A journey through Vietnam’s recent history
Published/Last edited or updated: 27th August, 2017
What began as a personal research project has morphed into an informative, insightful half day tour. Sophie’s Art Tour tells a story about Vietnam’s tumultuous recent history through the country’s art and artists.
Art has always served as a window to history. When there are major shifts on the ground, socio-political-economic cracks and rumblings, art is like a seismograph. The tour helps to figuratively peel the layers of a canvas, sketch or sculpture to the deeper meaning of what was happening at the time. Even if you are not an art lover, the tour is an excellent foothold into understanding the country.
The insightful morning covers modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st century, broken into four “chapters”: French colonialism, combat art (both the First and Second Indochina War), post-war and contemporary. The tour includes the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum. The itinerary will change to take advantage of special exhibitions, contemporary artists now able to showcase their work in some very new spaces—it’s an exciting time for art in Ho Chi Minh City, a city that is evolving and developing rapidly.
Our guide was Stu, who was extremely knowledgable and the morning breezed by because the information was delivered so well, using a tablet to aid the presentation. The Ho Chi Minh City tour runs from 09:00 to approximately 13:00, meeting at a central location and drop off in District 1. Transport is by air-conditioned vehicle. Price is US$65 or 1,500,000 dong per person including admission fees and water. Advanced booking required.
There’s minimal walking though the Fine Arts Museum requires stairs (there’s no working lift for the three floors) and some of the galleries may not be wheelchair accessible.
If you require accessible spaces, custom tours can be arranged. In 2015, they added a Hanoi tour, designed to contrast and compliment the Ho Chi Minh City tour. If you loved one, do sign up for the other.
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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