Overview

 Highlights


  • Explore Hanoi’s vibrant streets & historical sites with expert guides
  • Assist a regional community on a service project
  • Discover local trails on walks through hilltribe regions
  • Develop leadership qualities whilst gaining independence and resilience
  • Cruise through UNESCO World Heritage listed Ha Long Bay
  • Multi activity day in spectacular Ninh Binh
  • Environmental service on Cat Ba Island
  • Return home with a rich insight into the culture, traditions and society of Vietnam
  • Enjoy and experience the UNESCO listed Hoi An Ancient Town

A wonderful, active, tailor made service immersion program designed especially for the students of Somerville House. Without a doubt travelling through the rural and urban settings of Vietnam under your own steam is one of the finest ways to discover the country’s charm, culture and stunning landscapes. Travelling with our local guide we gain a wonderful insight into Vietnam and its people. We start the adventure by taking in the historical and cultural highlights in and around Hanoi. We then head West past Mai Chau to the ethnic minority villages around Hang Kia, with its deep valleys, thickly forested mountains and a variety of ethnic minority groups. In Noi Ba you commence 2 days service learning, giving back to a local school in need of assistance. We will work side by side a local labour force and the local community to improve conditions at a local school in need. From here we commence our village trek through remote hamlets and hill tribe villages while staying in dormitory guest stays. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience first hand the lifestyles of rural Vietnam. We continue to Ninh Binh, one of the most spectacular settings in all of South East Asia as we explore on foot, cycle and barge. We complete our journey in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ha Long Bay where we set sail among the limestone pinnacles and admire the grottoes, caves and sheltered water ways. We return to Hanoi and fly to Hoi An for the final stage of your journey to experience the UNESCO listed town of Hoi An. Throughout your time in Vietnam, you will learn about all aspects of like in Vietnam and participating in this learning experience will not only greatly help a remote community in need it will contribute greatly towards your studies and personal development. This is truly a life-changing experience!

Countries:

Starting Point:

Brisbane (price per minimum 20 students)

Activities:

Grading:Introductory   


After months of planning, your departure day has arrived. Depart Brisbane on Singapore Airlines flight SQ246 at 23:50 PLEASE NOTE the times could change prior to departure, World Expeditions Schools will advise you of any major changes should this occur.

Meals:  Nil

Upon arrival into Hanoi on SQ192 at around 11:25, you will be met by your Guide and transferred to the group hotel. Please look for the World Expeditions Schools welcome sign in the arrivals hall. Once checked into your hotel you will have a full trip and safety briefing with your guide. Following your briefing your cultural immersion starts in earnest with a visit to the Museum of Ethnology which focuses on the 54 officially recognised ethnic groups in Vietnam which will give you an insight and understanding of the different cultural groups prior to your visit to the mountainous regions of Vietnam. We continue to dinner where we enjoy a meal specialised in the different ethnic cuisines of North Vietnam. Overnight Hanoi.

Meals:  L,D

Today, you will visit some of Hanoi's key culturally and historically significant locations. You'll walk from the hotel through the old French colonial district to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum where you will learn about the significant influence of women in Vietnam’s history. You will then transfer to the Temple of Literature, one of the most interesting shrines in Hanoi, called “Le Pagoda des Corbeaux” by the French, because of the huge flocks of crows gathering in the mango trees near the entrance. Built in 1070, the complex consists of five courtyards dedicated to Confucius and the pursuit of Confucian thought and behavior. It is here that Vietnam’s first university was founded. Lunch will be at a nearby local restaurant called KOTO, a social enterprise that trains disadvantaged youths. You will contunue on your urban exploration learning about the more recent history and the unification period of Vietnam as you stroll around the Ho Chi Minh complex and walk across one of Hanoi's beautiful green spaces to the edge of the West Lake where you will hop in an electric cart to explore the area on wheels. You return to the hotel to rest and refresh before dinner. Overnight Hanoi.

Meals:  B,L,D

This day is in the heights of the province, where the scenery is dry, rocky and mountainous. Almost exclusively Hmong people live around there, and the main crop cultivated in the region is rice. The main income of the local people here is from this agriculture, however in recent years tourism has helped improve standards of living. We will meet our hosts and settle in to our accommodation. Whilst we are here we will sleep in a traditional stilt house (exclusive use for Somerville House) converted to a open dormitory configuration. Each night we will enjoy traditional meals prepared carefully by your hosts. **Whilst our accommodation in a traditional stilt house converted into a dormitory is simple, it is a highlight of many people's journey. Each student will have an individual mattress and mosquito net as well as clean bed sheets. There are western style flushing toilets and the bathrooms are equipped with hot running water.

Meals:  B,L,D

The project site is located only a short commute from our guesthouse (approx 8km) The hours that you work each day are flexible, however it is anticipated that you will be involved in labour work for up to 6 - 7 hours a day. You will need to bring a pair of study work gloves with you from home and wear clothing which you do not mind getting dirty. The people from the village will be anticipating your visit and the assistance you are providing will bring long term benefits to the village. The exact details of the project to be advised closer to departure. We will take lunch at the project site, prepared by the women of the village. The project is set up alongside our Travel, Give, Grow concept offering unique experiences to help foster respect for the natural world as well as the diverse peoples and cultures that live in it. This style of travel helps develop confidence, resilience, tolerance, problem solving abilities, team work, fitness and key life skills. At the completion of the project this afternoon, a celebration will be held with the group and community. Overnight Village Homestay

Meals:  B,L,D

Breakfast at the guesthouse then will transfer to a small settlement for a Batik dyeing workshop with the women of the village. Lunch at guesthouse. In the afternoon, commence trek (approx 11km, 3-4 hours) to Cun Pheo Valley, an area inhabited by White Thai people. We then take a short transfer (approx 5km) to Ban Buoc village for overnight in a guesthouse on stilts. Overnight traditional dormitory

Meals:  B,L,D

We depart early for a village walk (or cycle) to Mai Hich, approx 12 kilometres on small concrete pathways crossing hamlets, rice fields and vegetables gardens. We arrive in Mai Hich hamlet where you will enjoy a cooking session and lunch with a local family, learning to cook rice in bamboo with a local barbeque. In the afternoon, transfer to Ninh Binh (approx 3 hours). Overnight hotel, Ninh Binh

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we have a great day packed with fun activities in the stunning setting of Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh boasts one of the most spectacular settings in all of South East Asia, with hundreds of limestone cliffs rising straight out of rice paddies and rivers.The setting has been the backdrop for many movies and photoshoots. We will explore the area by bike and by boat. We first transfer to the boat pier for a scenic boat trip to Trang An. After the boat trip, we head to the valley of Tam Coc for a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit the Bich Dong Pagoda then continue by bike along the backroads of the region for a leisurely 12 km journey on a flat road winding between limestone rocks and rice fields to Hoa Lu. We then visit Dinh and Le temples before transfering back to hotel to freshen up before dinner. Overnight hotel in Ninh Binh and dinner at local restaurant.

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast, we drive around 2.5 hours to the coast and catch a 20 minute ferry to Cat Ba Island. We will enjoy a simple lunch at the outdoor restaurant by the gates of the Cat Ba National Park. After lunch, the group will participate in a tree-planting project organised by the Cat Ba National Park team. Here we will learn about the Cat Ba environment, conservation management activities and conservation of the local flora and fauna including the Cat Ba langur species. We join rangers to participate in forest protection and tree planting activities. In the late afternoon we transfer to our hotel in Cat Ba.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we'll drive to the entrance gate of Cat Ba National Park. This morning, we hike across the dense jungle of the park and undertake a trek ascending and descending three peaks within the Park. We will reach Viet Hai village, a secluded hamlet tucked away between the sea and the forest and enjoy a well-earned lunch. In the afternoon, we take an electric cart to Viet Hai pier where our boat awaits. We'll hop onboard, meet your captain and his crew, and off we go to the remotest parts of the Halong archipelago in the bay of Lan Ha. We will have some time for kayaking in the bay before cruising back to Cat Ba Island. Overnight hotel, Cat Ba

Meals:  B,L,D

We check out of our hotel this morning and drive to the pier for our ferry transfer to Got Pier, then on to Halong Bay. On arrival you will be transferred by motorized boat to our junk, which awaits us in open water. Once you have settled in we can begin our cruise around the majestic Ha Long Bay and out into the Golf of Tonkin. After lunch your captain will moor off a secluded beach where you can relax on the sand. There will be a cooking demonstration on board in the late afternoon. Later as evening descends you may take in the views of the top deck before you enjoy a delicious meal using beautifully prepared fresh ingredients straight from the sea. After dinner you can take the opportunity to try your hand at squid fishing with the crew members. Accommodation: Syrena or Bhaya Cruise

Meals:  B,L,D

Early risers can enjoy a Tai Chi class on the sundeck. We will continue to enjoy cruising through the Bay passing magnificent geographical formations, we will explore the Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave) which is one of the highlights of Ha Long Bay. Buffet brunch is served on board before the vessel cruises back to the dock where our coach is waiting to transfer the group back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Danang. On arrival into Danang you will be met and transferred to Hoi An to your hotel and then for dinner. Overnight Hotel, Hoi An.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning, you will head out with your Guide for a walking tour in the Old Town of Hoi An, visiting the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall as well as a typical hundred-year-old ancient house and the authentic local market. The afternoon has been set aside as a free afternoon. Overnight Hoi An

Meals:  B,L,D

A full day at leisure to enjoy some shopping in Hoi An town or to go to the beach. We recommend An Bang beach, located about 4-kilometres North of Hoi An. If you want to try some typical local food, for some delicious street food we highly recommend you to get a Banh Mi sandwich at Madam Khanh’s stall (115 Tran Cao Van street), a legendary Cao Lau soup or a plate of crispy Hoanh Thanh. This evening we will enjoy a final farewell meal. Overnight Hoi An

Meals:  B,D

Enjoy the time in Hoi An before transfer to Da Nang airport for your departure flight. Depart Danang on SQ173 at 16:35, and fly via Singapore to Brisbane

Meals:  B

Arrival into Brisbane on SQ255 at around 10:20 where a warm welcome awaits!

Meals:  Nil


Learning outcomes for students

World Expeditions Schools journeys are designed to encourage positive personal development and the learning of life skills, while leaving the communities and environments we travel to, in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to:
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers, their teachers, and the local people they meet.
• increase the confidence to engage with new people, and collaboratively make informed decisions.
• discover the benefits of working cooperatively together as a cohesive team, to achieve a common objective.
• Increase the ability to face, and cope with, mental and physical challenges and therefore increase resilience.
• give students a chance to appreciate and care for the natural world. The environments we travel through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment.
• Learn personal skills i.e., time management, personal hygiene, responsibility for personal gear, patience, tolerance, and public speaking.
We help encourage students to learn what it means to be a true global citizen.


Inclusions

  • Return economy international flights from Brisbane/Hanoi, Danang/Brisbane
  • Domestic flight Hanoi/Danang
  • Accommodation in 3-3.5 star hotel (twin or triple share), village guesthouse (dormitary), and one night deluxe junk
  • expert bilingual local guide with medical kit
  • All meals (except lunch on Day 16)
  • Sightseeing and entry fees as listed in the itinerary
  • Private Ha Long Bay Cruise including life jackets
  • Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Minimum 2.5 litres drinking water per day, 3 litres on trek days
  • Bedding at Homestays and trek permits
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory) - supplied at no cost through Somerville House
  • Teachers from Somerville House accompanying the journey from Brisbane

  • Mineral water beyond that supplied
  • Items of a personal nature ie extra snacks or soft drinks, laundry or souvenirs
  • Visas
  • Project materials and labour force estimate to be fund raised by the group
  • Tips - recommended amounts will be provided
  • Lunch on Day 16

Grading

Introductory


Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning
Programs

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.

Testimonials


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.


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