SHOP EAT LOVE OUR VIETNAM tour
20TH - 29TH MARCH 2020
or 14 - 23rd SEPTEMBER 2020
2 Full Days of Eating, Shopping and Exploring Hanoi
We'll be discovering the best of Sustainable Fashion, Crafts and Homewares showcased in beautiful concept stores and showrooms,
We'll be experiencing the contrasts in Vietnamese Cuisine, from delicious Hanoan Street Food to the best of Modern Vietnamese at a stunning lakeside location.
On Day 2 We'll delve into the secrets of Vietnamese Ethical Fashion at Exclusive Events with Vietnam's favourite Fashion Designers.
Accommodation: 5 star Apricot Hotel, Fronting Hoan Kiem Lake
DETAILED ITINERARY HANOI
PM Welcome to Hanoi and Vietnam
Pick up from Hanoi International Airport. Check into Apricot Hotel, a 5 star luxurious hotel, situated on Hoan Kiem Lake, so central yet so peaceful.
Welcome: We can't wait to welcome you in the hotel restaurant for evening cocktails and canapes.
AM Shopping the Streets of Hanoi Old Quarter
Buffet Breakfast at the Hotel - all Hanoi favourites as well as other international breakfast dishes available. Partake in a Cafe Sua Da - traditional Vietnamese Iced Coffee - the perfect start to a Hanoi day.
Guided Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, take in the atmosphere of early morning Hanoi where locals are out walking their dogs or practising tai chi. We'll walk along the lake to the red Huc bridge that leads to Ngoc Son Temple, and learn about this most iconic site in Hanoi. Lots of photo opportunities here as we look across the lake and immerse ourselves in this captivating city of lakes.
Then we'll start our shopping expedition in Hanoi: Concept Stores, Gift Stores, Designer Lacquerware and Fashion around the Old Quarter and the French Quarter.
Lunch - Hanoi is famed for its street food and there are specific dishes which are synonymous with the capital city. none more known worldwide than the ubiquitous Pho We'll eat at one of Anthony's Bourdain's favoured Pho (beef noodle soup) joints.
PM Cultural and Historical Hanoi Highlights and Lakeside Dinner
We'll visit some uniquely Hanoian stores after lunch, then check out some iconic historic sites including the Vietnam Women's Museum. This excellent modern museum showcases the roles of women in Vietnamese society through its 54 ethnic community groups.
Mid-late afternoon - Free Time.
Evening Drinks and Dinner will be at a sublime nearby location overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake, where the Hanoi locals go for modern Vietnamese cuisine. As we share memories of our first day in Vietnam's mesmorising capital city, we'll take in the stunning views with a glass of wine in hand.
AM Street Food and Markets
Our second day in Hanoi will be an absolute treat. Probably best not to eat too much at the breakfast buffet this morning as we're off on a Street Food and Market tour with a renowned Hanoian Chef. She will introduce us
to her local market and we'll get to eat at some of her favourite haunts.
When in Hanoi...we will finish the morning with a traditional Vietnamese coffee.
Then back to our hotel for a freshen up ready for an afternoon of fashion.
PM Ethical Fashion Events, Tay Ho
Having spent the first half of the day experiencing the traditional side of Hanoi we will head to Tay Ho (or West Lake) for our exclusive shopping and fashion events. We'll be welcomed for afternoon tea at the showroom of an ethical fashion brand, and have our own private viewing of their latest clothing and accessories collection.
For more retail therapy we'll head to The Emporium, a curation of South-East Asian ethnic fashion, jewellery, accessories, handicrafts, textiles and art. Proudly an all women ethical business The Emporium's female staff enjoy excellent working conditions.
Then onto our secret destination for a very special event. We'll enjoy an exclusive experience at the showroom of Vietnam's favourite design team. We'll get to visit the workshop, located above the showroom to watch the small team of seamstresses create magic. We'll then create our own magic under their guidance . We'll meet with the designers and hear how the city of Hanoi won their hearts, and how, every day, it inspires their handcrafted creations.
What a way to end a truly unforgettable day. After we bid a fond farewell to West Lake, we will head back to the Old Quarter for a light dinner of Hanoi favourites.
We'll take in the best of Hoi An Art, Fashion and Design, and learn how Hoi An became a centre that artists and artisans flock to.
We will continue our Vietnamese food odyssey, tasting uniquely Hoi An dishes, eating at our favourite Hoi An restaurants and learning how to cook Vietnamese dishes at Red Bridge Cooking School.
There will be time set aside for Pampering and Beach Relaxation.
Accommodation: 5 star Boutique Hoi An Resort, An Bang Hoi An
DETAILED ITINERARY HOI AN
AM Hoi An. Fly to Danang and then drive to Hoi An. Lunch at An Bang Beach
An early start to our last morning in Hanoi as we'll be heading to the airport for a mid morning flight to Danang. We'll arrive at Danang, in the centre of Vietnam, around midday where our driver will be waiting to transport us to the magical ancient city of Hoi An.
Hoi An is one of the world's most photogenic cities. The old town is now a UNESCO heritage site, and famed for its lantern lit streets and alleyways lined with ochre coloured shop houses. Located out of the picturesque ancient city of Hoi An is the beach area of An Bang. This is where we'll be staying and enjoying the best of all worlds that magical Hoi An has to offer.
We'll sit down for a light seaside lunch and drinks at An Bang, then check into our stunning resort which we'll call home for the next few days.
PM Galleries, Artisans and Tailors, Cocktails and Dinner in Hoi An Old Town
This afternoon we''ll take the short drive into Hoi An and explore Phan Boi Chau, a a dedicated arts street lined with galleries, museums and cafes. You'll be transfixed by the photography at the Precious Heritage Art Museum, an exhibition of photographer Rehann's work featuring his years discovering Vietnam and meeting the different ethnic groups. Then we'll meet a highly regarded gallery owner and artist who curates the work of other artists from Vietnam and beyond, all who have a connection with Hoi An.
Hoi An is renowned as the base for artisans, tailors, shoemakers and designers. This afternoon we can introduce you to a trusted tailoring showroom where you can have clothes made to measure. Also you can spend time with our favourite jeweller who will design and create your dream jewellery, or maybe choose a piece from her huge collection of surprisingly affordable one off pieces. Tailoring and Jewellery will be ready to pick up by the time we leave Hoi An, and there will be time slots set aside for fittings during our stay.
Evening We'll stay in Hoi An Town for cocktails (or wine if you prefer) then enjoy dinner under silk lanterns, at one of those traditional ochre shophouse buildings, now converted into a gorgeous restaurant. A magical end to a magical day in your host's favourite location on earth.
AM How to Shop Ethically in Hoi An, Unique Pampering then Lunch in the Rice FieldsWake up in An Bang Beach and perhaps take a stroll along the beach, or have an early morning swim. Then enjoy another Vietnamese five star buffet breakfast before heading back into Hoi An Town.
We'll take in the ambience and history of Hoi An as we stop at the Japanese Covered Bridge and Thu Bon River. We'll make time for a mid morning refreshment break of White Rose Dumplings, one of the must-have Hoi An dishes.
AM Farm to Table Cooking with Red Bridge Cooking School
This morning is about fun, food and farm to table with the teachers of the Red Bridge Cooking School. We'll be taken on a guided tour of Hoi An’s colourful central market where we'll buy some of the essential ingredients for
our lunch, we'll visit an organic herb farm to pick up our herbs, then take a boat trip on the Hoi An River to journey to our alfresco cooking school on the river. Then we'll be straight into our 2 hours hands on
cooking class. Of course we'll get to sit down and share the lunch we've created. Red Bridge experience 8.15-1pm
PM Indulge in a rejuvenating Spa Treatment then spend the evening riverside in Hoi An, watching a breathtaking show followed by a dinner of innovative Vietnamese cuisine
We'll head back into the old town after Red Bridge for a well deserved pampering treatment in a serene spa location. Enjoy a rejuvenating massage or a body scrub; or you can even choose to be wrapped in banana leaves!
Back to our beach resort late afternoon for a quick unwind and change of clothes ready for our evening activities.
Evening We'll head back into the Old Town for the 6pm performance at the Lune Theatre, where heritage and art converge in a breath taking performance. Lune has showcased around the world in top European and Asian venues, including the Sydney Opera House.
To end this unforgettable stay in magical Hoi An, it's drinks and dinner close to the Lune Theatre at the signature eatery of Hoi An's famed chef and restaurateur Madame Vy. Here food becomes art and vice versa. What a perfectly appropriate conclusion to our stay in a city, known for its art and creativity.
In Saigon we'll be eating where the locals eat, and shopping where the the fashionable locals shop.
You'll see an upmarket side to Saigon that most tourists don't discover, as we explore other districts and shop until we 'almost' drop at Ethical Boutiques and Gift Stores.
Saigon is one of the world's best gastronomic cities and we intend to make the most of that! We'll venture out on the back of scooters for a Foodie's Adventure. The following night we'll spend our final dinner together at a hidden gem, where an acclaimed chef is reinventing Street Food with a modern twist.
Accommodation: 5 star Silverland Charner
DETAILED ITINERARY SAIGON
AM Fly to Saigon and check into the charming Silverland Charner Hotel, inspired by Colonial Tea Houses
After breakfast we will leave Hoi An and fly from Danang to Vietnam's biggest and most modern city of Saigon, affectionately known as the Pearl of the East, or officially Ho Chi Minh City. Our driver will be waiting to take us from the airport through the bustling streets of Saigon to our District One hotel.
We'll have a light lunch in a pretty courtyard setting then check into the beautiful boutique hotel Silverland Charner. The hotel's charm will woo you as soon as you enter. The Silverland Charner is inspired by the tea houses of the French colonial era and exudes all the comforts and delights of a modern luxurious hotel, a true oasis in a busy city.
PM Explore the designer stores of District 1
We'll be heading out from the hotel on foot to explore nearby Walking Street, and the local designer boutiques in surrounding streets.. A few hours of retail therapy and we'll be ready to indulge in Silverland Charner's afternoon tea, or maybe a glass of bubbles.
Evening There will be some free time for you to continue shopping, or relax, before the evening's foodie event. Get ready to hit the big city the way the locals do - yes on the back of a scooter (we can provide a four wheeled alternative if required). We'll be heading out with our friends who will be showing us the best — and tastiest — bites of their city. Literally we'll be in Anthony Bourdain style low-plastic-stall foodie heaven.
AM Concept Stores, Fashion Boutiques and Gift Shopping away from the city centre
Judith chooses her Asian hotels on two things - location and breakfast buffet variety. The Silverland Charner buffet has the perfect mix of Western options and of course noodle soups, sushi and much more. Today would be a good day to really go to town on the buffet as we have a big day ahead.
Our driver will pick us up and drive us outside of the city centre for the ultimate in shopping days. We'll spend the day at District 2. Think sustainable beauty and perfume shops, modern ceramics showrooms, beautiful concept stores, fashion emporiums, and gorgeous little shopping squares with boutiques hidden away, all waiting to be discovered. Shopping heaven. We will of course have coffee and a lunch break between shopping. This is Vietnam after all!
PM Afternoon Tea at the Silverland Charner
Evening: We'll walk to a local favourite foodie spot, and enjoy after dinner drinks in a hidden bar.
AM Last morning to shop for Artisan Made crafts and Sustainable Fashion
After an early morning swim and a long breakfast if that takes your fancy, we will wander back out through District One to the famous Ben Thanh Market (you have to see it!) then to one of our favourite shopping streets for those last minute purchases. If you love the Vietnamese brands showcased online at Temples and Markets you will absolutely adore the concept stores we'll visit this morning.
PM Free time
Evening: We'll meet in the lobby at 8pm for a gastronomic end to our amazing trip. We'll be walking a short distance to a hidden gem; an acclaimed modern Vietnamese restaurant that has become a true favourite of Saigon's foodie set. The evening doesn't end there though, as we'll celebrate our new friendships and amazing experiences, chinking glasses and taking in the sights and colours of the city below at one of Saigon's rooftop bars.
All amazing things have to come to an end and this is day for saying goodbye to Saigon and to new friends made during these amazing 10 days. After our last buffet breakfast we'll be bidding everyone a fond farewell.
If you're staying on in Saigon we are happy to organise extensions to other regions in Vietnam through our local tour company e.g a boat trip on the Mekong, Halong Bay Cruise or a trip to Chu Chi Tunnels perhaps. If it's time to say goodbye to Vietnam there will be private transfers to the airport. For those with late night departures we can organise a share room for bag storage and pre-departure showers. Ask us for rates for this or for extra nights if you are staying longer.