When asked about their dreams, the weavers all unanimously state, “Travel!” And last month, they had this opportunity! At the beginning of July, the weavers and Jo, our co-founder, travelled to Vietnam, visiting Hanoi, Halong City, and Halong Bay.
The adventure offered many new experiences for the weavers. For example, many of the weavers had never seen a moving walkway before. They loved using the one in the Hanoi airport!
After arriving in Hanoi, the group travelled to Halong City. The city has one of the biggest seaports in the country and is a major industrial center in Northern Vietnam. Ms. Daolika recalled learning about Halong City in her history class. “It was amazing to see the real location because it is very beautiful and brings to life the history I learned.”
Her dream had been to travel, especially to Vietnam. “I learned and experienced something completely new, especially seeing the differences and similarities between Vietnamese and Laotian lifestyles.”
The group spent most of the trip on a ship that took them into Halong Bay, a scenery of limestone pillars and turquoise waters. Staying on the ship was Mrs. Mina’s favorite part of the entire trip. “We got to enjoy a beautiful view of the Bay and took part in special activities like yoga and a Vietnamese cooking class. The excellent service made me feel like a V.I.P.! We played games as a team, and it was great to spend time with each other on holiday.”
In Hanoi, the group visited the city’s Old Quarter and Hoàn Kiếm Lake. The city was built on lowland in between rivers, and its lakes provide an escape from the busy-ness of the city.
In addition to the amazing experience of Halong City, Mrs. Meng also appreciated being able to explore a different culture and learn about the textiles of Vietnam. She said, “Vietnamese textiles use different weaving patterns, and I really liked seeing that. They also use batik in some of their work!”
Trips like this not only support teambuilding, but also everyone’s dream of travelling. “It is very hard to get a chance to travel because it is very expensive. I thank Ock Pop Tok for giving all of us an opportunity to travel and see different cultures,” said Mrs. Mina.
“I will keep these memories with me forever,” says Ms. Daolika. “Thank you, Ock Pop Tok, for making my dream come true to see Vietnam. I hope that Ock Pop Tok continues this as a tradition for a new generation of weavers!”
At Ock Pop Tok, we believe in supporting experiences like this for the weavers. Travel connects us with different people and cultures, reenergizes our sense of creativity, and rejuvenates our spirit.