From the jagged limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay to the vast Cu Chi tunnels built by the Viet Cong and underlying Saigon, Vietnam’s landscape is as compelling as its history. Fuelled by one of the most robust economies in the developing world, the country exemplifies tenacity, ambition, and recovery.
The Vietnamese have kept China at bay for over a millennium, repelled three Mongol invasions, and declared victory over the United States. Between the 11th and 18th centuries, Vietnam expanded southward, eventually conquering the Kingdom of Champa and part of the Khmer Empire. The Cham ruins at My Son are perhaps the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, and one of the most historically important temple complexes in Southeast Asia alongside Angkor Wat, Borobudur, Ayutthaya, and Bagan.
Khiri offers unique canal tours through the city formerly known as Saigon—once the seat of French colonialism. The French settlers of the 19th century were concentrated in Cochinchina, the southern third of Vietnam centred on Saigon. The French developed a plantation economy in Vietnam rooted in the export of indigo, tobacco, coffee, and tea and ignored the nationalist political movements agitating for independence from colonial rule.
Vietnam’s politics reached a breaking point in the 20th century with the Gulf of Tonkin and the 1968 Tet Offensive. With Khiri tours you will learn about the vagaries of war while experiencing the bounty of Vietnam’s postwar triumph.
From cooking classes and sunset boat trips in Hoi An—a UNESCO World Heritage site with over 500 tailors situated in historic shop houses—to visits to colourful ethnic minority villages within the stunning landscape of northern Vietnam, Khiri shows you the many facets of vibrant, thriving country.
We’ve talked about our trip so much since we’ve returned; it was a wonderful journey and still seems so fresh and alive in our thoughts. I imagine that Diana mentioned our recent slide show of Vietnam. We had a great time putting it together–slides, food, and appropriate costumes. Chuan wore his ‘I look like my Grandfather’ outfit that he had made for himself in Hoi An. I wore pants made by (and typical of) the Black H’mong and a standard Mandarin blouse from Ben Thanh market. Being joined by good friends made for a delightful evening.
Essie and Chuan, USA