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Source: Luxury Travel Vietnam

Not only is it a land of exquisite natural landscapes, Vietnam is also home to a rich culture that dates back to thousands of years ago. Vietnam fine arts and culture tours, hence, are designed to enable tourists to take a closer look at the invaluable artistic and cultural beauty of this S-shaped land.

While nature lovers are flocking to the famous natural beauty spots, culture fans are more into exploring the long-lasting culture of this land. A tailor-made tour to Vietnam could never be complete without a glimpse at the artistic and cultural heritages of this Asian nation.

I. Top reasons why Vietnam fine arts and culture tours are a must-try.

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Small as it might seem, Vietnam is home to more than 50 ethnic groups. They have inhabited this land for more than 4,000 years. Together with its neighbor – China, Vietnam is believed to be the cradle of Asian civilization.

Vietnam has experienced several ups and downs. The country has a prime location and is rich in natural resources. Hence, it used to be the favorite target of outside invaders, from the Chinese dynasties in a millennium of the feudal period to western colonizers like France and America in the 20th century.

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It is such a painful past; however, it is undeniable that because of these invasions, Vietnamese culture could be that rich. The indigenous Viet culture has absorbed the influences of other civilizations and formed a completely unique Vietnamese culture that we could see today.

The distinctive culture of Vietnam is well presented in different art forms and cultural aspects of the local people. If you are eager to learn more about it, Vietnam fine arts and culture tours are definitely a must-take when traveling to this land.

II. What to do during Vietnam fine arts and culture tours.

It would take you years to explore every aspect of Vietnamese culture and tradition. Hence, Luxury Travel would like to recommend some must-do activities your Vietnam culture tours should include.

1. Enjoy cultural spectacles and traditional music shows.

This is the quickest way to approach to the tradition and culture of a place. If you are about to take Vietnam fine arts and culture tours, do not forget to watch these shows at least once to see how rich the spiritual life of Vietnamese people is.

Water Puppet Show – a 1000+ -year-old art form

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The water puppet performance is one of the top things to do in Hanoi that any travelers shouldn’t ignore. This form of art was originated 10 centuries ago. Significantly, it is the traditional orchestra of the northern Vietnam countryside.

Water puppetry literally means “making the puppets dance on the waters”. Originally, the show occurred in the middle of the rice paddies or the village’s lake. Amidst the water exists a small pavilion. It is the hiding place for the performers when they played the puppet dance.

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Puppets are made from wood. The performers control these heavy items by using bamboo rods and strings, which they hide under the waters. Additional to the use of puppets, the show also includes the “Chèo” singing – the traditional music form of the northern villagers and the participation of several instrumentations like drums, cymbals, horns, monochord (the Vietnamese “đàn bầu”), flutes, gongs, and so on.

These things altogether provide an excellent delivery of the Vietnamese folklores and folktales. Sometimes, the show might tell about the national history or legends, also.

The most popular place to watch the puppet show inside Hanoi Old Quarter is Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre nearby Hoan Kiem Lake. A show would last around 01 hour, so don’t miss it out!

Quintessence of Tonkin – A reflection of northern Vietnam countryside

Another must-see spectacle in north Vietnam fine arts and culture tours is the Quintessence of Tonkin. This delicate show recalls the nostalgic vibe of the local life in the northern countryside.

The journey to come to this spectacle is definitely a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The venue for the show is at a village in Quoc Oai District, which is 20 km from Hanoi city center. Here visitors can see the typical elements of the northern countryside with the bamboo forests, rice fields, lakes, and small pavilions.

The Quintessence of Tonkin is an excellent performance that delivers the simple, tranquil yet beautiful sides of the northern villages. It showcases 06 significant elements that formed the northern culture: poetry, Buddhism, nostalgia, music & painting, and joy & festivals. There is the water puppet performance also. Consequently, the show offers a complete experience of the rich spiritual life of the locals. All these things well blend together and make up an exquisite show that can draw the attention of any visitors.

Fun fact: the performers are just the normal villagers of the nearby countryside. These passionate people, with their outstanding artistic ability could bring the most authentic experiences to the audiences.

Royal Court Music – feel the royal vibe with Vietnam fine arts and culture tours

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Undoubtedly, Vietnam fine arts and culture tours can never be complete if you forget to enjoy the Royal Court Music – an invaluable art form in Hue Citadel. This royal music was listed by UNESCO as a World’s Intangible Heritage in 2003.

It is more familiar under the name “nhã nhạc Cung Đình”, which literally means “the elegant court music”. Even though the court music started quite soon, it was not until the Nguyen Dynasty (19th – 20th century) that it reached its pinnacle. Ever since the Nguyen emperors declared it as the official court music, “nhã nhạc” has become an inevitable part of the imperial rituals.

The royal court music is the flawless cooperation of traditional eastern instruments such as “đàn tỳ bà” (the pear-shaped lute with 04 strings), “đàn nguyệt” (the moon-shaped lute with 02 strings), “đàn nhị” (a 2-string verticle fiddle), “sáo” (bamboo flute), and other percussions. It includes intricate court dances, also.

The royal court music is performed in significant royal rituals and anniversaries. It holds a significant cultural value that no one can deny. Nowadays, tourists taking culture tours in Hue can watch this show at “Duyệt Thị Đường” – the royal theatre inside the Forbidden City.

Hoi An Memories – the best spectacle in the world

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Last but not least, Hoi An Memories is also a worth-watching show. This is the largest art show in Vietnam that enables tourists to learn more about Hoi An – a major trading port of Asia in the past.

This grand cultural performance takes you into a journey to the past. Ever since the performers enter the stage in their traditional “ao dai”, you can’t take your eyes off them.

The show enables you to travel back in time by delivering the history of this 400-year-old town. The performance showcases how Hoi An turned from a small farming village into developing town. Breath-taking dance, jaw-dropping effects, and enthusiastic performers altogether make up an unforgettable show that could easily capture your hearts.

2. Stop by Vietnamese handicraft villages during Vietnam fine arts and culture tours.

The traditional handicraft villages are where visitors can take the closest approach to the priceless art of Vietnam. The 03 villages below are definitely worth paying a visit during your Vietnam fine arts and culture tours.

Bat Trang Ceramic Village – a must-stop for Vietnam fine arts and culture tours

Bat Trang is the most famous traditional village in Vietnam. With the history dating back to the 14th century, this pottery village is a must-stop for fine arts and culture tours in Hanoi.

Bat Trang Ceramics has long been a renowned name in both the domestic and international pottery market. The products are made from the best clay and the skillful hands of the local craftsmen. Thus, its huge fame is easy to understand.

A tour to Bat Trang village will allow you to try making a ceramic product yourself. The villagers will show you every detail from the very first steps to make sure the product look good. Furthermore, you can buy home some beautiful ceramic products at any shops here.

Van Phuc Silk Village – the birthplace of Vietnamese best silk

Another reputable name in the map of handicraft villages in Vietnam is Van Phuc Silk Village – a southwestern Hanoi village that is famous for its weaving tradition and supreme silk products.

Silk used to be a precious item that only the royal families or the nobles can afford. Van Phuc Silk, also called Ha Dong Silk, is the most favorite brand within Vietnam. Up to now, when the market is more diverse, the silk from this village is still a top-notch name thanks to its smoothness, lightweight, and elegance.

It’s interesting to wander in the world of silk when visiting Van Phuc Village. Many shops are available here, so it is easy to find beautiful clothes and souvenirs. Tailor-made products are available also, but it would take quite a time to wait.

Phu Vang Conical Hat Village

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Together with “ao dai”, “nón lá”, or the conical hat, is a symbol of the S-shape country. A visit to Phu Vang Conical Hat Village in Thua Thien Hue Province will give you the chance to learn more about this symbolic item.

Hue is home to the famous “nón bài thơ” – a superior variant of the conical hat. To make a beautiful hat, the artisans need to pay meticulous attention to every single step, from choosing the leaves, selecting bamboo splints, to make the rings and arrange the layers. Especially, with “nón bài thơ”, they also embroider the short poems onto it. Sometimes, they even draw the image of Vietnamese girls in “ao dai”, also. Hence, the hat from Hue is not just simply an item to cover the head but it is indeed a delicate artwork. Visiting Hue, you will be impressed by the beautiful Hue girls in their elegant “ao dai” and “non la”. This is the typical image of Vietnamese girls that you usually see in media.

A Hue tour to Phu Vang Conical Hat Village will not only enable you to learn about the process of making a conical hat but it will also let you immerse in the tranquility of the Central countryside. The quiet and peaceful vibe of the village will blow all your stress and fatigue of life away.

3. Take Vietnam fine arts and culture tours to the museums.

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During your customized Vietnam tour, remember to pay a visit to the museums during Vietnam fine arts and culture tours. Each of the big cities in Vietnam would have its own museum that displays the highlighted artwork of each region.

Whether you are visiting Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, or Danang, a quick stop at the museum will never a waste of time. Here displays the objects and artworks that represent Vietnamese arts from the prehistoric time to the present. In addition, there are also the paintings (lacquer, oil, silk, paper, and folk), ceramics, and sculptures for you to observe. Here you could feel the rich and diverse art of Vietnam that is imbued with the national identity.

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Aside from the museums, the art galleries are also worth visiting. Let yourself immerse in the art world with rich collections of contemporary art such as paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations, videos, and prints. These artworks are from both the new and renowned artists. The galleries are where they deliver their personal interpretation of Vietnamese culture and arts.

If you come to Hanoi, visit Vietnam Fine Arts Museum – the national museum of arts. Danang and Saigon also have their own museums, too. Don’t miss out the galleries inside Hanoi Old Quarter and Hoi An Ancient Town, also.

Vietnam possesses a rich and well-developed art, many aspects of which are yet to be discovered. It is truly a heaven for art fans.

III. About Luxury Travel

Luxury Travel is not simply a tour operator but also a faithful companion on your travel to Vietnam. We strongly believe we could go above and beyond your expectation about Vietnam fine arts and culture with our tailor-made tours. Not only will we take you to the must-see places, we could also arrange meetings with artists as per request.

Let we bring you the authentic experiences while stepping into the aesthetic world of Vietnam arts!

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