Vietnam ArtFoodCulture Experience

w/Paul Wang

June 29th - July 8th 2020


Fully hosted and guided 10 day ArtFoodCulture Experience in Central Vietnam

June 29th - July 8th 2020 with Anna Barnes and Guest Artist Paul Wang

This Retreat is for everyone of any sex, age, race, religion or walk of life that would like to experience slow responsible travel with like minded people. The emphasis is on authentic cultural experiences alongside Sketching tuition on location with Paul Wang.

We focus on Art, Food and Culture.

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Your host Anna Barnes (founder of ArtFoodCulture, long term traveller to Vietnam, chef and artist) has built a network of contacts over the years that enable us to experience Vietnam with greater insight than with your regular tour. We go behind the scenes, interact with families, sketch, and taste some of the best food Vietnam has to offer.

Focus is on Creativity, Food and Culture in Central Vietnam.


Paul Wang Urban Sketcher @paulwang_sg will venture out with you and Anna each morning to participate in carefully curated experiences. On location Paul will deliver his sketching workshops. You will enjoy sketching, the local environment, people, food and culture. A sensory delight.


The street food represents its people. The street food represents its culture.

We eat the freshest and best local food in Vietnam. The local food is time based, which means food stalls “pop up” and serve local seasonal dishes until all sold out. Vendors specialise in serving one dish only, and over generations, have mastered them to perfection. Anna has had years of experience in Central Vietnam, and has narrowed it down to the best local fare for her guests to enjoy. She was a chef for 30 years and holds a food safety certificate, so is able to spot the most delicious eateries on offer. She has sketched the food & vendors and developed relationships with them. Anna looks forward to introducing you to them.


The best part of an ArtFoodCulture Retreat is about connecting with the culture. The people of Central Vietnam have a fascinating history, a delightful way of life and always a warm friendly smile for visitors. 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 empathy and a rich satisfaction during our time spent in Vietnam.

Anna has spent much of her life learning about cultures other than her own, from 22 pen pals as a child (snail mail), a degree in Social Anthropology, and now a massive book collection on Vietnamese culture, she will delight in helping you access a deeper understanding of another culture. Anna’s good friend Ha My will be our tour guide, she has her Masters Degree in Central Vietnamese culture, so you’re set!


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 for the first 4 nights. 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 visit an Ethnic Minority village (one of 54 in Vietnam). Experience the fascinating hospitality, culture and nature 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. The largest and most decorative of these are the Guol and Moong houses. In the middle of the village common a totem pole stands as a silent witness to harvest festivals, marriages and funerals. We enjoy overnight accomodation in bungalows (with ensuite) located directly inside the village.

Hue - we spend 3 nights (3/4 star) in the centre of the Imperial City. This gives us easy access to brilliant sketching locations, historical buildings and the royal cuisine’s best street food.

Our last night is on My Khe Beach in Danang, easy access to your final airport departure. The fifth largest city in Vietnam, and a testament to the rapidly growing economy of Vietnam, you will experience a delicious and relaxing last night here.


Small group maximum 10 guests. This will ensure you will receive plenty of personal tuition during the sessions.

9 nights accommodation -4 nights in Hoi An Villa (4 star, locally owned) with pool. 1 night in a Bungalow in an authentic village (with ensuite). 3 nights in Hue (3/4 star) & 1 night in Danang (4 star).

Fully hosted by Anna Barnes of ArtFoodCulture

9 breakfasts

7 lunches (street food, market vendors and local restaurants) accompanied by Anna and Paul

7 dinners (street food, market vendors and local restaurants) accompanied by Anna and Paul

8 x 3hr Workshops led by Paul Wang @paulwang_sg

Entry ticket to Hoi An Ancient Town w/ guided tours

Co Tu Ethnic Village 2 day, 1 night stay, with local foods, traditional dancing, weaving demo and jungle trek

Private bus trip to Mi Son the historic Cham ruins

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

Organic Herb Gardens, Rice Paper making, Farm excursion and Seafood lunch

Guided walk in the Imperial Citadel, Hue

Private bus via Hai Van Pass and Lang Co for stunning views

Guided Market Tours, buy fresh flowers and tropical fruits

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

Some meals

Beverages- alcohol and imported soft drinks 

Extra activities and tours organised in your free time (at your own cost)

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

Anything not mentioned in the Included list

Daily Schedule*

6:30-7:30am Breakfast

8am Daily activity and Sketch Workshop (Visit UNESCO town, Mi Son, Markets, Herb Gardens, Cooking Classes, Villages etc)

12pm Lunch then Free time.

6-8pm Dinner

*Subject to change (ask for itinerary)

Your Host

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", Sydneys 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 leads Creative Retreats in Vietnam and Art Food Culture Experiences in Cabramatta, Sydney. Her passion is to help people connect, transform, recover and thrive through art, food and culture. She is an artist, mother and a traveller, and lives in The Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia with her family. 


Your Art Tutor

Paul Wang

More about Paul Here Pauls Instagram Here

Paul is an Interior Architecture & design graduate from Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore and continued with a National Arts Council scholarship to study Technical Theatre in Brisbane, Australia. His passion for teaching has become a natural extension of his creativity. As an art and design educator, he has taught visual arts at the Singapore International School in Hong Kong and is currently an adjunct lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic’s school of design in Singapore. Other than teaching students, he also conducts regular urban sketching workshops.

His sketches are bursting with dramatic colours. His strokes and splashes may look spontaneous but are highly choreographed. Paul’s distinctive style of vivid colours and convoluted details seeks to tell a story behind each sketch. On-location sketching has become his unique way of encapsulating the fast changing urban landscape in his home town of Singapore and around the region. 

Paul is an Urban Sketchers’ correspondent for Singapore (since 2010) and is currently serving as an advisory board-member for the International Urban sketchers organisation. He was conducted workshops at the annual Urban Sketchers Symposiums multiple years in a row, and attracts a large following. He is a popular, well respected Sketch tutor worldwide.

Anna and Paul hosted a 10 day Hoi An Retreat in June 2019. After a highly successful experience, they decided to host another. This time, we start in Hoi An, but also head to the hills, then up to Hue. A new itinerary in the same beautiful country will please both returning guests, and those of you who wish to come for the first time. Paul has previously captured the essence of Hoi An beautifully on a solo trip, and is highly experienced with sketching SE Asian locations. He is a lover of good food and Anna looks forward again to him sharing his passion with her Retreat Guests.

See Paul Wang’s Vietnam Sketchbook Here

Your Sketching Tutor Paul Wang,  on location.

More Information and Bookings 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.

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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 10 guests

AUD $3900 (plus $400 single supplement if you wish to have a room to yourself)

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.

AUD $500 deposit due now in order to reserve your spot. Balance of AUD$3400 (plus $400 single supplement if you wish to have a room to yourself) due 120 days before departure on February 24th via bank transfer. (details provided in due time)