Day 1 & Day 2 – Travel to Vietnam
Fly from the U.S. to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam You will be welcomed by your Program Leader and transfer to your hotel by private bus.
Day 3 – Ho Chi Minh City Tour and University Visit
After breakfast you will have a program orientation. This will be
followed by a walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City (a.k.a. Saigon) to familiarize yourself with the
city highlights such as the Central Post Office, Saigon Notre Dame, the Opera
House, and the Hotel de Ville. You will learn more about the
city history by visiting the Reunification Palace. You will have a welcome
lunch together before taking a drive to a local university for a visit.
Day 4 – Business and Industry
you will visit businesses (multinational and domestic) and factories in and
around Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 5 – Ho Chi Minh to Cu Chi
the morning, you will take an hour-and-a-half drive outside of the bustling
city, passing the vast green rice fields and seemingly endless rubber tree
plantations, to the site of the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels were the site of
intense guerrilla fighting techniques used by North Vietnam army soldiers to
fight against the Southern Vietnam government and US troops. The system of
tunnels is over 200 km long but only half a meter wide. After watching a
documentary movie made by Cu Chi Communist members and learning about the
tunnels from a miniature model, you will take a guided walk into the site where
even some crawling will be necessary!
the afternoon you will visit a rubber plantation where local people are
collecting rubber latex from rubber trees. You will further understand this
industry with a visit to a local factory to see how it is processed for export.
Rubber is one of the key agricultural exports of Vietnam. You will return to Ho
Chi Minh City later in the afternoon.
Day 6 – Binh Duong Pottery
will take an hour long drive to the Binh Duong province which specializes in
pottery production. You will visit a famous factory that exports its products
to many countries around the world. After a tour around the workshops you will
meet a company representative and learn about the full range of aspects of the
business: their material management, skillful worker recruitment, logistics,
marketing, their USP (unique selling proposition), as well as the heritage and
culture of traditional Vietnamese pottery.
the afternoon, you will visit a wood processing factory where you will tour the
factory and meet with a company representative to learn more about the industry
in general. In 2014, Vietnam was the top country in Southeast Asia and one of
the top ten around the world for wood products. While the export of raw timber
was banned in 1992, the sale of wood products remains one of the significant
contributors to the Vietnamese GDP.
Day 7 – Mekong River Delta Industry
You will take an hour and a
half drive to the Mekong River Delta, watching the shifting green colors of
rice paddies stretching to the horizon. Once you arrive at the Mekong River you
will board a boat and visit a variety of local cottage industries. You will see
how the local people earn their livings with jobs in fisheries, growing
tropical fruit, and making candy. You will also get a chance to enjoy their
traditional music, take a walk around local gardens, and ride in your boat
through the maze of canals. For lunch you will get to taste the local
delicacies beside the canal. After lunch you will visit a factory farm that
raises basa catfish, mainly for export as fillets to the U.S. In the late
afternoon you will return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 8 – Bao Loc - Tea and Silk
morning you will check out of your hotel and drive from sea level up to the
hills of Bao Loc town, passing many rubber tree plantations, cashew nut
plantations and volcanic craters. Due to the cool weather and abundant rainfall
at this altitude (700 meters or 2300 feet), tea has long been a specialty of
this land. You will visit tea plantations and talk to the tea collectors before
heading to the factory. At the factory you will hear the representative showing
how they collect the leaves, their techniques, their markets, etc. Tea is not
one of the largest contributors to the Vietnamese GDP, but it is still the
sixth largest tea exporter in the world. In the afternoon you will visit a silk
worm factory and learn about the traditional practice of making silk clothing,
as well as the modern elements of the business. You will stay overnight at a
hotel in Bao Loc.
Day 9 – Bao Loc to Da Lat
checking out of your hotel, you will climb to an elevation of about 1500 meters
(more than 4900 feet), passing beautiful hills and passes, villages and
plantations. You will arrive in Da Lat which was the hill station of the French
government during the Indochina wartime. You will visit the Da Lat wine
factory, where grapes from surrounding plantation are processed and imported
wine is also bottled for the local market. You will enjoy the grape gardens,
taste some wine and hear the successful stories of the biggest brand of wine in
Vietnam. Da Lat is now the honeymoon city of Vietnamese, not only due to its
beauty and romantic surroundings, but also thanks to its cool weather and
flower production. You will visit a coffee plantation where you will learn
about the unique coffee made from civet-cat dung. Overnight at a
hotel in Da Lat.
Day 10 – Da Lat to Mui Ne
you will travel to the beach with a stop at a cog railway station to see the
special toothed rail rack developed for traveling steep grade railways. Once you reach the beach you will check in to
your rooms at the resort hotel and have some time to relax. In the afternoon you will
have a meeting with the resort manager to learn about the tourism industry in
Vietnam and, in particular, how they attract their target clients.
Day 11 – Mui Ne to Ho Chi Minh
a morning swim you will check out of your hotel. Before leaving Mui Ne you will
visit a fish sauce factory. You will drive four hours back to Ho Chi Minh City
where you will and have some free time and stay overnight .
Day 12 –Departure from Ho Chi
morning transfer to the airport for your return flights to the U.S.