodas, floating markets and homes built on stilts, is known as the ‘rice bowl of Vietnam’.

DAY 1 - LONDON / HA NOI

Today you will board your overnight flight from London to Ha Noi.

DAY 2 - HA NOI (B,D)

Enjoy an orientation of Hanoi whose tree-lined strees are resplendent with French colonial architecture. See the Opera House, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature. Explore Ha Noi's bustling old quarter by rickshaw before walking through its labyrinthine alleyways.

DAY 3 - VAN PHUC SILK VILLAGE / PAM COONG VILLAGE / MAI CHAU (B,L,D)

Visit the village of Van Phuc, whose history of silk weaving stretches back a thousand years. In the Mai Chau valley, meet the local Thai ethnic minority of Pam Coong village and see their traditional weave. Cycle through the beautiful landscape where farmers work on lush paddy fields.

DAY 4 - MAI CHAU (B,L,D)

Walk to the village Weaving School and discover hand woven items on sale, unique to the local weavers. Enjoy wonderful views across the valley from the terrace of a local Homestay where Karin will hold the first of her workshops.

DAY 5 - MAI CHAU / HA NOI / OVERNIGHT FANXIPAN EXPRESS (B,D)

Enjoy an enlightening introdution to the multicultural nature of Vietnam at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnography. See tribal art, shaman masks, handicrafts and everyday items from the spectrum of ethnic minorities who live across the country. Recreations of traditional houses display the differing styles of architecture found in tribal areas. Take the overnight Fanxipan Train to Lao Cai.

DAY 6 - LAO CAI / BAC HA SUNDAY MARKET / SAPA (B,L,D)

The rugged mountainous area north of Ha Noi is a world away from the fast pace of urban life. Visit the colourful ethnic Bac Ha market before driving through breathtaking mountain scenery to the charming town of Sapa where you'll meet Red Dao ladies who will show you their traditional stitching work.

DAY 7 - SAPA / LAO CHAI / TA VAN (B,L,D)

Today's walk takes you through a beautiful valley between two high mountains to Lao Chai and Ta Van villages. See the intriguing work and collection of ancient designs of a local weaver. Visit a hemp farm and enjoy a workshop with a local batik artist and indigo dyer.

DAY 8 - SAPA / CAT CAT VILLAGE / SIN CHAI VILLAGE / OVER NIGHT FANXIPAN EXPRESS (B,L,D)

Visit Sa Pa Museum and craft shop selling work from the ethnic minorities, and Sa Pa market with its textiles and braids. This afternoon's walk follows a trail passing rice terraces and through lush rainforest under the protection of Hoang Lien National Park to Sin Chai village, home of the Black Hmong minority. Take the overnight Fanxipan Express from Lao Cao to Ha Noi.

DAY 9 - HA NOI / HA LONG BAY (B,L,D)

Enjoy early morning Laughter Yoga, Tai Chi, Aerobics and Ballroom Dancing with the locals at Ly Thai To Park. Drive to Ha Long City where you'll embark a traditional junk boat for a cruise on the bay that is often called Vietnam's eighth wonder of the world. Marvel at the sight of three thousand limestone karsts cloaked in green soaring majestically from emerald waters. Stay overnight on board.

DAY 10 - HA LONG BAY / DA NANG / HOI AN (B,L,D)

Relax as you cruise the outer reaches of Ha Long Bay with its numerous caves and channels. After lunch on board, drive to Ha Noi for the flight to Da Nang, one of the oldest settlements in Vietnam. A series of beaches extend between Da Nang and Hoi An where you'll check in to your hotel for a 3-night stay.

DAY 11 - HOI AN (B,D)

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town of Hoi An on foot seeing beautifully preserved old merchant houses, atmospheric temples, lively markets, the iconic 400-year old Japanese Bridge and busy waterfront. Visit a Silk Lantern factory where you can try your hand at making your own lantern, and the Precious Heritage photo gallery celebrating the traditional costumes of 54 ethnic minorities and stories behind them.

DAY 12 - HOI AN / CHAMPA SILK VILLAGE (B,D)

Admire a collection of 100 Ao Dai (dresses) and costumes from Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups in an ancient Quang Nam house. Then walk through the mulberry garden, tour the silkworm breeding house and see how silkworm cocoons are unravelled to become the silk thread used in clothing. Watch Champa women using ancient looms as they make silk textiles. Karin will host her second workshop this afternoon.

DAY 13 - HOI AN / HO CHI MINH / MEKONG DELTA (B,L,D)

Fly from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh where you'll visit the Reunification Palace and enjoy a tour of this bustling metropolis seeing Notre Dame Cathedral, the striking French colonial-era post office and the Hotel de Ville de Saigon, now officially Ho Chi Minh City Hall. Drive to the Mekong Delta.

DAY 14 - MEKONG DELTA - CAI LAY & CAI BE AREAS (B,L,D)

A rich fertile region of farmland interlaced with countless waterways and crisscrossed by low-lying rice paddies, the Mekong Delta is one of Vietnam's most enchanting landscapes. By road and then by wooden sampan you'll discover the labyrinth of bustling waterways seeing the daily activity of the locals who live and work along the arteries of the mighty Mekong River.

DAY 15 - MEKONG DELTA / HO CHI MINH (B,L,D)

Enjoy a morning at leisure before driving to Ho Chi Minh for some last minute shopping including the bead shops in China Town. After dinner in a local restaurant, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

DAY 16 - HO CHI MINH / LONDON

Early arrival into London Heathrow.

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Please Note: This holiday includes both hiking & cycling tours. It is not recommended for those with physical limitations.

PRICES (INCL. FLIGHTS & TRANSFERS):

Twin room: £3445 per person
Single supplement: £595

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Flight to Hanoi, returning from Ho Chi Minh with Vietnam Airlines
  • Domestic flights Hanoi - Da Nang & Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh
  • 10 nights' hotel accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis
  • 2 nights aboard the Fanxipan Express in a shared 2-berth sleeper compartment
  • Overnight cruise on a traditional junk in UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay
  • Dinner each evening in either the hotel or local restaurants
  • 11 lunches & 2 breakfasts in local restaurants
  • Sightseeing tours of Ha Noi, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh
  • Traditional wooden sampan cruise in the enchanting Mekong Delta
  • Cycle & walking tours in rural Vietnam
  • Traditional Vietnamese craft visits
  • Local workshops & two workshops with Karin Hellaby
  • Restaurant gratuities
  • The services of a local Tour Manager

NOT INCLUDED:

Single supplement, Lunch on days 2,5,11 & 12, Porterage at the hotels, Driver/Guide gratuities, travel insurance and items of a personal nature, i.e. telephone calls, laundry etc.

TOURIST VISA

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

NON-CRAFTERS

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

THE "STITCH TOGETHER" PROGRAMME

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 - Ha Noi

Close to the Old Quarter and key city landmarks, the stylish, contemporary Ann Hotel is ideally located for exploring Ha Noi.

GUEST ROOMS

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

ADDITONAL FACILITIES

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

Mai Chau Eco Lodge - Mai Chau

Sitting atop a private hill with a stunning backdrop of lush rice paddies and emerald mountains, the secluded Mai Chau Eco Lodge is built entirely of natural materials and embodies the local stilt house style and traditional Thai ethnic culture.

GUEST ROOMS

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

ADDITIONAL FACILITIES

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

The Amazing Hotel - Sapa

Nestled in the heart of a highland town the elegant Amazing Hotel is just a short walk from the shops, restaurants and local attractions.

GUEST ROOMS

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

ADDITIONAL FACILITIES

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

Palm Garden Resort - Hoi An

Set amidst five acres of landscaped tropical gardens overlooking Cua Dai Beach, Palm Garden Resort combines Hoi An's traditional architectural style with a taste of modern luxury.

GUEST ROOMS

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

ADDITIONAL FACILITIES

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

Mekong Lodge - Mekong Delta

Nestled on the banks of the Tien River in the heart of the Mekong Delta, this charming eco resort has private bungalows, which embody the local style of a rural garden cottage.

  • En suite facilities
  • Air conditioning
  • Tea/coffee making facilities
  • Hairdryer

ADDITIONAL FACILITIES

Facilities include restaurant, bar and, complimentary WiFi in public areas. Bicycles are also available to hire during your stay.

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.

CABINS

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

ADDITIONAL FACILITIES

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