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 Program Leader will welcome you and you will head directly to your hotel to relax and unwind. In the evening, your Program Leader will take you on a brief tour offering you your first glimpse of this beautiful city.
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 – Highland Vietnam - Dalat
Today you will head to Dalat – the highlands of Vietnam which are famous for endless flower gardens, vegetable terraces, and coffee plantations. After a short flight you arrive in the highland plateau, 4,500 feet above sea level. The cool weather with pine forests in the city makes Vietnamese people imagine that Dalat is a European city in Vietnam.
Today you will have an introduction to the city. You will visit the Truc Lam monastery with its lovely flower garden, have a walk in the market to learn Vietnamese herbs and veggies, visit a workshop to see how an artist embroiders pictures, and check out the steam engine train from half a century ago.
Days 6-9 – Highland host community and service project
This morning you will head to your host community in the Dalat region, to meet your host families and begin your community service project. The community service project is the heart of your program—an excellent way to bond with your new friends through service.
On the first day you will meet in the morning to be briefed on the project and talk with the local community members who will be working with you. Projects are to be determined based on the current needs of the community and may include building houses, constructing bridges, or making cement roads.
The community project is for the K’ho people, a minority people who live in the highlands Vietnam who keep a different culture, language and lifestyle in comparison to the rest of Vietnamese people. A community project here also helps you to explore their unique culture and experience the special scenery of the area.
Day 10 – Dalat 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 Vietnam.
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 City.