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Textile Traditions of Vietnam’s North.        

Next trip March/ April 2021

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Join us in the North of Vietnam… the first word that springs to mind when thinking of this region is peaceful and the second is friendly…the food is an art in itself, the scenery so inspiring…and the textiles!
Once we leave Hanoi with its wonderful silk street [perfect to get something sensational tailored for yourself], the intriguing papermache sacred offerings village and  lotus silk village we head out into the countryside where many cottage industries of embroidery, weaving and indigo dyeing abound.

People are friendly and happy for us to pop in and see what is going on, others are kindly going to teach us.  Sitting on a mountain side to stitch with H’mong women or fine embroidery in Tam Coc, it is always a pleasure to learn,  take a batik class dunking cloth into indigo until it becomes a rich blue/black.

Last, but by noway least is 2 days cruising in the World Heritage Halong Bay.

All Creative Arts Safaris Tours are fully escorted, small group tours focusing on textiles, arts and culture and yummy local cuisine. We like to get our hands dirty doing things, taking workshops and exploring locations and culture, getting off the beaten track. Our friendly groups welcome women and men to join us and are good for solo travellers who do not want to go it alone

Group size 8-14 people.

 

Sample itinerary

next adventure will be same, same and a little different because we always have new gems to add in

Group size 8-14 people.

Want to know about our next outing? Send us a note.

Textile Traditions of Vietnam’s North 2019

Day Date
1 30.3.19 Arrivals Hanoi - Hotel room available from 2.00pm, they will let you in earlier if your room is free.

If you would like we can meet at 3.00pm and I will take you for a walk to orientate you to our local. Wandering down Hoan Kiem Lake and The Ngoc Son Temple its picturesque red bridge will also have you all sorted to find your way around.

2 31.3.19 Ho Chi Minh Complex- everyone pays their respects to Uncle Ho.

Interesting to watch the crowds, good explanation of how the country works. No problem to whisper but keep in line and shuffle along, don’t make a noise. Pay respect to the uniforms.

Museum of Ethnology excellent collection and display. Craftlink in courtyard and

3 1.4.19 Mai Chou is a largely White Thai area, White Thai are famous for their weaving and once were large cultivators of silk, which is in a decline.

White Thai are well known for their industrious ways and have picked up embroidery to produce items for sale. Interestingly they often use weaving motifs in their embroidered designs.

We will join a local women’s group and stitch this morning- Hou Bhan Crafts for White Thai motifs in a Hmong medium of cross stitch embroidery.

4 2.4.19 Driving across country we come to Tom Coc

Tom Coc area is often referred to as the Halong Bay amongst rice paddies.

 

The amazing rocks here and in Halong are Karsts

When we first visited Vietnam in 2007 this was a sleepy little village with only a few foreign tourists visiting. The old Ladies in the boats for well know for shaking tourists down to buy their embroidery but on the whole, it was a sleepy little place.

With the enormous changes in the local economy domestic tourism has skyrocked and many changes have come…

5 3.4.19 Early risers we can wander out into the rice fields to a nearby temple. Thai Vi Temple

Heading into the busy town of Ninh Binh and the local produce market to check out what is fresh and get supplies for lunch.

Ninh Binh area was host to the old capital of Vietnam before Hanoi was founded. Hanoi had it’s 1000th anniversary in 2010.

6 4.4.19 We visit Mrs Ye a local business woman who has an embroidery workshop. This area has been famous for embroidery for 700 years I am told, with colonization they started to produce European style fine embroidered linens. Practice your yoga the women usually sit on the floor with a raised embroidery stand, but don’t worry chairs can be found.

Afternoon will see us back in Hanoi and a visit to The Temple of Literature. It is a Temple of Confucius. The temple hosts the Imperial Academy Vietnam's first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông.

 

Dinner is at KOTO before we catch the night train to the mountains.

 

7 5.4.19 Sapa high up in the mountains has a majority population of Black Hmong Ethnic Minority people, quite of lot of Red Dzou and a sprinkling of other groups around.

A sleepy place weekday, popular with the Hanoi crowd and tourists on weekends when the local markets happen. Lots to wander around and see, we will need to work out what is happening now. The central government was not overly supportive of their minorities and so tend to push them to the side. Most of the business in town are owned by Viet people [rich low land majority of Vietnam]

There is a market where many local women have stalls, we will meet others road side.

Women want to make sales- they lead very meager existences in their village homes.

Please bring patience and good humour with you, bargain and have fun in the process if you see something you like.

It is a busy and exciting few days of the week up here.

 

We need to collect stitch supplies

In the afternoon we will head down into the valley and join Mrs Ge for a batik and indigo workshop.

8 6.4.19 Black Hmong embroidery this morning.

 

Afternoon drive to Bac Ha, another market town

9 7.4.19 We are here for the local market; do you want livestock to fatten for your table? Chicks, ducks, dogs, frogs, buffalo you name it, it is available. Hooch from the smiling old ladies on the corner and lots of necessities.

Early is the time for local stuff and local people….as we wander back, all the tourist stalls will be open with some amazing textiles old and new.

You will notice the women here are in completely different costumes. Hmong people but the sub-group known as Flower Hmong.

 

We are driving back to Hanoi this afternoon. First time for me on a brand new highway and easier than the night train.

10 8.4.19 Around Hanoi day today

Women’s Museum- very good display, gives some depth to the hardships of the American War and the role of women in Vietnam, but from conversations with women over the years there is a real glass ceiling that limits women’s place in the Communist Hierarchy and government bodies.

Silk Village and Pagoda for a wander

Hanoi’s famous Water Puppets this evening.

11 9.4.19 Wandering further out of Hanoi to surrounding villages we will visit a workshop that makes Papernmache statues for ceremonial purposes.

A workshop specializing in silk embroidery paintings

And our team has connected up with the Lotus silk weaver. Very excited to see what this is like.

12 10.4.19 Halong Bay.

Truly a magical landscape Look here for a geological description of it

I like the story of Dragons associated with the area.

13 11.4.19 Return to Hanoi and a farewell Dinner
14 12.4.19 Departures

 

 

Itineraries

Day X

Your Plan

  • pick up from and dropping to airport ANYTIME DAY OR NIGHT for the trip
  • accommodation on twin share basis [or choose single supplement]
  • group transport during trip
  • all sightseeing and workshops listed in itinerary
  • breakfast and meals mentioned in itinerary

Shopping!!

-airfares

-visa

-travel insurance

-laundry

– meals not mentioned in itinerary

-drinks and bottled water

-gratuities/ tips