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Go Explore Vietnam Travel Photography Exhibition – Breaking Down Boundaries

Go Explore Vietnam Immersive Art Exhibition presents a selected collection of photography and videography artwork, featuring different destinations across Vietnam, to create an immersive art space, combined with diverse visual and sound effects such as lighting, experimental/electronic music, and art performances. Surrounded by interactive images and Ultra High Definition (4k) videos shown in dark room with rich sounds, the space offers an amazing immersive and sensory experience in the realm of art and entertaining. Massive displays shown from projectors combine artistic, informational and promotional content. Travel to these immersive art experiences on view across the country.

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Embracing the mission to bring the image of Vietnam as well as Vietnamese people, art and cultures closer to the world via creating creative photographs and videos, the exhibition aims to make social and community impact. Through this art and cultural event, we want to create a chance to experience art for everyone, including both art lovers and travel community, organize an educational activity – a learning experience from the art of travel photography, and introduce and connect local and international artists with the community.

3 concepts of the exhibition are: Immersive art exhibition, meaning experience being ‘inside the artwork’ by letting the sound and visual elements take you to different places across Vietnam, Digital storytelling, or telling stories of the life and people in Vietnam behind the filming scenes and photographs and creative learning – studying geography and tourism of Vietnam in a fun and innovative way

3 main art spaces in the exhibition includes ‘Landscapes of Vietnam’ – landscape photographs featuring gorgeous travel destinations of Vietnam shot by drone cameras, Humans of Vietnam – portraits of Vietnamese people, photographed by international artists who have travelled throughout the country and ‘Life in Vietnam’- typical daily life filmed different regions throughout the country, reflecting a mixture of traditional and modern influences

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The exhibition display many artwork of multiple local artists such as Pham Phu Nghia and Nguyen Tan Dung, and international artists such as Cristobal Ascencio from Mexico, Chévon Leo from South Africa – illustrator having worked with Hollywood films, Anna Paniagua & Matt Kiefer – the founders of Hostelgeeks brand with over 29.2k followers on Instagram, and one of our guests of honour Réhahn. He  was ranked one of the top 10 portrait photographers in the world and the 2nd most popular French photographer on the internet, having been to over 35 countries and is currently living in Hoi An, Vietnam. Some of his most famous works are the ‘Hidden Smile’ photograph and the ‘Vietnam, Mosaic of Contrasts’ photobook, including 150 photographs inspired by his past 6-year long journey encountering 45 of the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam. His works have been featured on Conde Nast Traveler, The Times and National Geographic.

The grand opening also welcomes the well-known performing artist Vu Nhat Tan. Known as one of the pioneers in the contemporary music scene of Vietnam, composer Vu Nhat Tan has gained success in music events across Asia, Europe and Australia. In 2002, Vu Nhat Tan turned to experimental electronic music on computer platform, electronic equipment and music instruments. These works were introduced during his performances in Europe, America, Australia, China and Vietnam in collaboration with many classic and contemporary artists. Tan has lectured on composition and musicology at the Vietnam National Academy of Music since 1995.

The event was officially sponsored by Traveloka.

Top Destinations to Seek Art In Vietnam

If you asked me if I would ever quit travel blogging, the answer was probably yes. A few months ago, I slowly stopped blogging on my own site, meaning not to produce any content of good quality, gradually switching to travel writing on different companies’ websites, simply to make money, which was a big motivation back then as I needed money to travel. Being constantly on the road makes it such a huge challenge to keep the blog updated.

Till now, it took me quite awhile to get my writings back on track. Plus I was never close to a tech person, making it brutally difficult for me to run a blog, whilst maintaining my presence on social media. After launching the ‘Go Explore Vietnam’ Project, traveling throughout my home country for a month, which was initially to find out if travel blogging was really for me, as a surprise, I found out how much I was into arts and cultures while traveling instead of running blogging businesses and keeping the site commercial.

So here’s my list of the top destinations to seek arts in Vietnam. And I mean really cool arts, music and cultures!

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1. Hoi An – the top-rated art hub

I love slow and peaceful vibe in Hoi An. Suddenly after few hours train ride from Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, you are completely taken aback away from the noises, crowds and traffic jam, all of sudden surrounded with lots and lots of art galleries, old vintage coffee shops, ancient French and Japanese architecture, authentic design and craft shops. Rehahn’s fine art photography gallery – COULEURS D’ASIE is one of its kind. His award-winning portrait photography style will take your breath away.

Hoi An is also famous for the 3 craft villages, specializing in producing local pottery, silk, and wood. These traditional products are amazing authentic souvenirs, convenient to carry around. You can see, and even learn how to make our own product there.

Art in Vietnam - Rehahn Art Gallery

2. Tam Thanh – the beautiful mural village

Situated in a rural area, only about an hour bus ride away from Hoi An, Tam Thanh is another must-see art hub, famed for its mural village created by the Korea-Vietnam joint project – Art for a better community. For some reason, the Koreans have discovered the isolated town of Tam Thanh and probably loved the village so much that they dedicated a massive amount of stunning artworks on the walls surrounding the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the quality of the paint was deteriorating so bad due to the weather that some of the walls were forced to crash down.

Art in Vietnam - Tam Thanh mural village

3. Hue – the ancient art capital

The peaceful and quiet town of Hue may look a bit boring at first glance, nevertheless wakes up at night as the Imperial city is lightened up with tons of musical and performing activities. You can even play traditional Vietnamese games with the local students at the main yard of the Imperial City. Make sure to arrive on time between 7PM and 10PM in order not to miss any arranged show. If you have already visited the Imperial city during the day time, keep in mind to get the 50% discount by night.

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Art in Vietnam - Hue Imperial City by NIght

4. Hanoi – the communist-influenced capital

Tons of friends asked me if Vietnam is still in communism regime, or simply assume such fact since there’s only one party in the government. Yet we are a socialist country, living with the diverse culture strongly influenced by a mixture of the East and West, of the past communists and present westerners. You’d be either excited or surprised to see many propaganda stores on Ly Quoc Su street in the old quarter of Hanoi, lying beside plenty of fine art galleries. What I love most about Hanoi is probably the vibe from entering the 36 old streets of Hanoi, which was recently turned into a pedestrian area every weekend, nowadays filled with a bunch of performing and playful activities at night.

5. Phan Thiet – the impressive Fisherman show

The one and only fisherman show happening every evening in Phan Thiet is breath-taking and soul-stirring. The story-telling theatrical acts of the local performers are well combined with a water show and a wide range of international artists are great values for money.

Art in Vienam - Fisherman Show in Phan Thiet 1

Art in Vietnam - Fisherman show in Phan Thiet 2

6. Da Lat – the place to rest your soul with art

XQ Su Quan Art Gallery is famous not only for its handmade sewing fabrics and artworks, but also the culturally unique arrangement of outdoor space and architecture style. The way local culture is presented with different artistic spaces here is one of its kind.

Art in Vietnam - XQ Su Quan Art Gallery

7. Ho Chi Minh – the chaotic & dynamic art hub

Despite living in the most dynamic and fast-growing city in Vietnam, strongly affected by the Western culture, the people in Ho Chi Minh (a.k.a. Sai Gon) has their own way to show the love for arts. À Ố Show is one of the best performing acts in Ho Chi Minh city, embracing Vietnamese culture with a strong combination Live Music By Folk Instruments, Acrobatics, and Bamboo Cirque. A must-see theatrical show in Ho Chi Minh.

À Ố Show - Art in Vietnam
Source: Divui

Despite being located in South East Asia, which is well-known for cheap travel, getting around Vietnam to genuinely explore arts and culture could be expensive due to high accommodation fare during peak season, high tax and service fee for airlines, overpriced entrance fee to tourist sights. I’d highly recommend booking your flights at least 4 weeks prior to your departure in and around Vietnam via Traveloka, as they offer incredibly tempting discounts from time to time. Accommodations can be booked few days in advance via Agoda, Booking or Airbnb.

 

Experience Quest – The First International Festival In Vietnam

Held in the beautiful premises of Son Tinh Camp at Ba Vi, less than an hour driving from the capital city Hanoi, Quest is an international festival combined with outdoor camping – a communal celebration of music, arts and interpersonal connection amongst nature. Ques Festival is a 3-day escape for both local and foreigners, who came to Vietnam to enjoy diverse forms of art. More than 150 artists, festival enthusiasts and the event organizers including over 100 volunteers (counting for more than a thousand people in total), gather around this gorgeous space just for these special experiences, taking place once a year every November.

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The story of Quest

4 years ago, Quest was formed by a small group of expats and locals in Hanoi, with the idea to bring the brand new international festival concept to Vietnam. During that time and even till today, there is no such event at a similar scale. Quest started with only couples of hundred attendants, expanding more than a thousand this year. Highly drawn to the event from its unique concept, bustling vibe and growing popularity, many artists from different part of the world signed up to play, even without having their flight from the other half of the world covered.
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Questival offers the whole 3-day package of diverse art – music – performance – workshop

From Acoustic to Hip-Hop, Electronic to Rock, Folk to Heavy Metal, Quest’s live music program has it all! While there were above 30 bands playing throughout the whole festival, the most spectacular show to me were well performed by Kylian and Vegeance. Their set was a mind-blowing sophisticated compilation of electronic DJ set, violin play combined with singing. Emily (Kylian) and Attiss Ngo (Vegeance) were both young talented producers and artists originally from the US. Besides having artists coming from 5 continents, Quest also welcome local talents, including some of the most impressive Vietnamese rappers and beat-boxers I have seen.
One of the coolest workshops was Yoga, taking place every morning. You would find a wide variety of other interesting options including: belly dance, playing different instruments, etc. At Quest, not only do you get to see the performance, but also to actually get your hands on the art.
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The vibe of freedom and escape

At Quest, you are free to express yourself! This is true in many ways – either dressing, performing, or enjoying all sorts of music, arts and culture you could find from around the world. Whether you’d not bother to look as casual (and probably messy too), or dress up in lots of fancy and expensive layers of costumes, we all feel welcomed at Quest. Most artists do tend to look very edgy, vintage or hippy.
I had tons of fun putting on facial arts at the festival. There’s even a workshop area where you can have your face and body painted. Frequent questers have their costumes well done and prepared long time ahead. You can check different out Quest theme each year, costume guide and ideas on their website. And don’t be shy to show some skin too. Vietnam is quite a traditional and slightly conservative country in terms of dressing out, but at Quest, it’s important to be yourself!
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Partying is definitely counts a big part!

Be well prepared for partying hard, drink and dance from day till dawn. From evening till late night (9PM – 2AM), you’d feel the best energies out of the event. This is when the best DJs and artists rock the shows at main stages within the same time set. So make sure to scroll around the premise, in order not to miss any spectacular performance. Once the crazy parties are over, I love watching people doing nothing but chilling, lying besides the shores, or floating above the lake watching sunset.
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Things to consider

As this is not going to be anything like a promotional article, I must mention several drawbacks of Quest. Like any other good festivals, it is a big mess! And it is certainly one of the FUN parts of it! Do not bring along anything way to expensive, as you do not want to lose it while being tipsy at the event, or have it stolen from your camp by the worst scenario. Most of the toilets are not clean, though there were cleaners working on site from time to time. I did not shower for days as my ankle was broken several days before the event (yet I decided that I must show up at Quest!). Nevertheless, the lake is dazzling, where you should definitely enjoy your time swimming and chilling.
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Đọc bài viết bằng tiếng Việt tại đây.

My Top 7 Hostel Experiences As A Nomad In Europe

Would you go for money or experiences when booking accommodation for your next Europe trip? Think twice – you can have it all here! Take a glance at some of the most unique, quality and affordable hostels in Europe below. After 7 months of nomading throughout the continent as a solo female,  here are my top 7 hostel experiences for low-budget travelers who can now be thrilled to spend approximately 5 to 10 EUR per night in one of these selected places during low season.

Celica Art Hostel (Ljubljana, Slovenia) – No.1 hippest hostel in the world 

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Located not very far away from the historic centre of Ljubljana, in the city of Metelkova, the ex-prison Hostel Celica was rated by lonely planet as the No.1 hippest hostel in the world. Experience the night behind bars from 20 former prison cells. These are some of the most fantastic artworks in town, designed by 80 local an international artists who renovated the previously abandoned building and transformed it into a social centre for travelers nowadays. Celica is located in the underground hippy city of Metelkova – an alternative culture community with plenty of art gallery, artists studios, LGBT spaces, cultural organizations and clubs featuring different types of alternative music. Celica has a space for art exhibition and some thrilling underground areas, both of which I could entered for free.

Read more about Celica Art Hostel here.

Franz Ferdinand (Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina) – Yugoslavia history and art in one place

 

-5While strolling around the capital city of Bosnia & Herzegovina that survived the war 50 years ago and is now growing drastically as a top destination in the Balkans area, one must consider spending a night at Franz Ferdinand. This first and only boutique hostel of Sarajevo is known for its interior designed by young  architects who transformed the Austro-Hungarian building into story-telling spaces. Nowadays, you can enjoy versatile art concepts through massive artworks on the walls that embed aspiring history of the country during the 1st World War.

Charlie Rockets Hostel (Bruges, Belgium) – bustling bar found in a classic movie theatre

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In what used to be the biggest movie theatre in Bruges, Charlie Rockets Hostel is now one of the most trendy cafes and hostels with a very unique interior design that differs itself from other cafes and bars. The walls are wrapped artistically with newspapers, a massive chandelier along with various Christmas decorations are hung from the ceiling in the main lounge. This creates a colourful, yet medieval atmosphere for the hostel. Charlie Rocket has an indoor bar, a pool room with five tables and lively on-going atmosphere.

Read more about Charlie Rockets here.

United Hostel Frankfurt (Germany) – impressive art and lightning

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One of the most impressive things about United Hostel Frankfurt is their versatile collection of artworks, all of which were bought by the owner from a French artist, displayed throughout the whole building. Dont be surprised to find an Old English Theatre on the ground floor of United Hostel Frankfurt, just by the corner. Yes you have not read it wrong! This stunning theatre with a dazzling LED lightning system can hold up to over 100 people, hosting a wide range of events such as movie nights, live bands’ performances and discotheques.

Read more about United Hostel Frankfurt here.

Old Town Kotor (Kotor, Montenegro)

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The most impressive, eye-catching feature about the Old Town Kotor is its interior design. From the moment you walk in, you will be immediately attracted to the stone walls, vintage looking furniture, antiques and typical classic artworks of Montenegro. Experience spending a night within old walls of Montenegro, enjoy delicious dinner and breakfast served only at 4 EUR in total, and the vibrant atmosphere of both premises ran by Old Town Kotor.

Read more about Old Town Kotor Hostel here.

We-Bologna (Bologna, Italy) – a stunning modern hostel and residence

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Built based on the concept of bringing guests and students to live together, We-Bologna is one of the newest accommodations in town. Is is run as both a hostel and a dormitory. The student-friendly environment is one of the things I liked the most about We-Bologna. With 250 beds located in a highly modern premise, We-Bologna did not cease to amaze me with its mini cinema room on the ground floor, a contemporary style study room, and the open-air green surroundings.

Read more about We-Bologna here.

Urban Garden Hostel (Lisbon, Portugal) – my favourite of all

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Among all of these unique experiences, my favourite of all was the night spent at Urban Garden Hostel in Lisbon. After leaving my couchsurfing host due to an unexpected incident, I changed my accommodation to the nearest hostel where I was warmly welcome with a free beer. And every guests can get a free check-in beer, yay for that! They serve free breakfast with pancake (not those typical boring cereals packages and bread with jam), and decent vegetarian dinner offered at only 3 EUR. Keep in mind that though Portugal is the place to be for foodies, it is not easy to find vegetarian dishes around!

Read more about Urban Garden Hostel here.

Source: Trip101