Vietnam Art Food Culture Experience

Creative Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam July 2019

Fully hosted and guided 10 night/11 day ArtFoodCulture Experience in Central Vietnam

July 19th - 29th 2019 with Anna Barnes & guest Artisans/Workshops facilitators.

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 minds. The emphasis is on living, rejuvenating (or starting) your creative life.

We focus on Art, Food and Culture.


Your host Anna Barnes (founder of ArtFoodCulture, long term traveller to Hoi An, chef and artist) has built a network of contacts over the years that delight in giving our Retreat guests special attention. We go off the tourist trail to experience locations, activities and food that only a local can. Focus is on Creativity, Food and Culture in Central Vietnam.


Anna Barnes and local Hoi An Artisans are your Creative Workshop leaders for the Retreat. Each morning, after an invigorating yoga session and breakfast by the pool, we will venture out with Anna to participate in carefully curated experiences so we can enjoy the town, people and culture. You will enjoy Sketching in the food markets with Anna @annasartfoodculture, a guided walking tour through the UNESCO heritage town, a visit to My Son, the world heritage ancient Cham Ruins, a vegetarian Cooking Class and Basket Boat ride with Linh at her Eco farm, a sunset Photography Workshops (iphones allowed) with Etienne Bossot @picsofasia, a Bamboo making workshop with Tan Vo, a Watercolour Class with Bridget March (a local originally from England with a number of published books and an Art Gallery in Hoi An), a Sunrise Boat trip to a local Fishing Village for some serious local action, a relaxing H’mong Stitching session on Indigo dyed Hemp with Tram, and Rice Paper Making at the Organic Herb Gardens.

Anna has been sketching the market vendors in Vietnam for many years now, and will be showing you how to capture these scenes too! Please ask for the itinerary for the specific workshop schedule that is planned.

We will be accompanied by our Vietnamese english speaking guide for all our outings, so rest assured, you will have wonderful interactions with the locals!

Bring your favourite creative tools for this experience. Your sketchbook, your watercolours, pencils, journal, camera, notebook. iPad or GoPro. What do you prefer to use to capture and tell stories? Ask Anna for guidance if you are not sure.

You are also welcome to simply come along, and soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the company, the town and the food.



The streetfood represents its people. The streetfood represents its culture.

We eat the freshest and best local food in Hoi An. 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!

We slow travel through the emerald Rice Paddies, to blooming Lotus Fields, farmers at work, water buffalos, ducks, bustling Markets, historic Assembly Halls, Buddhist Pagodas, quaint Vietnamese Coffee Houses, Organic Herb Gardens, the famous Japanese Bridge, fishing village and the ancient Cham ruins, Mi Son.

Your afternoons are free to explore your special interests. I expect some of you will stay by the pool, sketch, read and relax, or catch up on your spa treatments, visits to the tailor and shopping. Others will use your google map Anna has created just for this retreat to explore key locations in outlying rural regions of Hoi An by bicycle, or spend extra time in the Ancient Town’s Historic buildings, Museums and Ateliers.

Evenings, a balmy walk along the river side enjoying the beautiful lanterns and night markets Hoi An has become famous for. Anna has chosen street food vendors and comfortable restaurants that serve delicious local Vietnamese cuisine. She will help with ordering food, conversing with restaurant staff and can answer your foodie questions. This is where we will enjoy night scenes, food and people. 

Discussions about the art, food and culture of the region will be encouraged. Book lists and movie recommendations will be given well before departure, and these will be discussed too. You will be escorted back to your hotel, or if you wish to find a bar or dancing venue recommendations are included in your comfort pack.



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.

Hoi An is a safe, vibrant and fascinating town in Central Vietnam. It has become tourist friendly over the years, and all your travelling needs can be easily met, yet the town still retains an original authentic cultural atmosphere. It has attracted more and more artists, artisans and craftspeople from all over Vietnam.

Anna looks forward to participating in the unique learning experiences with you that the wonderful residents of Hoi An offer. We will also have enormous fun thanks to the light hearted nature of many of the Hoianese. The people are so wonderful and welcoming of visitors, people exclaim!

The retreat will have a strong emphasis on taking care of our tourist footprint. Stainless Steel water bottles, bamboo straws and re usable ethically made cotton bags will be used, to reduce the use of single use plastic. Anna will also point out other ways we can take responsibility for our impact on the environment and the beautiful gentle people of Hoi An throughout the tour.



Small group size. Minimum 5, maximum 8

No extra is charged if you prefer a room to yourself (perfect for solo travellers).

10 nights accomodation in 4 star hotel (locally owned) with pool

10 breakfasts

9 lunches

10 dinners (street food, markets vendors and restaurants ) 

Creative Workshops (8 sessions x 3 hours each facilitated by Anna Barnes and local artisans)

Comfort eco pack on arrival (organic soap, room spray, cotton shopping bag, bamboo straws etc)

Entry ticket to The Ancient Town and Creative Workshops in the historical buildings of Hoi An with Vietnamese English speaking guide

Private bus trip to the historic Cham ruins, Mi Son with local guide

Early morning boat trip to a working Fishing market and village

Cooking Class and Basket Boat day at Linh’s Eco Herb Farm

Rice Paper making, Farm excursion and Lunch at the Organic Herb Gardens

Sunset Photography Workshop (top level cameras or smartphones, use what you have)

Embroidery and Stitching Workshop with Local Vietnamese artisan

Watercolour class with Bridget March

Bamboo Workshop in traditional countryside setting

Market Sketching workshop with Anna Barnes of @artfoodculture instagram

Market Tours

8 yoga/meditation sessions

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

Not included:

International airfares


Travel insurance

Airport Transfers

Beverages- incl. alcohol and imported soft drinks. 

Personal expenses, laundry, minibar, tips etc.

Anything not mentioned in the Included list.

Daily Schedule*

6am Yoga then breakfast poolside

9am Daily Workshop (Visit UNESCO town, Mi Son, Markets, Herb Gardens, Cooking Classes, Villages etc)

12pm Lunch

1pm Free time.

6pm Dinner

*Subject to change

For the full itinerary or questions please email Anna Barnes at

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 teaches Nature Journalling in The Blue Mountains. Her passion is to help people connect, transform, recover and thrive through art, food and culture. She is an artist, a mother, traveller and a naturalist and lives in The Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia with her family. 

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.


$3500 per person. (No Single supplement extra charge)

Please see Terms and Conditions Here

Travel insurance is mandatory and a copy must be supplied before commencement.

Please note:

This retreat is going ahead. To join in, please contact Anna for payment method details.

Total land content cost $3,500. Due Now. All prices AUD.

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.

Full Balance due.

Guests with a reserved place, please go ahead and purchase your airline tickets, visa and travel insurance.

We can recommend a Sydney based Vietnam specialist Travel Agent to take care of your airfares, visa and travel insurance if you are departing from Australia. Let us know if you would like details.

Travel insurance is mandatory and a copy must be supplied to us before commencement.

For Extra nights, add ons to your itinerary within Vietnam, VIP Airport service, private transfers to your hotel, and tours to other parts of Vietnam or neighbouring countries please contact our trusted South East Asian Specialists Khiri Travel at

For the full itinerary or questions please email Anna Barnes at ArtFoodCulture.

phone: (+61) 490345782