Day 1 – International Flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
You will depart as a group
on your overnight flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Day 2 – Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
Upon arrival, your Tour
Manager will welcome you and you will head directly to your hotel to relax and
unwind. In the evening, your Tour
Manager will take you on a brief tour offering you your first glimpse of this
Day 3 – Ho Chi Minh City
This morning you will have
an introduction to the history of South Vietnam as well as Ho Chi Minh City,
also known as Saigon. You will then
explore the city and its many highlights.
Ho Chi Minh City, the most
robust city in Vietnam, is an important center of business, arts and
entertainment. It is a city where
thousands of motorcycles, rickshaws, cars and buses share the same street and
sidewalks are turned into badminton courts.
You will have an opportunity to visit both old and new Ho Chi Minh City
plus the French Quarter before you head to the market streets, the temples of
Cholon and Chinatown.
Day 4 – Ho Chi Minh City & Cuchi Tunnels
Today you will visit the
Cuchi tunnels. This network of tunnels
was built in the early 1940s during the war against the French. The tunnels, more than 820,000 feet long and
three levels deep, became famous during the Vietnam War when they were used by
the Vietcong guerilla troops as a hideout for their surprise attacks on the
Americans and the allied troops.
Day 5 – Mekong Delta
Today you will travel to
the Mekong Delta, one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Vietnam. The Mekong Delta is often referred as the
“rice bowl” of Vietnam because the area produces more than half of Vietnam’s
rice, thanks to good soil, a great water supply and fantastic weather. You will take a boat ride and explore the
Mekong Delta’s canals, orchards, the famous floating market and towns. You will stay overnight at one of the local
orchard gardens, or time allowing, arrive to your host community this day.
Days 6-9 – Mekong Delta Host Community and Service Project
This morning you head to your
host community. In this small village, families commute via motorbike, bicycle
or on foot over narrow dirt paths woven through lush tropical forests, and many
community members live in small palm thatched bamboo houses. Although the community makes do with the
little means they do have, the same heavy rains that make the region ideal for
rice production often render these paths impassable and deteriorate community
homes over time.
The community service
project is the heart of your program—an excellent way to bond with your new
friends through service. Projects will
be determined based on the current needs of the community and may include
constructing a safe walking bridge over a small river that overflows during the
rainy season, rebuilding a community member’s house that has deteriorated over
time and with bad weather, or building a cement walkway so community members
can walk from place-to-place with ease during the rainy season.
On your first full day in
the community you will meet in the morning for an introduction to your project
and talk with the local community members who will work with you. You may use bicycles to ride between your host
family lodging and the service project site.
You will begin your work, as you will each morning in the community, and
take a break for lunch. After lunch you will
continue your project for a few more hours. The afternoons will be filled with
cultural activities that may include playing with the local children, a boat
ride on the canal, a bicycle ride along village roads, and traditional cooking
lessons with local families.
The entire group will live
with one or more local families. This
may be in their main house or in a cottage on the family’s property. The number of host families and cottages will
be determined by the size of the group.
Sharing familial space and practices with members of the host community
will not only add significance to the work you will do, but will immerse you into
the heart of the Vietnamese culture.
Day 10 – Mekong Delta to Mui Ne Beach
Today, after breakfast, you
will say goodbye to your host family or families and head for the beach at Mui
Ne. On the way you will pass Phan Thiet,
an area known for one of the largest amounts of fish sauce production in
Mui Ne awaits you with
endless white sand beaches, charming fishing villages, desert-like dunes and
numerous types of rare flora and fauna.
After checking into the hotel you will have free time to relax and enjoy
the beach. In the evening you will meet
for dinner and reflect on your work done in the Mekong Delta.
Note: Depending on the
location of your host community within the Mekong Delta it may be necessary to
spend this night in Ho Chi Minh City and depart for Mui Ne early on Day 11.
Day 11 – Mui Ne
Today you enjoy a half-day
guided tour of Mui Ne. You will explore
enormous sand dunes and have some local-style fun with the children sliding
down the dunes! You will walk along
a pink stream with beautiful sand shapes, pass by green rice paddies, and stop
for a visit at a local fish sauce house.
In the afternoon you will
relax at the beach.
Day 12 – Mui Ne - Ho Chi Minh City
In the morning you will
relax at the beach and have fun outdoor games such as water volleyball and
other team building games. In the
afternoon you will head back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 13 – Depart
Today your Vietnam program
comes to a close, as you will leave early for our flight out of Ho Chi Minh