11 Remarkable Vietnam Experiences

Laurie Matthews, Indigo Director, recently worked with some of Indigo’s experts in the region to discover that there are many ways to experience north Vietnam in style and with sophistication. Adding to this Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

  1. Over 1000 years old with layers of history revealing both Chinese and French influences as seen in the iconic architecture of the region’s capital Hanoi.
    The historic city of Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. A beautiful city of lakes, tree lined boulevards and French colonial architecture. Laurie Matthews of Indigo recently got together with specialist operators to uncover how Indigo can get beyond the normal tourist route to seek unique experiences.SofitelHanoiEntranceMidRes
  2. The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. The place to stay and the Raffles of Vietnam. Experience the charm and ambience of yesteryear.SofitelHanoiCafeMidRes SofitelHanoiCourtyardMidRes
  3. Good morning Hanoi. A unique experience with the locals as they begin their day by walking around the lake Hoan KIem, participating in Tai Chi and jogging. This will be followed by a coffee in a street café.
  4. Visit the Temple of Literature with a university student or professor. This was the first university in Vietnam. Originally built in 1070 and rebuilt in 2000 to educate the youth of Vietnam about studying in the ways their ancestors did.
  5. A behind the scenes visit to the Old Quarter / A Cyclo City Experience – three-wheel bicycle taxi appeared during the French Colonial Period.
  6. A visit to the Silk Village. Beginning with a drive to Gian Pagoda, built more than 500 years ago, and later get involved with the locals in dying and drying silk.
  7. Travel to Sapa in the north. 1 or 2 day easy trekking days discover the verdant valleys and ancient traditions. Take an overnight train journey from Hanoi to Lao Cai. The Hilltride trek includes an overnight stay with a local family where you can experience the local way of life.
  8. Experience Halong Bay.The-Au-Co-ViewMidRes

    Launched in 2012, The Au Co is the only cruise operator in Halong Bay offering a continuous three-day cruise in a single trip through the Gulf of Tonkin, covering world-renowned Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay & Cat Ba Island. This adventure amongst the thousands of small islands and rock formations that jut out from the sea In addition to bringing the guests to the most remote parts of the area to provide them with an exclusive itinerary, The Au Co features state of the art design in safety and luxury. The fleet consists of 2 luxurious ships, boasting 32 spacious private cabins (including 4 x suites) each with fully equipped bathrooms and panoramic balconies.The-Au-Co-SuiteMidRes

    For the ultimate experience, take the float plane or helicopter into this majestic bay. On the cruise you can experience cooking classes, take Tai Chi or just relax and enjoy a swim in the emerald waters. Alternatively for the more adventurous take to the kayaking through the extensive caving areas. The best way to return to Hanoi is by float plane or helicopter but you can also drive back.. in a 4 hour private transportation.
  9. Mekong Delta – 7 night cruises takes you into Cambodia.Depending on the season, you may also consider taking in the Aqua Expeditions into Vietnam and Cambodia. Travel with the founder and CEO on a hosted journey or choose one of the culinary events cruises.reference:
    The Aqua Mekong offers luxury cruising on a 62.4 metre sophisticated 5 star hotel. With only 20 suites on board and a 1 to 1 staff to guest ratio, with elegantly relaxed lounging and dining areas, the cruise welcomes guests in the utmost comfort. On and off shore excursions are available throughout the cruise. Modern navigation technologies and the highest cruise standards and an experienced crew.
  10. Eastern and Oriental Express journey from Singapore to Bangkok or vice versa.
    This is a 2-night and 3 day experience you will always remember. Wonderful staff and fantastic food. Whilst you are in the region take advantage of a wonderful journey aboard the famous train.
  11. Silver Shadow voyages commence on 20 October 2016 with an 11 day cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. These will take you through the Street of Hoi An to experience Vietnam’s most historic architecture, Ha Long Bay, Nha Trang and Ho chi Minh City.

10 ways to begin an immersive journey to the French Riviera.

10 ways to begin an immersive journey to the French Riviera. Laurie Matthews enjoys Monaco before travelling into the South of France discovering that this is a once in a lifetime adventure to be shared.

“A visit to Nice, the market, the Caves Bianchi with lunch at Chez Pipo brought me in touch with the passion and heart felt pride of the local people”

  1. Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice


I stayed at the boutique Negresco Hotel on the waterfront. A member of the leading hotels of the world, the Negresco first opened its doors in January 18th 1913. Today, Jeanne Augier owner since `1957 has devoted her life to the preservation and development of this unique heritage.

Staying here and drinking at the Bar Le Relais is a sublime occasion and not to be rushed.

  1. Chez Pipo in the Old Town of Nice

    There are plenty of places where you can sample socca in the Old Town, but if you want to understand why so much fuss is made in Nice over this chickpea pancake, this out-of-the-way café behind the Port is the place to go. View it here.
  2. Cave Bianchi in the Old Town of Nice

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the current owner of the Cave Bianchi.

At the centre of old Nice since 1860, in the old cellars of the St – Dominique cloister the Cave Bianchi offers the faithful a carefully selected range of the best wines from Provence as well as introductions to wines. In 1860, when the compte de nice was once again made part of France by Napoleon III, the love of good wine established itself in the Cave Bianchi. This is a celebrity haven and they come here in droves for a private tasting with the owner. Learn more about the Cave Bianchi.

  1. The Royal Riviera Hotel in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat 


A virtuoso member, This luxurious 1904 seafront hotel is 10 km from Nice and 12 km from Monaco.

The Royal Riviera Hotel commands centre-stage in this exclusive resort of Saint Jean cap Ferrat. A modern classic, this luxurious hotel provides all the intimacy of a private Mediterranean villa with the luxury and glamour of a palace. The hotel boasts a total of 94 rooms and suites, 78 of which are in the main building. Designed to reflect the landscape of the south of France, the majority of the rooms overlook the sea and gardens. The private villa l’Orangerie features 16 additional rooms and Suites decorated in the purest Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat style.

  1. Visit the markets
    Visit the markets A visit to the market is a totally immersive activity, the French are so proud of their vegetables, cheese and cured meats it was a pleasure to spend time in this magnificent place and before we leave the lovely town we took time for an Absinthe tasting at the Absinthe Museum in Antibes. The tastings arranged in the only remaining traditional tasting room in the South of France celebrates Absinthe famous participant Van Gogh.
  1. Picasso Museum in Antibes 

It would not be a visit to the French Riviera without travelling to the Picasso museum.

From 1925 the chateau was known as the Grimaldi Museum. From 1946 it became the home of Pablo Picasso and it is here that he created his finest works. Picasso himself said that if you would want to see the Picassos from Antibe you would need to do so in Antibe itself, and so here they are. It’s an impressive building with views way out to the Mediterrenean.

  1. Eze
    Chevredor3Eze is a medieval village perched like an eagle’s nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean. It is home to exclusive hotels, restaurants and shops and is only a 20min drive from Monaco.
  1. The local Fragonard Factory in Eze is a must visit.
  2. St Paul De Vence
    One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Rivera and home to many artists.
  3. Villa Rothschild
    VillaRothschildCapFerratBuilt on the narrowest part of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, this palazzo is one of the finest listed buildings on the French Riviera with views over Ville Franche, the villa has 9 magnificent gardens.


Contact Indigo to tailor make your immersive experience in France.