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Overview

 Highlights


  • Hanging out and seeing the sights of Hanoi, the capital
  • 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
  • Travelling with other School Leavers from across Australia

Join other like-minded school leavers on this trip of a lifetime exploring the highlights of Vietnam's north including the capital of Hanoi, the hidden gem of Cat Ba Island within Halong Bay and explore the lesser visited regions of Ninh Binh and Mai Chau. You'll also assist with 3 different community projects. This Schoolies Adventure 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 can swim or kayak the days away as you explore the world-famous limestone pinnacles before returning to Hanoi, where your trip concludes.

Countries:

Start and Finishing Point:

Hanoi

Activities:

Grading:Introductory   


Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam! On arrival in Hanoi you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Please look for the World Youth Adventures welcome sign in the arrivals hall. Today is a free day for you to relax and recover from your flight. In the late afternoon your tour guide will meet you in the hotel lobby for a trip briefing before heading out for a group welcome dinner. This is a great time to mingle and get to know those joining you on this Alternative Schoolies Adventure in Vietnam. Overnight at Skylark Hotel Hanoi

Meals:  D

After breakfast, your discovery of Hanoi begins by winding through the lakes, courtyards and traditional buildings of the beautiful Temple of Literature, Vietnam's oldest University which is now dedicated to Confucius. We pass the impressive Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the resting place of Vietnam's well respected leader, and enter the gardens of the Presidential Palace. In contrast to the grandeur of the Palace, Ho Chi Minh, or 'Uncle Ho' as he was known, had a humble Stilt House built on the grounds where he lived and worked from 1958 - 1969. You will also see the unique One Pillar Pagoda. Standing on a single pillar this Buddhist temple seems to float above the Lily pond below. 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 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 at Skylark Hotel Hanoi

Meals:  B,L

We depart Hanoi at approx 9.00am taking a 4 hour drive out to the mountains of Hoa Binh. Hoa Binh is home to the Muong people who are one of the largest ethnic groups in Vietnam. While stopping for lunch in Hoa Binh you will also enjoy a Museum visit dedicated to the Muong Culture. After lunch you will travel north of the city into the lush Song Da mountain range and along the foothills of the lake before arriving in the wild and remote lands of the Muong. They will welcome you into a traditional Muong house for your 2 night stay in the small village of Da Bia. There will be time to meet your host and go for a swim in the lake before dinner. 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

Today we farewell our Muong hosts and get ready for our paddling adventure. Surrounded by towering jungle mountains we enjoy a 3 hour kayak stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. Our vehicle will be waiting for us on the other side of the lake ready for a 1 hour drive through the valley of Mai Chau. We will be welcomed into a traditional guesthouse on stilts for our stay in Mai Hich. If time permits, we may take gentle stroll around the village, along the crops and bamboo forest. A perfect opportunity to witness a slice of local life and the chance to mingle with the locals. Overnight at homestay in Mai Hich

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

After breakfast we continue with our adventure. A 4 hour drive will take us through the very beautiful so called 'Inland - Halong' region. We reach Hoa Lu, once an imperial capital, for lunch and where we collect our bikes. A 15km cycle on the narrow pathways, alongside the river, between the rice fields and with the striking limestone cliffs rising on either side makes this an unforgettable journey. Along the way we will stop to take on a climb of over 500 steps to the top of Hang Mua Peak where a huge stone dragon & stunning 360 degree views await you. This is 'the' must see place in this region and not to be missed. Make sure you don't forget your camera! Overnight at Legend Ninh Binh

Meals:  B,L

Today we sleep in and have a nice relaxed morning. We'll take a 4 hour drive across the Red River delta to reach the coast. Here we take a speedboat over to Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Halong Bay. We collect our bikes and being our 12km cycle the the ecolodge where we are staying in the heart of the island, by the entrance of the national park. Get comfy and relax, your evening is free. Overnight Cat Ba Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

We start today with a hike across the jungle of the national park to the other side of the island. The 9km trek has a little up and a little down! This is a rare treat as very few people venture into these wild trails and will take about 3 hours. We reach Viet Hai village for lunch before collecting our bikes and for a 5km ride down to the Viet Hai pier. We go cruising around the soaring limestone rocks of the Halong archipelago and Lan Ha Bay. We arrive at a simple beach resort on a secluded islet of the bay where we can end the day swimming in the bay. In the evening we relax and enjoy a BBQ on the beach with a bonfire under the stars. Overnight at Blue Swimmer Bungalow

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will explore the bay. Kayaking around the cliffs, stopping at beaches and venturing into remote corners of the bay. Lunch will be at one of these lovely beaches. It's a beautiful place in the world and we are going to do our part to keep it that way. Within Vietnam there are campaigns raising awareness of the impact of rubbish on the bay and the environment in general. Today we lead by example and as we paddle through the bay, we will collect floating along the way. Overnight Blue Swimmer Bungalow

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a travel day. We say farewell to Car Ba Island and return to Hanoi arriving in the afternoon. There will be time to enjoy some time at leisure or do some last minute shopping before heading out for a farewell dinner. Overnight at Skylark Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast you have free time until your transfer to the airport to meet your flight home.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 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
  • Arrival airport transfer on first day and departure airport transfer on last day of the trip (no guide)
  • Professional English speaking guide throughout
  • Medical kit
  • 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

  • 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
  • International airfares to Vietnam
  • Tipping

Grading

Introductory

This Schoolies 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.


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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