Art Culture Grit

w/ Luke from Hue Grit Tour & Anna from ArtFoodCulture

March 30th - April 8th 2020

Fully hosted and guided 10 day Art Food Culture Experience in Central Vietnam

Hoi An - Trung Son Mountains - Hue - Danang.

This Experience is for everyone of any gender, age, race, religion or walk of life that wants to experience slow and responsible travel with minds alike. The emphasis is on authentic cultural experiences. Art, Food and Culture. 


Your hosts Anna Barnes (founder of ArtFoodCulture, long-term traveller to Hoi An, chef and artist) and Luke Digweed (founder of Hue Grit Tour, long-term Vietnam resident, writer and curator of socio-cultural/experiential tours) have come together to produce an itinerary of experiences that will bring you to a deeper understanding of Vietnam. We skid off the tourist trail, we eat locally and hang out with people from all parts of the societies that make up central Vietnam. You won’t find a better way to get acquainted with Vietnam. Don't be shy, we'll guide you through all the formalities….as well as some informalities too!


Anna has been sketching the markets, streets and food types of Vietnam for the past 10 years. She will show you how to be comfortable in the centre of a bustling Vietnamese market. Grab a bowl of something delicious (or a caffeine-fuelled coffee), whip out your sketchbook and proceed to connect with the locals by absorbing yourself in the creative pursuit of travel sketching.


It is easy to miss the bigger picture when travelling. A checklist of regional delicacies isn’t going to get you much further than the tourist areas. Food reflects its people and culture is represented by its food. For a proper cultural exploration, we must visit a variety of scenarios and environments to really engage with the food we eat. We’ll be eating at places that cater for different people, different purposes and at different times. We eat. We learn. We have fun and of course, cover the regional delicacies as well. 

Anna and Luke have had years of experience taking guests to eat in Central Vietnam and even though we have our favourites, we’re always on the hunt for new places too. 

During her time spent in Vietnam, Anna has developed strong relationships with the vendors of Hoi An and as an experienced chef, she enjoys sharing the secrets of local Vietnamese cuisine while eliciting what makes each dish so special.

Luke came to Vietnam a 10-year strong vegetarian and broke somewhere in a Danang seafood restaurant on stringray, octopus and jellyfish. He has been running food tours since 2017, appeasing the palettes of travellers, friends and family alike. Luke’s interest in Vietnamese food stems from an anthropological basis; assessing the connection between food history, the vendors and the people that eat them.


The best part of a tour with us is connecting with local culture. The people of central Vietnam have a fascinating history, a unique way of life and are welcoming hosts.  Learn to see what we experience, experience what we see, participate in hands on activities, and connect with the people and their lives to further develop a deeper understanding of Vietnam. 

Luke specialises in anthropological deep-dive tours into Vietnamese culture. He does not manipulate or warp the places we visit on the tours for the sake of faux cultural exhibitionism. No staged authenticity or mollycoddling the guests. You will experience unpolished urban environments in all their raw beauty.


One issue with travelling is the age-old theory of 'othering'; to reflect on the differences between oneself and other as to validate the imposed inferiority of Other. As a social-anthropology graduate, Anna guides you to observe these cultural differences and highlight how they make us the same, not as inequals


You will be staying in a brand new modern locally owned and run 4 star riverside hotel with pool, easy walking distance to the UNESCO Heritage town of Hoi An. The Hotel has air conditioning, flat screen TV’s, unlimited free wifi, clean new luxury linen with thick mattresses, a pool, massage/spa service, mini gym, bicycles for hire and a 24hr reception desk.

We will visit an ethnic minority village (one of 54 in Vietnam). Experience the fascinating hospitality and culture of the Co Tu people. A village of just 315 people whose lives are ruled by the seasons just as they have been for time immemorial. Traditional agriculture, especially the cultivation of sticky rice and vegetables dominate local life. The ancient practice of weaving can be seen everywhere, from the sturdy yet decorative clothing to buildings woven in a way that resists the very elements themselves. We enjoy overnight accommodation in ensuite bungalows located directly inside the village.

Our 3 nights in Hue City will be spent at a cosy family-run homestay deep in the heart of the citadel and only 15 minutes walk from the Huong river. This homestay can be chaotic at times but the opportunity to live in with one family brings many chances to experience family life in the Vietnamese household. Plenty of cafes and street food joints nearby for solo exploring during downtime

Our last night is on My Khe Beach in Danang, easy access to your final airport departure. The country’s fifth largest city and a testament to the rapidly growing economy of Vietnam. We’ll be taking a stroll along the beach, assessing the coastal development of the city and eating at one of Danang’s most revered seafood restaurants.


Small group maximum 8 guests.

9 nights accommodation -4 nights Hoi An Hotel with pool (4 star, locally owned). 1 night Trung Son Mountains Bungalow in an authentic Co Tu village (with ensuite). 3 nights Hue City Homestay. 1 night in a Hotel (4 star) in Danang.

Fully hosted by Anna Barnes of ArtFoodCulture & Luke Digweed of Hue Grit Tour

9 breakfasts

8 lunches accompanied by Anna & Luke

9 dinners (street food, markets & local eateries) accompanied by Anna & Luke

Travel Sketching Workshops by Anna @annasartfoodculture

Hue Grit Tours by Luke Digweed of

Entry ticket to Hoi An Ancient Town

Co Tu Village 2d/ 1n - local foods, traditional dancing, weaving demo, crossbow shooting & jungle trek

Cooking Class and Basket Boat rides at a private Eco Fish and Herb Farm with Linh

Museum and Art Gallery excursions in Hoi An, Hue and Danang

Bicycle hire (bring your own helmet, or buy one on location and donate when you leave)

Drinking Water will be made available. Please bring your own stainless steel refillable bottle. Say NO to straws and plastic bags.

Not included:

International airfares


Travel insurance

Beverages- alcohol and imported soft drinks 

Extra activities and tours organised at your own cost

Personal expenses, laundry, minibar, tips, airport transfers etc.

Anything not mentioned in the Included list

Your Hosts

Anna Barnes founder of Art Food Culture is a long time traveller to Vietnam. She has a Masters in Design Science, specialising in 3D Animation from The University of Sydney (being awarded the Dean's Honour Award) and a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Social Anthropology, specialising in South East Asian Studies. Anna was the Executive Chef of Sydneys "Best Specialty Restaurant" winner and has worked over 25 years in Sydney restaurants, working with specialty cuisines, and creating authentic cultural menus. She was the owner of "Fiasco and Debacle", Sydney’s largest artisan cafe cake manufacturer for 8 years. She has implemented and delivered cooking classes, held workshops, been a cooking demonstrator, facilitated "Artist Way" groups, and has worked for Team Building companies. She currently curates and hosts 10 day Experiences in Vietnam. Her passion is to help people connect, transform, recover and thrive through art, food and culture. She is a creative, a mother and lover of all things Vietnamese.

Luke Digweed is the curator and owner of Huế Grit Tour. After completing his bachelors in English Literature and Language in 2011, he moved to Hồ Chí Minh City to work for International Language Academy, one of Vietnam’s leading English Language schools. Once he had done his time in the big smoke, he lived in Đà Nẵng for 4 years working for the University of Queensland and RMIT respectively. 2016 provided the opportunity to move to Huế and a subsequent series of life-changing events made him the protagonist of his own bildungsroman that spat him out with a broken leg and a thirst for a better understanding of the country he lives in. It could be said he hasn’t been the same since. Huế Grit Tour began in 2017 as a project to provide a deeper insight to the lives of the people in the city. Huế always gets a bad reputation amongst tourist and travellers, the grit tour became Luke’s mission to set the record straight. HUẾ IS AWESOME. The Grit Tour is proof. 

See more about Luke on his website here

Please email Anna for a more comprehensive itinerary if you like!

Love the sound of this Experience and want to sign up? Please read ArtFoodCulture’s Terms & Conditions first. We need to make sure you are fit, able and willing, so as to ensure you are on the right trip and fully enjoy your Experience. Read the Terms & Conditions and have some queries? Please email me about anything at all.

Read the Terms & Conditions and can’t wait to have the Experience you have been looking for with the people you can’t wait to meet in the most exciting place you can bear? Then head on over to the Bookings page. We can’t wait to meet you. Central Vietnam is an awesome place and you are going to love it.


Small group, maximum 8 guests. No single supplement is charged. Couples please email for costs.

AUD $3500 (approx. USD $2,380)

All prices in Australian Dollars. To see what it will cost approximately in your own currency you can use any online conversion site. Try Remember that currencies are in constant fluctuation.