• Discover Vietnam's historic capital, Hanoi
  • Meet local hilltribe people while on trek in Mai Chau
  • Community service in Da Bia
  • Kayaking & Community service in Halong Bay
  • Authentic cultural exchanges with the local community while working on the project

This educational and active program explores the highlights of Vietnam's north including the capital of Hanoi, the hidden gem of Cat Ba Island within Halong Bay and the lesser visited regions of Ninh Binh and Mai Chau. You'll also assist with 3 different community projects. The journey begins in Hanoi, where you will explore the many must see attractions including President Ho Chi Minh's complex, the One Pillar Pagoda and a cool Urban Hike. There's even time to chill in the Old Quarter or experience it from the back of a cyclo! It’s then off to the remote community of Da Bia in the Hoa Binh province, where you will hike in, explore, and get involved in the community. You will stay a couple of nights in a local homestay, where the conditions will be basic, but the cultural experience will be unrivalled. By way of cycle and kayak you will make your way into the Mai Chau valley where you will stay in the Mai Hich region, home to many ethnic minorities. As you wander through the jungle with your guide you'll experience local mountain life and gain a new appreciation for the simple way of life. It’s then a speedboat to Cat Ba Island where you explore the world-famous limestone pinnacles by boat and kayak before returning to Hanoi, where your trip concludes.


Start and Finishing Point:





Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam! Arrive at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport, where your local guide and private vehicle will transfer you to the hotel in the city center (check-in from 14.00). Depending on arrival time, the rest of the afternoon/evening is at leisure to relax and recover from your flight. In the late afternoon meet our guide at the hotel lobby for a trip briefing before join a welcome dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi

Meals:  D

We dedicate our morning to the visit of the essentials of Hanoi. We begin with the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s oldest university (opened in 1070), which is now a temple dedicated to Confucius. Next, we pass in front of the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (we are not entering it) and enter the gardens of the Presidential Palace to visit the traditional Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked. We also see the One Pillar Pagoda, a tiny temple built atop a single stone column. A special treat for lunch at KOTO restaurant. KOTO (Know One, Teach One) was founded by Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham who's aim was to create a hospitality training centre in Hanoi, giving at-risk and disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn and thrive in their lives. This is your small but valuable way of helping to end the cycle of poverty in Vietnam. A change of pace for the afternoon with a very cool urban hike. After a short car ride you will get lost in the 2 km (1 mile) trail of lush nature made of banana trees and vegetable gardens. Who would have expected this in the heart of Hanoi! A walk across the beautiful and historic Long Bien Bridge, a symbol of the tenacity and resilience of the people of Hanoi, brings your day to a close. Overnight Hanoi

Meals:  B,L

We depart from Hanoi at about 9:00am and head west to Hoa Binh. We stop in the city to visit a nice museum dedicated to the Muong ethnic culture, the most represented culture in the province, also the one of our hosts for tonight. After lunch, we drive around the city to the North and enter the mountain range of the Song Da. It is going up and down in the foothills of the lake until we reach the small village of Da Bia. Welcome to some wild and remote Muong ethnic lands, a natural haven that gives an edge of the world feeling. We are welcomed in a Muong traditional house. Meet the host and then enjoy some time for swimming in the lake before dinner. Driving time: approximately 4 hours Overnight at homestay in Dia Bia

Meals:  B,L,D

A day set aside to become involved in the community. Details to be advised. Overnight at homestay in Da Bia

Meals:  B,L,D

We bid farewell to our hosts and get ready for our paddling adventure across this beautiful reservoir made of blue waters and surrounded by towering mountains covered in jungle. The kayaking takes approximately 3 hours and we will have simple lunch at local family. Once we reach the other side of the lake, we hop on our vehicle and drive to the valley of Mai Chau. The drive takes about one hour, from the Muong to the White Thai territories. We make our way to a little sub-valley and check-in at a traditional guesthouse on stilts. Depending on time, we may go for a gentle walk around the village, the pathway takes us a little farther in the valley along crops and bamboo forest. It shall be the opportunity to witness a slice of local life and probably to exchange a bit with the friendly farmers of the area.

Meals:  B,L,D

A day to get involved with helping the community. Details to be advised. Overnight at homestay in Mai Hich

Meals:  B,L,D

We bid farewell to our hosts and depart to Ninh Binh after breakfast. It is about 4-hour drive to the so-called Inland-Halong region. We reach Hoa Lu, once an imperial capital, and have a lunch there. In the afternoon, we hop on bicycles and venture on the back roads of the region (about 15 km (9 miles) ride in total). This might be a little bumpy but the ride is scenic, taking us on narrow pathways between rice fields and mountains. We will stop on the way at Hang Mua and take on a challenging climb over 500 steps to reach the highest accessible viewpoint of the region. Our cycling ends in Tam Coc, we drop the bikes, have refreshment and transfer to the hotel. Evening is at leisure. Driving time: approximately 4 hours Overnight in Ninh Binh

Meals:  B,L

This morning we drive across the Red River delta to reach the coast. After a short speedboat transfer, we arrive on Cat Ba Island where our bicycles await. There we start an approximate 12 km (7 mi) ride to our Eco lodge located at the heart of the Island, by the entrance of the national park. Make yourself comfortable, evening at leisure. Overnight Cat Ba Island

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning, we are going to hike across the jungle of the national park to the other side of the island and Viet Hai village. The trek is about 9 km (6 mi), with three hills to climb up and down. Very few people venture on these trails, it remains pretty wild. We start with 30 minutes on a small road to get to the dense forest that we should exit after about 3-4 hours. We reach Viet Hai village for lunch. In the afternoon, we take a leisure walk to visit the village or take bicycle to strolling around before dinner at homestay or bungalow in the village. Overnight at Blue Swimmer Bungalow

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we ride a bicycle for about 5 km (3 mi) to get to Viet Hai pier, at the Eastern edge of the island to get on a boat and starts the clean-up day. Lots of awareness raising campaigns is going on to ring the alarm and have both local people and authorities to understand the importance of preserving this gem of nature and the environment on a more general note. Today, we will lead by example, and go for a fun day of kayaking. We will explore the most remote corners of the bay and pick up floating garbage all along. We will stop by some beaches and have a lunch on the support boat. In the afternoon, we return to the boat for cruising to Cat Ba town. Overnight Blue Swimmer Bungalow

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning, free time to explore Cat Ba town until transfer back to Hanoi. Arrival in the afternoon. Enjoy some time at leisure before we take you out for a farewell dinner. Overnight in Hanoi

Meals:  B,L,D

Day at leisure until we drive from the hotel to the airport for your flight home.

Meals:  B

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Life Below Water:  Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

Life On Land:  Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Clean Water And Sanitation:  Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in.

Sustainable Cities And Communities:  There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

Climate Action:  Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.

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.


  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 9 dinners
  • 4 nights hotel accommodation on a twin share basis
  • 4 nights home-stay accommodation facilities in Da Bia and Mai Hich
  • 3 nights bungalow accommodation
  • Internal transfers in air conditioned vehicle
  • Group airport transfers
  • Professional English speaking guide throughout
  • Speed boat as mentioned in program
  • Kayak and bike as mentioned in program
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Snacks & fruits on hiking days
  • Community Project material costs
  • Mineral water on vehicle on days with transfer and sightseeing only
  • Government taxes and service charges

  • International airfare to Vietnam
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Any soft drinks or other beverages
  • Items of a personal nature ie phone calls laundry and email
  • Entry visa fees for Vietnam
  • Tipping



This Adventure is rated introductory level. The hilltribe trek and Community Project will require some effort and some reasonable fitness. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect and enhance your travel experience. Remember the fitter you are the more enjoyable your experience will be.

Customise your program

We can fully customise a School Travel Program to suit your students' learning objectives and budget. Whether you require a Service Learning program, physical challenge, cultural immersion or certain curriculum targets - talk to one of our educational travel experts about the elements you need in your itinerary. We pride ourselves on developing unique itineraries to meet the learning requirements for schools.

World Expeditions Schools is a division of one of the world's leading adventure travel companies, World Expeditions. We can develop itineraries in any destination that is offered by World Expeditions, which is to every continent on earth.

Use our simple Expedition Design Form to contact us with your requirements and an educational travel expert will be in touch to assist.

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

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.


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.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips