Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Some shots from the 2017 Vietnam Textiles Tour

What an exhilarating two weeks we had back in May on our Vietnam Textiles Tour 2017.
Some minor tweaks and additions to the itinerary from the 2016 tour meant there was something new and exciting every day and we were privileged to share these with The Best Group Ever (note: every group is The Best Group Ever!)

Some photos to whet the appetites of anyone considering joining one of our textile tours ...

Sunday, 5 March 2017

SOLD OUT! - Japan Textiles Tour 27 Aug - 6 Sept 2017

27 August - 6 September 2017

Shibori, indigo dyeing, sashiko, boro, saori weaving, yuzen,

kimonos, geisha, tea ceremonies, temples, shrines, onsen …

Are you fascinated by Japanese textiles?  Join our small group of like-minded textile-enthused women for the experience of a lifetime, travelling to Japan to visit specialist handcraft museums and artisan indigo and textile studios, undertake hands-on weaving, shibori workshops and yuzen stencil dyeing workshops, visit sashiko, indigo, silk art and kimono galleries, explore magnificent scenery and architecture and experience traditional Japanese culture. Plus so much more.

This 11 day women’s textiles tour, hosted by ‘retreat|recreate’ and fully escorted by a local English-speaking Japanese guide, commences with four days in Tokyo where highlights include a wander through one of the city’s fabulous flea markets, visits to museums including one specialising in boro textiles, shopping in Tokyo’s famous Fabric Town and undertaking a saori (freestyle handloom weaving) workshop.  Our itinerary includes Tokyo’s best temples and shrines and of course includes time to explore the Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harajuku districts. 

Leaving Tokyo, we will visit one of Japan’s premier sashiko embroidery studios and spend the night on the shores of a beautiful lake with spectacular views of Mount Fuji.  A visit to a fascinating kimono and silk art gallery in the wooded hills nearby is included before we head to Kyoto.  There we’ll stroll the famous Philosophers Path and take in some of the most important Zen temples in the country, including the justly famous Golden Pavilion. We’ll take workshops in yuzen stencil-dyeing (optional) and shibori dyeing (included), experience a traditional tea ceremony and visit a handmade fabrics museum. A highlight will be an evening wander through beautiful Gion, enjoying its traditional wooden houses and tea shops and maybe glimpsing local geiko and maiko (geisha).  A special day trip into the mountains takes us to a rural village of traditional thatched-roof farmhouses where we are privileged to be able to meet a master indigo dyer and visit his workshop and gallery. This particular dyer has been described as one of the most seminal textile artists of today. Our final day in Kyoto includes a visit to the magical Fushimi Inari Shrine and an optional onsen experience (hot springs bath) before our farewell dinner.

The itinerary is a full one to ensure value for money however some free periods are built in. The tour also begins on a Sunday and ends on a Wednesday, allowing guests to extend their time pre/post tour by a day or two if they wish to pursue additional activities (eg. more shopping, ceramics/papercraft/other artisan studios and workshops, myriad other cultural experiences such as palaces, museums and galleries). A list of suggested shops, venues and activities will be provided to guests closer to departure. Our tour partner can also assist with pre and post tour accommodation and flights if required.

Included in price

    local English speaking guide throughout the tour

   all transport, sightseeing attractions (museums, galleries, etc), two hands-on workshops (shibori and weaving) and excursions as per the itinerary

   10 nights accommodation as per the itinerary

   meals as per the itinerary (daily breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners)

   luggage transfers from Tokyo to Kyoto

   return shared airport transfers

Not included in price

    international airfares

   visas if applicable (not required for Australian, NZ, Canadian, UK & US passport holders)

   travel insurance (required)

   early check in or late check out

   meals and drinks not included in the itinerary

   expenditure of a personal nature

   tips and gratuities

   activities listed as optional (yuzen stencil dyeing workshop on Day 7, onsen bath on Day 10)

Price: AUD $6950.00 per person, twin share.

Single supplement AUD $1100.00 (NB: Single places limited. Single accommodation not applicable on Day 6)

A deposit of AUD $500.00 is required to secure your place.*  The balance is due by 9 June 2017.

Please email retreatrecreate@gmail.com to request a booking form and indicative itinerary or visit our website and click on the Contact page. We do hope you’ll join us. Places are limited and strong interest means we’ll sell out fast so don’t delay! 

Things to note

    the tour comprises 10 nights/11 days and operates from Sunday 27 August – Wednesday 6 September 2017. The opportunity exists to extend your trip by extra nights at our hotels in Tokyo before or Kyoto after the tour;

    the shared shuttle airport transfers may not be included in the price if you book pre/post tour accommodation at hotels other than those used in the tour;

    retreat|recreate strives to offer culturally, environmentally and economically sustainable tours. To this end, we: engage local guides; partner with a wholesale tour operator whose values align with ours; use public transport where possible; patronise local women’s co-ops and associations where possible; include a carbon offset in the tour price;

    retreat|recreate’s tours are offered in partnership with a fully licensed, globally recognised and well resourced tour operator for your (and our) peace of mind;

    the final detailed itinerary with locations and venues will be provided upon booking;

    our Tokyo, Kyoto and lakeside hotel accommodations are rated 3-4 star. We also stay one night (Day 6) in a traditional ‘ryokan’ Japanese inn where guests sleep on futons on the floor. Please note the single supplement does not apply at the ryokan accommodation as rooms will be shared;

    please consider your mobility/fitness levels when booking. The tour comprises travel on public transport, private coach and walking. Ryokan accommodation comprises futon bedding on tatami mats on the floor;

  • our group size is approximately 12 women;
  • retreat|recreate’s tour groups welcome women from all over the globe and embrace all ages, origins and personalities.  Flexibility and a sense of humour are encouraged when travelling as part of a group.
    Please email retreatrecreate@gmail.com to request a booking form and itinerary or visit our website www.retreatrecreate.com to browse our other textile tours and join our mailing list.
    * If the tour does not reach minimum numbers and does not go ahead, your deposit will be refunded.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Vietnam Textiles Tour May 2017 - bookings open!

A 14 day adventure exploring the textiles, handcrafts and
cultural traditions of northern Vietnam: 6-19 May 2017

Textiles, travel, craft, exploration!  Does this sound like your cup of tea?

If so, you're invited to join a small group of like-minded textile-enthused women for the experience of a lifetime, visiting specialist handcraft villages, undertaking hands-on weaving, dyeing and embroidery workshops, exploring some of South East Asia's most jaw-dropping scenery and meeting and staying with the colourful hilltribe people who live there. Plus much, much more.

This women-only tour, accompanied by a local (English speaking) Vietnamese guide, starts and ends in the beautiful city of Hanoi where we will spend several days based in the vibrant Old Quarter, exploring the town and its foremost sightseeing attractions in addition to a nearby silk weaving workshop and basketry craft village.

An overnight train journey takes us close to the border Vietnam shares with China and to the beginning of our journey through Vietnam’s northern provinces.  We will visit a colourful local market boasting some fabulous textiles and handcrafts and then view local riverside life as we take a boat trip towards Sapa.  There we will spend three nights, one of those in a rural village homestay while we participate in weaving, batik, dyeing and embroidery workshops. We will also have the opportunity to cook (and eat) Vietnamese/Hmong food with our homestay hosts!

From Sapa we travel through Ha Giang province, a magnificent highland region near the Chinese border, comprising lush forests and terraced rice paddies, with the dramatic mountains of Heaven's Gate soaring in the background. This remote and spectacular area only opened to tourists in very recent years and is known as Vietnam's final frontier. We will spend several days visiting local hilltribe villages, visiting a specialist textile village providing skills and livelihood to survivors of human trafficking, participating in some hands-on textiles activities under the guidance of the village women, shopping at the local textile and general markets and trekking through spectacular landscapes.

Our final couple of days before returning to Hanoi will be spent at a homestay on the shores of beautiful Ba Be Lake, exploring the area by boat, visiting waterfalls and caves, observing lake-side village life and relaxing.

Included in price
• local English speaking guide throughout the tour
• all transport, sightseeing attractions (museums, galleries, etc), workshops and excursions as per the itinerary
• accommodation as per the itinerary
• meals as per the itinerary (13 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 3 dinners)
• return airport transfers in Hanoi

Not included in price
• international/domestic airfares
• travel insurance (compulsory)
• visas
• early check in or late check out
• meals and drinks not included in the itinerary
• expenditure of a personal nature
• tips and gratuities
• extra activities

Price: AUD $2,445.00 per person.
A non-refundable deposit of AUD $500.00 is required to secure your place*.
The balance will be due by close of business on 24 February 2017.

Things to consider
• the tour comprises 13 nights/14 days and operates from Saturday 6th – Friday 19th May 2017. The opportunity exists to extend your trip by an extra night or two at our hotel in Hanoi before or after the tour, at the special group discount price of AUD $60.00 per room per night;
• we are striving to offer a culturally, environmentally and economically sustainable tour. To this end: we have engaged local guides and hosts; we visit several workshops and business enterprises that are either village co-ops (ie. all profits returned directly to the villagers), fair trade organisations and/or projects aimed at providing vocational training and experience to local youth or disadvantaged communities; the tour price also includes a carbon offset;
• this trip is offered in partnership with a licensed travel agent and tour operator for your (and our) peace of mind;
• the itinerary is a full one, however several free periods (some afternoons and several evenings) are built into the schedule;
• an itinerary and booking form are available upon request;
• hotel accommodation is in single rooms while the homestays and overnight train trip provide shared accommodation.  In large cities our hotels are approx. 3 star, while those in rural areas are more basic. Homestays offer quite basic accommodation and rustic hospitality;
• this trip includes several moderate two to four hour treks so a reasonable level of fitness and mobility are required;
• this trip comprises a couple of long bus journeys through spectacular scenery in remote areas. We will occasionally encounter squat toilets during our travels;
• our maximum group size is 12 women;
• tour participants will inevitably vary in age, origin and personality.  Flexibility and a sense of humour are encouraged.

To secure your place on this exciting textile adventure email retreatrecreate@gmail.com to request a booking form and itinerary or to join our mailing list.

We hope you will join us!
Susan Keeble and Susan Rees-Osborne

Don’t forget to follow retreatrecreate on Instagram, like our Facebook page, and visit our blog at www.retreatrecreate.blogspot.com

* Should the minimum number of guests not be achieved and the tour does not go ahead, your $500.00 deposit will be returned.

+ All photos used by permission of Peregrine Adventures Pty Ltd

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Bali 2016 round up

We're back home from a truly sensational week in beautiful Ubud exploring the indigenous textiles of Indonesia and Bali.

The two of us plus ten other fabulous women from all over the globe (Australia, the US, France, the UAE)  had what can only be described as the trip of a lifetime.

Some photos from the week ...

And a few more shots ...

Batiks, ikats, geringsing (the rare double ikat), indigo dyeing, you name it, we saw it.

What an amazing, soul-nourishing, educational week.  Thank you to all of our wonderful, generous, creative guests.  As one of them said at the end, we are now linked across the world by an invisible thread of friendship.

This was the second time we've run this textiles retreat and it just gets better each time as we refine the itinerary.  If you'd like to join us on this or any of our other trips, send an email to retreatrecreate@gmail.com to join our mailing list.  Our subscribers get news of our trips before we release them to the wider world so sign up!

Speaking of other tours, our next Vietnam textiles trip (6-19 May 2017) is about to be released and from the interest the last one generated, we think the 12 places will fill up quite quickly. Join the mailing list now!