Textures of Vietnam

Prices from £3,295


30 Oct 2018 - 14 Nov 2018
Duration: 15 nights
Ref: 18015
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 second 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.


On a city tour of Saigon we’ll see the Reunification Palace and Notre Dame Cathedral; we’ll also visit the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels, once a stronghold of the Viet Cong. Our adventure ends in the Mekong Delta with a two night stay at an atmospheric eco-lodge set amidst this rich fertile region of rice paddies, floating markets and enchanting landscapes.


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 in and an overnight 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 at a local restaurant this evening.


This morning leave the city for the drive to Mai Chau. En route visit 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. Continue to the beautiful countryside of the Mai Chau Valley. Lunch is included in Pom Coong Village. Spend the afternoon exploring the minority villages on foot. Visit typical local houses and share experiences with the women who weave silk on traditional looms. You’ll stay for two nights at the Mai Chau Eco Lodge.

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

Take a morning walk to the weaving school that has been set up in the village. There will be a chance to try the looms and perhaps load a bobbin too. You will also have the opportunity to purchase a lovely selection of hand woven items that are unique to the weavers here. This afternoon join Pat for a hand quilting workshop and enjoy the splendid views across the valley. Details of Pat’s project and the equipment to bring will be sent to you before you travel.


After breakfast you’ll return by road to Hanoi. This afternoon visit the Museum of Ethnography which showcases Vietnam’s fifty-four ethnic groups. 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 and for the return journey on Day 8.

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. Here you’ll join a workshop with a local batik artist and indigo dyer.

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 visiting Sapa’s colourful indoor market and the museum. 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 board the train for the overnight journey back to Hanoi.


Early morning arrival in Hanoi. Your journey will continue by road to Halong Bay. 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. After an early lunch disembark 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. A visit to Precious Heritage is also included. This gallery is home to a collection of photographs showcasing traditional costumes of the 54 ethnic minorities. This afternoon travel by boat to a local village where pottery, unique to this area, is produced.

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. See how the silkworm cocoons are unravelled and transformed into silk thread before being woven into silk textiles on ancient looms. 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.


Transfer to Danang Airport this morning for the flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh). On arrival enjoy a guided tour of Saigon. Visit the Reunification Palace, now a museum marking the historic events of 1975. See Notre Dame Cathedral and admire the striking French colonial era post office and Hotel de Ville. Continue into the Mekong Delta, you’ll arrive at the Mekong Lodge this evening 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. Join your travelling companions for a farewell dinner and an informal “show and tell” this evening.


This morning return to Saigon. A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels is also included today. This remarkable series of underground passages was first constructed in the late 1940’s by the peasant army fighting the French, and later extended by the Viet Cong rebels. If you choose you can stay in Saigon, perhaps taking the opportunity to visit Ben Tanh Market or the bead and sequin shops in China Town. We have arranged day rooms so you can freshen up before dinner and 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.


  • Flights to Hanoi, returning from Saigon with Vietnam Airlines
  • English-speaking local Tour Manager to accompany the tour from arrival in Hanoi
  • The company of UK Textile Artist and quilt tutor Pat Archibald who will accompany the tour throughout
  • 6 nights’ accommodation on a half-board basis at 4 star hotels in Hanoi, Sapa and Hoi An and 4 nights’ accommodation on a half-board basis at eco lodges in Mai Chau and the Mekong Delta. Dinner, where included, will be at a local restaurant or your hotel
  • Two nights aboard the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and Lao Cai to Hanoi in shared twin berth accommodation
  • Overnight cruise in Halong Bay
  • Lunch on Days 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14. Unless otherwise specified lunch will be arranged in local restaurants
  • 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

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.

Mekong Delta - Mekong Lodge

Located in Cai Be and reached by boat the rustic Mekong Lodge is set amidst luxuriant flower filled gardens and tropical fruit trees. Guest accommodation is in individual bungalows built in harmony with the surroundings and featuring coconut leaf thatched roofs and bamboo interiors. Mekong Lodge is the first hotel that is fully committed and engaged in responsible tourism and the contribution to sustainable development of local environment and community in the Mekong Delta.

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


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.


  • 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.