Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Group

Exploring Vietnam’s Arts & Handicrafts (8 days)

Trails of Indochina - Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam To Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Valid for Departures: 15 Oct 2018 - 22 Oct 2018


Day 1
15 Oct 2018
Hanoi, Vietnam
Apricot Hotel None

The capital Hanoi, located in Vietnam’s north, is the second most populous city in the country with approximately 11 million people. Compared to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi is more traditional and refined. Today it is best known for its thriving contemporary arts scene and French architecture, visible by the many colonial villas scattered throughout the city. While it is rapidly developing, the city has retained many of its cultural traditions.


As soon as you deplane, our Immigration Officer will meet you at the end of the jet bridge (or at the entrance of the terminal if there is no jet bridge), holding a signboard with your name(s) on it. The officer will assist you with immigration procedures. For those who already have their Vietnam visa, the estimated time to clear immigration is approximately 15-20mins per person.

For those applying for a visa on arrival, the estimated wait time for the visa is usually 30mins, depending on the number of guests in the queue. (FYI, there is only one visa-on-arrival counter at Noi Bai Airport.)

After clearing immigration, our Immigration Officer will escort you to the baggage claim to collect your luggage and introduce you to your guide who will be waiting outside the terminal.

Day 2
16 Oct 2018
Hanoi, Vietnam
Apricot Hotel Breakfast, Lunch

08:30 Meet with Sandrine at your hotel lobby and drive to Hanoi Fine Art University (closed on weekend). Established in 1925, the university has trained many of Vietnam’s leading artists and each year it participates in many cultural exchanges with sister institutions overseas.

Meet an art professor for a glimpse of the history of this University and Vietnamese contemporary art. Join a local student of Lacquer Painting Department to understand more about local young Vietnamese create their artworks.

10:30 Drive to Bat Trang Pottery Village, a half-millenary old traditional Vietnamese town, is located southeast of Hanoi in the Bat Trang Commune of Gia Lam District. The journey there ventures over Chuong Duong Bridge and past the dike on the Red River. This village has a deep artisanal history for visitors to uncover as they stroll through gaining valuable insight into the art of making Vietnamese ceramics. After learning the process of moulding and carving clay pots, dishes and vases, try to test your skills and creativeness by making your own pottery with help from the Bat Trang craftsmen. Before leaving the village, enjoy a hosted lunch in an ancient Bat Trang house.

13:30 Drive back to Hanoi downtown and head to Fine Art Museum (closed on weekend) for an overview of the place where future artists train.

15:30 Continue your art journey to the studio of a local artist. Ha Manh Thang is one of Vietnam’s most important young painters. Having graduated from the Hanoi Fine Arts University in 2004, Thang has since held a number of notable regional and international exhibitions. Sit down together and have a great talk with Thang. He will share with you how he creates his artworks and what inspired his pieces.

17:30 Drive to Tadioto bar, a characterful salon in historic Hanoi quarter combines cafe and bar with performance and art spaces. Created and owned by well-known Vietnamese-American Nguyen Qui Duc, Tadioto represents the confluence of his multifarious interests – extending from journalism and writing, to interior design and hospitality. Enjoy cocktail reception and have a great talk with Mr. Duc who will show you his art collection.

18:30 Drive back to your hotel and Dinner is on your own

Day 3
17 Oct 2018
Hanoi, Vietnam
Apricot Hotel Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

08:30 Enjoy a scenic drive through peaceful countryside to Dong Ho woodblock village. Woodblock printing has been almost left to oblivion and there are only few families relying on this traditional craft for living. Visit an old craftsman who has been, along with his family, trying to preserve this soulful art technique for generations. Talk with him to have a vivid view of the challenges he has overcome to keep this age-old craft alive for generations. Walk around the village to see some other families making traditional paper worship offerings.

10:00 Drive from downtown to to Bac Ninh province, the homeland of temples, festivals, folk rituals and craft. Visit the artist Phuong Manh’s studio. He has participated in many group and solo exhibitions including installation and performance art. This talented artist also has extensive experience in oil, woodblock, ink and other art mediums. Take part in a mini workshop with Mr. Phuong Manh who will share with you his art passion through Wood carving art and his artworks.

Afterward, enjoy a home hosted lunch with the artist in such peaceful and artful setting. Followed by a relaxing tea time before heading back to Hanoi mid-afternoon.

14:00 Drive back to Hanoi downtown. Visit “54 tradition Gallery” focusing on the antiques, artifacts and art of Vietnam's 54 minority groups. The opwner have tried to focus on the cultures of minority peoples-the things they make and the things they use. What they offer can be called antiques, art, or material culture.

16:00 Drive back to your hotel for a short break or opt to explore Hanoi Old Quarter with your host.

18:00 Visit an art studio home in an alley of Hanoi. Living and working in Asia since 1982, with a lifelong commitment to working in the arts worldwide, Art Director Suzanne Lecht is recognized as a leading authority on contemporary art in Vietnam. Dedicated to discovering exceptional artists who are singular and passionate in their expression, Suzanne has been an advocate in educating the world about the arts of Vietnam. Chat with her over a hosted dinner to understand more about her art works promotion & exhibitions.
Day 4
18 Oct 2018
Hue, Vietnam
La Residence Hue Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer from your hotel to the airport to take the flight to Hue.

While imperial rule ended more than six decades ago, the central city of Hue still bears the marks of its royal past. From 1802 to 1945 Hue was home to 13 Nguyen emperors, whose palaces and tombs provide fascinating glimpses into the luxurious and secretive world of the court. During this period, the Imperial City was built according to the practices of Feng Shui that dictates the location and shape of spaces in harmony with both the physical and spiritual.

Upon arrival, meet with the guide and transfer to downtown.

The temple of Princess An Thuong is a beautiful garden house that has been influenced by Feng Shui principles. Meet with Mr. Phan Niem, a famous silk painting artist and the 6th descendant of Princess An Thuong, who was the fourth daughter of Emperor Minh Mang. Discuss with him the culture and history of this former Royal land, as seen through the passion in his artwork. Enjoy a meal of traditional Hue specialties that have been prepared by the 3 generations of family at their historical home while you unearth Hue’s fascinating past. Drive back to your hotel afterward.

Day 5
19 Oct 2018
Hue, Vietnam
La Residence Hue Breakfast, Dinner

Truc Chi which is a type of paper made from bamboo, is a new art form of Hue, exquisitely created by a young talented artist and his colleagues after many years of research, study and practice. Made only with bamboo materials, the Truc Chi are typically very detailed and truly unique one of a kind pieces.

08:30 Visit Truc Chi workshop, chat with the artist to understand more about the art works process, promotion & exhibitions. Try creating your own Truc Chi drawing and take it home as a souvenir.

10:00 Drive to New Space Arts Foundation, owned by twin brother Le Ngoc Thanh & Le Duc Hai. Aiming to increase contemporary art appreciation amongst general public, NSAF’s main activities are financially and spatially supporting young Vietnamese and international artists by giving them the opportunities to uninhibitedly express their ideas. Meet and talk with Le Ngoc Thanh & Le Duc Hai for a glimpse of contemporary art in Hue.

12:30 Lunch is served at a local restaurant on your own

14:00 Continue to the XQ Historical Village to observe the fine art of silk embroidery created by some of Hue’s finest artisans.

15:00 Learn about the art of Phap Lam, enamel painting and carving on copper. The art emerged in Hue in the early 19th century under the reign of Emperor Minh Mang, and has recently been restored by Mr. Triet Do, a well-known expert at Enamel Hue. See the complete process of Phap Lam with the opportunity to create your own piece or pick one up as a decorative souvenir.

17:00 Drive back to your hotel

19:00 Transfer to Ancient Hue restaurant. Set in a lush garden, the peaceful Ancient Hue site boasts a ceremonial gate backed by 8 protective pillars. More than just a restaurant, Ancient Hue has 5 distinctive ancient houses offering a glimpse of the city’s splendid past. Enjoy a great cultural feature inherited from the Nguyen Dynasty, Royal Martial Arts performance at the restaurant’s courtyard. Witness a 30 minutes long performance of different techniques of martial arts, a reminiscent of the past heroic plots of Vietnamese patriots against colonialists’ oppression. Then savor in an unforgettable dinner at the restaurant. Transfer back to your hotel after dinner.

Day 6
20 Oct 2018
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hotel des Arts – Mgallery Breakfast, Lunch

Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for your flight to Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh City, in southern Vietnam, is a sprawling metropolis of approximately 12 million people. Formerly known as “Saigon” prior to 1975, today the city is Vietnam’s commercial center. The city’s dynamic energy is apparent in the bustling street scenes with thousands of people on motorbikes constantly on the move. Although Saigon has rapidly developed into a modern city with skyscrapers and shopping centers, there are still remnants of its past visible in the historic landmarks and beautiful French colonial buildings dotted throughout the city. You’ll find great nightlife and a palpable energy in this fast-changing city which is home to people from all aspect of Vietnamese society. You’ll see women dressed in Vietnam’s traditional ao dai tunic stroll past modern trendy boutiques and crowded cafes. You’ll see newly wealthy entrepreneurs in their luxury cars driving past shoe-shine boys on the street side.

Upon arrival, transfer to district 2 enjoy lunch with local artist at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, the first purpose-built space for contemporary art in Vietnam. Established in 2016 by artist Ti-A, The Factory aims to be a dynamic destination for art, designing innovative programs illustrating the creative criticality of Vietnam today.

After lunch, visit Vin Gallery, a Contemporary Art gallery showcasing thought-provoking, innovative art. The gallery showcases some artworks of the artists coming from diverse cultural backgrounds and art educations, work with various mediums and have a spectrum of life experiences.

Drive back to your hotel and the remainder of the day is free at leisure. Dinner is on your own

Day 7
21 Oct 2018
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hotel des Arts – Mgallery Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

09:00 Meet with your host and explore Saigon’s Fine Art Museum (closed on Mondays) to learn more about the past, present and future of the arts movement in Vietnam

11:00 drive to the hidden studio of a local artist who is an oil painter who has participated in many group and solo exhibitions. Visit their studio and engage in a casual talk with them to understand what inspires him in creating art. He will provide you with insight into Vietnamese society, and the culture of Vietnam through his art work.

Lunch is served at a local restaurant.

After lunch, depart for 1 hour drive to Bien Hoa city for a visit to Decorative Art College. Meet with a professor for a vivid overview about Vietnamese ceramic history.

16:00 Drive back to Saigon.

18:30 Transfer to Saigon Salon, a new contemporary art space housed in a lovingly restored French colonial building. Saigon Salon aims to showcase Vietnamese contemporary art while nurturing local talent, cooperating with foreign institutions and attracting important art professionals from around the world.

Sandrine will make a short introduction about Vietnamese art history and the influence of international art & artists in Vietnam.

Enjoy a cocktail reception in the courtyard of the building afterward. Follow Saigon Salon’s artist to view their work. The local artist will explain to you about their art works and what inspired these pieces. At the end of the tour enjoy dinner with the local artist in a peaceful and artful setting.

Day 8
22 Oct 2018
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
None Breakfast

Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for flight back home or connect to the next destinations.

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing


The arts of Vietnam tell a story that began centuries ago and continues to develop in modern times. Join our expert narrator as she guides art and craft enthusiasts from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, discovering ancient artisan villages and contemporary museums. Learn how traditional techniques have evolved to influence the new-age artists and create your own masterpieces with the help of local experts during this informational and hands-on itinerary.

About Us

Trails of Indochina had its humble beginnings in 1999 as a boutique inbound tour operator. Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and now with more than 250 employees throughout the region, Trails of Indochina has grown to be a full-service Destination Management Company and tour operation across Indochina. At Trails of Indochina, our personal relationships can make anything possible. We invite you to experience our part of the world where you will uncover the hidden gems and see a different perspectives of Southeast Asia.

Insider Tip

Vietnam is a top destination for foodies with its cuisine differing greatly from north to south. We suggest a combination offood experiences including food tours, cooking classes and craft beer tours.

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