Two Unique Art-Focused Journeys
One of our clients, who has a passion for art, asked us to create two journeys designed to follow that passion in two distinct parts of the world. First, we created an entire journey based around a gallery show of contemporary Southeast Asian artwork. The guest mailed our consultants the exhibit catalog and asked us to build a 26-day guided gallery and museum tour throughout Korea, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, which included personal meetings with the artists. Then, we created a second parallel journey throughout Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Between both journeys, he met countless artists and explored more than 76 private galleries, contemporary art museums and home studios—approximately 31 in Asia and more than 40 in Mexico and South America.
Bamboo Art and Architecture in Japan
One couple wanted to spend their trip indulging in Japanese art, design and architecture, particularly bamboo art. They visited countless museums and galleries in Tokyo and Hakone, such as MOMAT and the Hakone Open Air Museum, but the highlight was a private tour we arranged with the curator of the Hanabako Gallery in Nihonbashi, who guided them through the rare Japanese bamboo baskets section. With a guide in Tokyo, they explored the Prada Store designed by Herzog and de Meuron in 2003 and British architect Benjamin Warner’s Audi Forum Tokyo, called “the Iceberg.” They stopped at Sunnyhills, architect Kengo Kuma’s “bamboo basket bakery,” for sweet pineapple cake and a cup of tea, while admiring Kuma’s signature techniques. Their trip included stays in a ryokan (Japanese-style inn) with a private onsen (hot springs), meals at the world-famous Nobu and Tokyo’s best izakaya spots, and a visit to a tea house.
Exploring World War II History in Western Europe
A couple requested a World War II-themed trip through France, Belgium and Luxembourg, which took them through picturesque villages in Normandy that served as the backdrop for the war, such as Saint-Lo, Bayeux and Honfleur. The history buffs explored artifacts from the 6th Airborne Division, cemeteries and memorials, several landing beaches including Omaha Beach, a German battery and the foxholes of Bois Jacques—part of the Ardennes Forest where the Battle of the Bulge took place. Along the way, they visited museums to gain more in-depth knowledge. We also arranged a stay at a chateau, where they met with a Count who delighted the couple with stories of his family and of the history of the castle through the French Revolution, World War I and World War II.
One Vet’s Return to Vietnam
Our client, a veteran of the Vietnam War, was gifted a trip to Vietnam by his family members. After so many years, he was able to return to a very different country, witnessing the vibrant city Saigon has become, exploring the Cai Be floating market, relishing in Vietnamese food and enjoying historical museums. Much of his journey was spent in the Vietnamese countryside, where he visited the Dray Nur Waterfalls and toured remote villages such as Ben Cat Town, Trung Lap Village and Da Lat, also known as “The City of Flowers.” Other trip highlights included riding the oldest steam engine in the country, touring pagodas and monasteries, visiting an elephant sanctuary, sailing Halong Bay, and relaxing and soaking up the sun on the beach.