Without a doubt travelling through the rural and urban settings of Vietnam by private vehicle is one of the finest ways to discover the country’s charm, culture and stunning landscapes.
Our complete service includes modern air conditioned vehicles, expert local support crew, and nights spent in comfortable hotels where the tasty local food will be sure to satisfy.
We start the adventure by taking in the highlights of the old quarters of Hanoi and ancient temples before driving to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ha Long Bay where we set sail amongst the limestone pinnacles and admire the grottoes, caves and sheltered water ways. We return to Hanoi for the night before departing the next day on a four hour drive to the breathtaking valley of Tuyen Quang with its deep valleys, thickly forested mountains and a variety of ethnic minority groups.
You will be guaranteed a huge welcome when you start your service learning project at Phu Luu Village Secondary School as you will be continuing the hard work begun by the 2016 KIS group. Splitting into smaller work teams and alongside professional hired help you will replace a bamboo and mud floor classroom with a brick and cement structure with a heat resistant tin roof and concrete floor. These improvements will provide a safer and more comfortable learning environment in the cold winters and hot summers.
We return to Hanoi and enjoy a farewell dinner to reflect upon and celebrate this fascinating experience before flying home to Jeju.
Throughout your time in Vietnam, you will be discussing with your guides the local geography, biology or history and learn about the complex cultures of Vietnam.
Participating in this learning experience will contribute greatly towards your studies and personal development. This is truly a life-changing Service Learning experience!
Although there is no commitment to extended physical activity on this journey we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. 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. Please ensure that you discuss with your excursion organiser all health related issues which may impact on your enjoyment of the tour.
After so many months thinking, preparing, and planning for your Vietnam Service Learning adventure the departure day has finally arrived! On arrival in Hanoi you will be met at the airport by your expert local guide and transferred to our centrally located hotel. There are no activities planned for tonight due to your late arrival and we encourage you to have an early night so as you are ready to get up early to head out and sail around Ha Long Bay tomorrow. Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam!
Accommodation: La Dolce Vita Hotel 3*
Jeju-Gimpo: 2016.03.19 / 13:35 14:45 / KE1218 (Korean Air)
Inchon-Hanoi: 2016.03.19 / 18:40 21:40 / KE679 (Korean Air)
After an early breakfast we depart Hanoi for Ha Long Bay (3hr drive) in our private air conditioned coach. Upon arrival at Ha Long Bay 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 enjoy a refreshing paddle in the bay or relax on the sand. In the afternoon we will visit a floating fishing village. There will be a cooking demonstration onboard in the late afternoon. Later as evening descends you may take in the views of the top deck before you enjoy a delicious seafood extravaganza using beautifully prepared fresh ingredients straight from the sea. We then find a secluded place to anchor for the night.
Accommodation: Bhaya Classic Cruise 4*
Note: Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be cancelled due to poor weather. Unused services are not subject to a refund.
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 leisurely back to the dock where our coach is awaiting your arrival. We then drive back to Hanoi stopping enroute for luinch.
In the afternoon, we enjoy walking tour to explore the vibrant Old Quarter. Here many tiny streets join to sell a huge diversity of products. In the old days, each street bore the name of the product sold - “Shoe Street”, “Noodle Street” and the like. Today, the streets sometimes sell a variety of items, but often the names are accurate. The Old Quarter also houses some of the most interesting art galleries and fashion houses. We will walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, visit Ngoc Son Temple and you then have tickets for a performance of Hanoi's famous Water Puppet Theater, a series of 17 stories presented by 11 puppeteers whom traditionally performed during the monsoonal period when rice farming in the Red River Delta was not possible. The stories reflect their way of life and dreams as well as providing respite from their demanding work schedule.
Dinner tonight is at Mam Restaurant (www.mamrestaurant.vn) which is renowned for serving well prepared authentic Vietnamese food.
Accommodation: La Dolce Vita Hotel 3*
After an early breakfast we depart Hanoi for Tuyen Quang province and the township of Tuyen Quang. Tuyen Quang is a very mountainous region with large rivers, pristine forests and some of Vietnam's most diverse flora and fauna. The main source of income for the residents is agriculture and the average monthly income is US$15. Tuyen Quang is home to the Red Yao, Tay, Nung and Mong minorities. Tourism is still very new and subsequently the hotel facilities are basic, yet clean and practical.
This scenic drive takes around four hours. Along the way we pass fields of tapioca and sugar cane as well as rice paddies. Around noontime, we will arrive at our accommodation where lunch will be served.
For the following three nights your accommodation will be at a guesthouse in Tuyen Quang town, yet your service work will be undertaken at the Phu Luu Village Secondary School located approx, 20-45mins drive away.
After lunch and an opportunity to relax after the drive we will travel to the project site. The school currently has 30 students and consists of a dusty school yard and 3 classrooms. The 2016 KIS group from had repaired 2 of the class rooms yet the final one is in need of complete replacement.
The detailed works will be updated to you once available.
-Using bricks, mortar and plaster - build and plaster the walls.
-Replace tin roof with a heat resistant ceiling and insulation.
-Lay the floor with a cement screed then tile.
-Equip the classroom with windows and doors.
The students and staff will be expecting our arrival and we will be welcomed into there village like family, prepare for lots of noise, singing and above all appreciation for the work about to get underway. We will meet with the local foreman who will take us on a tour of the site showing us what work we will be doing and also to conduct a thorough safety briefing. The group will be divided into smaller work teams and each assigned separate tasks. Some of the work across the next 3 days will involve sanding, preparing then painting the surfaces of any exposed timber work, preparing then plastering the walls, sweeping and general cleaning, light load carrying or possibly some gardening work.
You will not need any specific skills or experience, just the willingness to participate and the ability to roll your sleeves up and get a little dirty (you should wear suitable clothing), all for a great cause.
There will be a local professional builder supervising the project and ensuring we get all the work completed on time and on budget.
Regular breaks along with drinks and fresh fruit will be provided so as to keep energy levels high.
In the late afternoon we will return to the guesthouse where there will be time for rest and reflection.
Dinner is served at the guesthouse.
After breakfast, we will transfer by private vehicle to the to the project site. There will be a good deal of flexibility in the hours that you work each day, but it is anticipated that you will be involved in labor work for up to 7 hours a day. You should bring a pair of study workman’s gloves with you from home and wear clothing which you do not mind getting dirty. The people from the village will be very receptive to your visit and the improvements which you are making that will bring real long term benefits to the entire village.
This morning is an early start to return to the project site to put on the finishing touches and complete all the required work. There will be a handover ceremony and celebration with plenty of opportunities for photos. You will then say good bye to your new found friends and return to the home stay for an early lunch before boarding the vehicles for the return drive to Hanoi. You will have access to day rooms at the hotel in Hanoi for you to use to shower, change and freshen up for dinner and your flight.
A farewell dinner at a Pizza restaurant will be enjoyed before transferring to the airport for the flight home departing Hanoi International Airport. All services conclude at arrival to Hanoi International Airport.
Day Rooms: La Dolce Vita Hotel 3*
Hanoi-Incheon: 2017.03.25 / 23:10 05:05(+1) / KE680 (Korean Air)
Upon arrival in Jeju Airport all services finish although the memories and lessons learned will last a lifetime.
Congratulations for completing an extraordinary service learning adventure to Vietnam and making positive long lasting changes to a remote community school.
Per Person, Twin Share