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Culture vultures

New Year’s Resolution Part 4 – Explore a new culture

Matt Domm January 14, 2016

We travel for many reasons; to see sights, try new cuisine and marvel at wonderful landscapes – but we also travel to meet new people and explore local culture. No man or woman is an island. Here are some great suggestions for culture vultures. 

The Deep South, USA

The Southern States of America is a charismatic region whose history and heritage infuses the USA with complex notes and authentic flavours.  From the banks of the Mississippi to the Great Smoky Mountains, river deep and mountain high, the Deep South has soul in abundance. 

Southern hospitality is not a thing of legend but a real-world quality among the people of the South; a gentility that may not be evident in, say, New York. It’s an accepted fact that down South they just do things differently.

If you want a snapshot of the culture the Deep South has to offer then head to Texas with its honky-tonks and horse tradition and stay at a guest ranch such as the Mayan Dude in Bandera.  Ride out on the wide open range and barbeque brisket across a camp fire. 

Alternatively, head to joyous New Orleans with its melting pot identity and adoration for all things musical and delight for Creole and Cajun cooking. Meanwhile, the Mardi Gras is the mother of all festivals that every culture vulture should experience at least once in their lives. 


With strong influences from both France and China, Vietnam is an aromatic blend of east and west. The dramatic beaches are overlooked by forested mountains, but although it looks incredible through a lens the charm of this nation is in its culture. Small market towns, fishing villages and bustling cities — all with inquisitive residents — exist alongside UNESCO World Heritage sites such as My Son Imperial City to create a truly unique country.

The cultural hub of it all is Hanoi. The Old Quarter dates back some eight centuries and in it you’ll find quirky trinket shops, upmarket bars and even karaoke clubs. Spend a few days blending in and you’ll learn so much about the culture of Vietnam. Alternatively, take in the major cities and villages on our 11-day Vietnam by Train tour.


India’s culture hits you in the face the minute you arrive; from chaotic but enticing cities such as New Delhi to the colonial architecture throughout, India has a photograph to take everywhere you look and something to do on every corner. The southern regions have beautiful landscape, but it’s in the north that the action happens.

Hop on a rickshaw to experience the busy world of a Delhi resident, spend time taking in the temples and palaces of Udaipur and Jaipur, and venture to Varanasi on the Ganges river, a city famous for pilgrimages and spirituality. See all of this and much more with our Grand Tour of Northern India.

Argentina and Brazil

Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, is renowned for its love of music and dance, and as such it’s easy to get involved in Tango with the locals — from clubs on the outskirts to shows in the centre of the city. Brush up on your skills beforehand because there’ll be plenty of opportunities to practice!

By joining our Tango and Samba tour, you’ll also get to experience the Samba beats over the border in Brazil, with Rio’s intoxicating culture revolving around the many variations of this dance. This tour is a real treat for those with an ear for rhythm. 

At Hayes and Jarvis we have many exciting holiday options for you to explore and opportunities to encounter amazing culture worldwide. Visit our Holidays pages for more inspiration.