"Forgiveness and Sorrow"
Custom Tours & Vietnam Travel Programs
We recommend a complete North to South itinerary to experience the distinctions, politically, culturally and socially.
From North to South, traveling historically, through each Dynasty, to French occupation, Liberation with Ho Chi Minh, to the Vietnam/American War, you will be enlightened towards an understanding of Vietnamese culture, history and people.
In Hanoi, the ideology of communism permeates daily life, yet it is proclaimed that any and all religions are acceptable. 54% have quietly retained Buddhism.
Today Hanoi is a vibrant city with cafes on every corner. Its people seem a little more cautious than in Saigon, yet all embrace the thriving entrepreneurial spirit.
While in Hanoi, we recommend either day trip or an overnight cruise to Halong Bay and given time, a train to the Hill Tribes of Sapa are very unique. There is a Victoria train and lodge which is the most comfortable way to travel to Sapa.
Dalat in central Vietnam, is certainly worthwhile for cooler weather and to learn about the 54 minority groups in Vietnam.
Southern Vietnam & the Mekong Delta
In Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City, or HCMC for short), a tour of the war museum and the Cu Chi tunnels is impressive if not horrific. For those wishing to escape the war history, it is impossible. Every person has a story of a relative or friend lost. And to not be informed would be to miss a very important aspect of Vietnamese culture.
A bit further south we offer eco lodges and Mekong river day jaunts.
The Vietnamese people have an incredible capacity to bear loss and offer forgiveness. Every visitor will come home enriched.
Americans thought they were fighting Communism when in fact, it was fighting Nationalism, in what the Vietnamese refer to as the American War.
Contemorary Art and Culture Tour Vietnam
SAMPLE ART TOUR
In the past five years, the art scene in Ho Chi
Minh City.VIETNAM, has experienced a growth that
has placed it amongst some of the most active
emerging art scenes in the region. An increasing
number of local artists are now participating in
exhibitions in important institutions and events
around the world.
Although the number of contemporary art spaces
is still modest, their operations reach out to a
greater audience. These art spaces are
contributing to a better understanding of
contemporary art in the country, nurturing local
talent, cooperating with foreign institutions
and attracting important art professionals from
around the world.
When to visit and how to
Ho Chi Minh City has quite a homogenous
temperature all year round, always warm enough
to wear short sleeves, shorts and sandals. The
winter months, roughly from November to the end
of March, are the best period to
visit to avoid suffering the
effects of heat and humidity. Days are mostly
sunny, with an average temperature of between 28
to 30 degrees Celsius and lower humidity, while
evenings and nights can become chilly enough to
wear a light jacket or long-sleeved top.
Beginning from early to mid-April, temperatures
and humidity rise exponentially due to the
approaching rainy season that can last from the
end of May to September or October.
As Ho Chi Minh City doesnt yet have a regular
festival or event for contemporary art, the only
criteria that determines when to visit
the city is your weather preference.
To get around, there are plenty of buses with
regular time schedules, but if you prefer not to
travel in a crowded, non-air conditioned means
of transportation, there are taxis everywhere.
Stick to the best known ones - Mai Linh and
Vinasun - and make sure that they are the
real thing by checking the metre, the uniform
and the ID of the drivers. Best Yet,
book a licensed driver with Golden Fish
Where to see contemporary
Museums and galleries
Ho Chi Minh City doesnt have a contemporary art
museum yet as government sponsorship for culture
is, unfortunately, not a top priority for the
countrys development. There are plenty of
galleries around town, but you should be careful
to not get distracted by the commercial
entities that mushroom around the central
district. These usually sell highly
commercial, decorative art that is often mass
produced and is not representative of the
contemporary art scene of the country.
Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum The Fine
Arts Museum is worth a visit for its beautiful
French colonial architecture. Although a bit run
down, the exhibition rooms have a range of art
that can give you a good look at the development
of art through the ages in Vietnam. The museum
also has a new wing that is rented out for
privately organised exhibitions, so check if
they have an exhibition on when you visit.
Address: 97A Pho Duc Chinh, District 1.
Galerie Quynh The most professionally recognised, international standard gallery in the city, Galerie Quynh was founded in 2004 by Vietnamese-American Quynh Pham. The gallery represents Vietnamese emerging and established artists, as well as foreign artists. In addition to its regular exhibitions programme in its two spaces in District 1, the gallery also holds talks and lectures. Address: main gallery, 65 De Tham, District 1; downtown gallery, Level 2, 151/3 Dong Khoi, District 1.
Craig Thomas Gallery Founded in 2009 by American Craig Thomas who has been involved in the Vietnam art scene for over a decade, the gallery is tucked away in a small villa in District 1. The gallery exclusively shows local talent, from emerging to more established artists working with a wide range of media and styles. Address: 27i Tran Nhat Duat Street, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1. Bonus Tip: Be sure to not miss having a meal at the nearby Cuc Gach restaurant, with its artsy decor, to top off your art day in the area.
Tu Do Gallery One of the oldest standing galleries in the city, Tu Do also boasts a collection of important modern and contemporary artists. More on the classical side of the scene, Tu Do also holds regular exhibitions throughout the year. Like many local Vietnamese entities, Tu Do is not great at publicity, so swing by to see what is on or contact them before your trip. Address: 53 Ho Tung Mau, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
Eight Gallery Owned and run by a collector of Vietnamese modern and contemporary art, the small gallery holds exhibitions of contemporary artists throughout the year. It does not have a strong marketing network, so it is not easy to find out when an exhibition is on but visit their website and contact them for information. Address: 8 Phung Khac Khoan, District
Vin Gallery With two spaces, in District 1 and 2, this small gallery run by an Indonesian also holds workshops and art classes. The small exhibition space in District 2 holds exhibitions of Indonesian and foreign artists. Contact them to see what is on when you visit and to arrange to attend a class. Address: 6, Le Van Mien, Thao Dien, District 2; 95, Pasteur, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
Non-profit and experimental art spaces
San Art The most active nonprofit, artist-run initiative in Vietnam, San Art was founded by some of the most well known Vietnamese artists: Dinh Q. Le, Tiffany Chung and members of The Propeller Group. Housed in a small villa in Binh Thanh district, the space shares its home with The Propeller Group and their production studio. Regular exhibitions and educational programmes, a library room and the San Art Laboratory artist-in-residence are a must see. Arrange to speak with Curator and Director Zoe Butt and local curator Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran to have a better understanding of the spaces role and the state of contemporary art in Vietnam today. Address: 3 Me Linh, Binh Thanh District.
Zero Station An experimental art space founded by artist-curator Nguyen-Nhu-Huy. The space holds workshops, talks and lectures, as well as art projects with exhibitions, screenings and performances. Contact them to get more information on what is going on when you visit and to arrange a chat with the founder.
Goethe Intitut The Goethe Institute is very involved in the development of the contemporary art scene and supports and organizes contemporary art exhibitions by local artists, screenings of video and film, lectures and interactions between local and foreign artists. Check if they have anything going on when you visit the city.
Sao La Sao La A nonprofit art initiative supported and founded by Galerie Quynh, Sao La is based on the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Art Museums grounds. A new addition to the art scene, officially opening at the end of May 2014, the space will also have a library room with art books and will support emerging local talent, running a regular program of workshops, lectures and talks, screenings and exhibitions. Address: on the grounds of the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum.
Vietnam Photo GalleryClick on the photo below to see more photos
Vietnam Tours and Travel Packages
- Essential Vietnam — 10 days
Saigon, Danang & Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay
- Central Vietnam City extensions — Nha Trang, Dalat
- North Vietnam Hill tribe Extensions — Sapa and the northern highlands
All Vietnam tours can be extended into Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, for a complete coordinated South East Asia Grand tour package.
For a full itinerary of Vietnam tours, or to ask about our other travel options in Vietnam and the rest of travel in Asia, please contact us by phone or email.
photos courtesy of Eduardo Godoy
- The Sacred Willow, Duang Van Mai Elliot
- The Sorrow of War, Bao Ninh
- The Lover, Marguerite Duras
- The Quiet American, Graham Greene