Textiles & Culture of Southeast Asia 2018
Day 1 Hanoi arrival Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 Hanoi (B,L) In the morning, we start the tour by visiting the Ethnology Museum. Back to the town to visit One Pilar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Afternoon, our tour will visit Art Vietnam Gallery and 54 Traditional Gallery Museum.
Day 3 Hanoi – Night Train to Lao Cai (B,D)Check out of hotel by noon. Then we will visit Bat Trang, the most ancient and famous Vietnamese pottery village that is still running and developing new pieces. About 10 km away from the center of Hanoi, it is situated on the left bank of the Red River. Back to the town to visit Hoan Kiem Lake and end with the traditional cyclo ride through Hanoi's Old Quarter. We will have dinner at a local restaurant before transferring to the rail station for the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.
Day 4 Arrive Lao Cai – Sapa (B,L)Arrive in Lao Cai early morning and drive to Sapa and have breakfast in town. After breaksfast, we have a short walk to the valley of Lao Chai and Ta Van village - the settement of a Black H'Mong and Giay ethnic group that still retains its unique customs and practices. We will have the opportunity to see and learn the process of indigo dying and hemp weaving. Admire lively, colorful women sitting by looms with pieces of brocade decorated with beautiful designs of flowers and birds. Besides weaving craft, many residents are good at manipulating gold and silver jewelry. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Return to town and check into the hotel. There will be free time for shopping at Sapa market. The rest of day is free at leisure.
Day 5 Sapa – Coc Ly Tuesday market (B,L)After breakfast, drive to Coc Ly Market to visit the amazing Tuesday market of local ethnic groups – the colorful Flower H’Mong, Dzao, Nung, PhuLa – and take a soft trek to Ban Pho village, home of the Flower H’Mong. A Boxed Lunch will be served. Take a scenic boat ride along the Chay River and stop at the village of the "Tay" people. Drive back to your hotel and the rest of day is free at leisure.
Day 6 Sapa – Lao Cai – night train to Hanoi (B,L,D) In the morning, we will drive to the center of Sapa to visit Ham Rong Mountain. Climb up to the San May (Cloud Yard) and enjoy the panoramic view of the Sapa Townlet, then stop at the orchid garden with its exquisite flowers. After lunch, we will drive through the scenic valley and have a short trek to enjoy spectacular views of rice paddy terraces and cornfields - a great photographic opportunity. We will visit "Ta Phin" village, where we will have an experience to learn the art of embroidery. We will participate in a workshop at a local house to learn hand embroidery from Red Dao women. Drive to Lao Cai and have dinner before taking the overnight train to Hanoi.
Day 7 Hanoi arrival – Danang – Hoian (B,D) Arrive Hanoi in the early morning. Tour guide will pick you up at rail station. Have breakfast with ‘Pho’ at a local restaurant. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to Danang. Arrive in Danang, transfer to Hoian and check in at hotel. In the afternoon, take a walking tour along Hoian’s waterfront that starts at the Japanese Covered Bridge ,the ancient house Tan Ky, the ornate Fu Kien Chinese Temple, and end at the Hoian local market. Tonight, dinner is at a fabulous restaurant located in a lovely, privileged garden located in the heart of Hoian.
Day 8 Hoi An (B,L) In the morning, transfer to the silk village. We will discover the art of ancient silk weaving techniques perfected by the Cham ethnic people in Quang Nam province. Witness the full cycle of silk making from silkworms to finished product and learn the difference between natural silk and synthetic silk. Lunch will be served in this charming village with an authentic Hoian cuisine menu. After lunch, we will take a silk lantern class and you can bring home your own creation. The rest of everning is free time.
Day 9 Hoian – Siem Reap (B) Morning is free at leisure. Check out of hotel by noon. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Arrive in Siem Reap and transfer to your hotel for check in.
Day 10 Siem Reap – Angkor Wat – Angkor Thom (B,L,D) Visit the National Angkor Museum for an overview of Angkor history before heading to the famous Angkor Wat, (probably the greatest UNESCO World Heritage site). It is the world’s largest temple with the longest intricately carved bas-relief panels. Explore this 3-tiered pyramid structure with massive galleries of a thousand Buddhas, interior walls and niches decorated with stone asparas (celestial dancers), and devatas (goddesses). A walk around the top terrace offers a great view of Angkor and its surrounding countryside.
After lunch, visit the "Great City" of Angkor Thom including the South Gate, Bayon, Bapoun, Terrace of Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King. The tour ends with a hike up to Phnom Bakheng for spectacular views.
Tonight, enjoy an Aspara dinner show at Angkor Village Resort.
Day 11 Siem Reap – IKTT – Banteeay Srei – Ta Prohm (B,L) In the morning, we visit the Institute for Khmer Tradition Textiles, specializes in the revival of the the Cambodia silk ikat. There they will provide a range of activites for people to learn more about golden silk, natural dye or tree planting. All guests are welcome to have a tour of the workshops and forestland with the chance to have a hands on experience into how silks are produced.
Afternoon, we will visit Banteay Srei temple, the Citadel of Women with its very attractive carvings. Then Ta Prohm – the 12th century temple that has been left largely un-restored and is in its natural state, surrounded by jungle with massive banyan roots and limbs enveloping the stone-like tentacles.
Day 12 Siem Reap – Luang Prabang (B) In the morning we visit a silk farm and enjoy the beautiful setting while learning many details about the mulberry trees, silkworm farming, cocoon unwinding, preparation of the silk threads, ikat technique (tie-dyeing of the threads), and silk weaving. The Angkor Silk Farm also features a large showroom where you can buy high-quality silk products that were made in the workshops you just visited. You have lunch on your own at Sala Bai Restaurant, an NGO training center for Disadvantaged young Cambodians. (Eugene’s Friendship with Cambodia helps support this center.) In the afternoon, take a short flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, meet our guide and transfer to hotel for check in.
Day 13 Luang Prabang (B,L) Early risers will have a chance to witness the monks’ daily rounds of collecting alms. This is a very special opportunity. After breakfast, we will enjoy a guided tour of the city’s oldest temple. Begin the tour at the former Royal Palace, now known as the National Museum, where we will explore the history of Laos. We continue on to visit WatVisoun and the shrine of WatAham. We then drive to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, Wat Sensoukarahm which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade, and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its low sweeping roofs representing the classical architecture of LuangPrabang. We will have traditional Lao cuisine at a famous restaurant in town. After lunch, we will climb up to Mount Phousi to enjoy the sacred, gilded stupa and beautiful panoramic views of the sun setting over this once royal ancient city on the Mekong River. Later, we will visit the night market where we will find plenty of local souvenirs as well as many different handicrafts and textiles. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 14 Luang Prabang (B,L)
Today, you’re back at the craft center to finish weaving your scarf. During class, you will also learn about Lao culture. Lunch will be served at the Silk Road Cafe located right at the craft center. Your class finishes in the late afternoon. Return to hotel.
In the evening, you have free time for your own activities.
Day 15 Luang Prabang (B,L) In the morning, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s oldest temple. Begin the tour at the former Royal Palace, now known as the National Museum, where you will explore the history of Laos. Continue to visit WatVisoun and the shrine of WatAham. Drive to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, Wat Sensoukarahm which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade, and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its low sweeping roofs representing the classical architecture of LuangPrabang. We will have traditional Lao cuisine at a famous restaurant in town. After lunch, we will climb up to Mount Phuosi to enjoy the sacred, gilded stupa and beautiful panoramic views of the sun setting over this once royal ancient city on the Mekong River. Later, we will visit the evening hill tribe market where you will find plenty of local souvenirs as well as many different handicrafts and textiles. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 16 Luang Prabang – Pak Ou – Pakbeng (B,L)
Early morning, transfer to Auberge Calao pier for a cruise up the Mekong River to Pakbeng. A continental breakfast is served on board. The boat first stops opposite the mouth of the Nam Ou River to visit Pak Ou caves. There are two caves, ‘Tham Ting’ and ‘Tham Phoum’ where thousands of Buddha images are found. A buffet lunch is served onboard. The second stop is at Ban Baw to observe the processing of the traditional rice alcohol. The boat arrives at Luang Say Lodge before sunset for an overnight stay. Dinner is served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River (at your own expense).
Day 17 Pakbeng – Houei Sai – Lanjia Lodge (B,L,D) A continental breakfast is served on the terrace. The boat leaves Luang Say Lodge at 7AM and stops in Houei Sai in order to observe rural life in a Kamu village at Ban Houy Phalam along the Mekong River. A buffet lunch is served onboard. The boat arrives at slow boat pier in Houei Sai before 5PM Transfer to the lodge. Check in. Dinner will be served on the terrace of Lanjia Lodge. The rest of the evening.
Day 18 Hmong Experience (B,L,D)
In the morning, we will have an orientation about the various tribal people residing in Thailand, with the main focus on the Hmong and Lahu tribes. We have an opportunity to learn of the various activities affecting the lives of people living near the Mekong River over the years. The famous Giant Catfish (locally known as Pla Buek) are the world’s largest freshwater fish and can still be found in the Mekong. Have a tour to Hmong and Lahu hill tribe village, including a visit at the shaman’s house of the Hmong. Drink tea with the shaman and discover why the fireplace is important to the Hmongs and why they bury the placenta and umbilical cord of their newborn babies. Lunch will be served on the charming terrace of the lodge. After lunch, we will get ready for a first hand experience on how to make a Hmong batik handkerchief with the help of Hmong women. In the afternoon, we will start a nature walk up to the Lahu hill tribe community. We will choose a trail along the Mekong River and Laos border. The path will give us a full view of the valleys. We will walk through plantations and corn fields scattered with small bamboo huts. At sunset, we'll see families cooking their dinners, children playing on the road and people hanging out under their homes as farmers gather their things and head back home. Enjoy the stunning natural view of mountain ranges, steep valleys and watch the sunset over the mountains. In the evening, you will enjoy a sumptuous dinner with local delicacies, followed by a performance of both Hmong and Lahu music and dances.
Day 19 Chiang Rai – Golden Triangle (B,L,D) After breakfast, we will drive to the Golden Triangle, the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand to visit The Hall of Opium. This interesting museum gives us a detailed insight into the history of the opium industry, beginning in the 17th century. We will continue to Doi Tung, a site of major socio-environmental projects, and take the opportunity to visit The Mae Fah Luang Garden and The Royal Villa, former residence of the Princess Mother. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Transfer to hotel in Chiang Rai for check in.
Day 20 Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai (B,D) After breakfast, we drive to Chiang Mai. On the way visit Wat Rong Khun, the famous white temple. Check into hotel. Late afternoon, visit the Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, built on a mountaintop about 3,500 ft above sea level. Once you have reached the temple, you can enjoy the best views of Chiang Mai City. Then stop by the oldest market in Chiang Mai city to see the northern people sell and buy different varieties of famous local food. Farewell dinner will be served at the local restaurant by the river.
Day 21 Chiang Mai – Workshop Thai Textiles (B,L) In the morning, join a Thai textiles workshop includes instruction on some shibouri techniques and the natural dye methods. After lunch, return to hotel and the rest of day is free at leisure.
Day 22 Chiang Mai – Departure (B,L)Morning is free at leisure. Check out of hotel by noon, transfer to the airport for flight home! Have a safe trip.
Have a safe trip!