A Taste of Vietnam

  • 
                      A Taste of Vietnam
  • 
                      A Taste of Vietnam
  • 
                      A Taste of Vietnam

The Concept

Southern Vietnam is a place of fascinating contradictions; thriving metropolis and peaceful rural lands, colonial and Asian influence in food and architecture, and a creative and artistic people living with the scars of a devastating war. Students on this 9-day tour will experience these contradictions for themselves as they travel from Saigon to the Mekong Delta, and onto the lovely port town of Hoi An. Highlights of this tour include a visit to the incredible Cu Chi tunnels built and occupied by the Vietcong, the stunning 12th century ruins of My Son, and a Vietnamese cooking lesson.

This affordable tour is aimed at secondary school students, who through interactive experiences will experience living history and gain a better understanding of and more respect for other cultures.

Itinerary Day By Day

DAY 1 AUSTRALIA – HO CHI MINH CITY

Fly from Australia to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), to meet your guide who will teach you some basic Vietnamese during the transfer to your hotel. The guide will go over how to say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘thank you’, ‘where do I find…?’, ‘How much is…?’, and other simple phrases.

DAY 2 HO CHI MINH CITY (B, D)

After breakfast, start the day with a walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City’s wide boulevards, with a visit to the former Presidential Palace, (now Reunification Hall), famous as the destination for North Vietnamese tanks as they rolled into Saigon on the morning of April 30, 1975. Also visit the Old Post Office and Notre-Dame Basilica. Continue to the War Museum. Afternoon free for activities, at your teachers’
discretion. Dinner is included this evening.

DAY 3 HO CHI MINH CITY – CU CHI TUNNELS (B, D)

Following breakfast, take a morning tour to Cu Chi to visit the amazing tunnel system built by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. You will again have the afternoon free for activities, at your teachers’ discretion. Dinner included.

DAY 4 HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA (B, L)

Early breakfast before an 8:00am departure for the two hour drive to Cai Be, deep in the Mekong Delta. The tour begins with a boat trip, discovering local trading boats, followed by a visit to some home factories that produce rice paste, rice popcorn and coconut candy. Proceed to the evergreen islands along the Mekong River, through a large network of meandering tributaries, crisscrossed with countless arroyos. Following this, take a 10 minute walk through a local village and fruit gardens, before coming to the preserved ‘Mandarin’ house. Built centuries ago, at least four generations of the same family have lived here. Mrs Kiet, the owner of the house, will serve you an appetising Vietnamese lunch. Take a stroll through the family’s fruit orchard before continuing to Tan Phong Island, where you will take a local rowing boat through the canals before returning to Cai Be. Return to Ho Chi Minh City for your overnight stay. Make your own arrangements for dinner.

DAY 5 HO CHI MINH CITY – DA NANG – HOI AN (B)

After breakfast, you will have a free morning for activities, at your teachers’ discretion, before a midday flight to Da Nang. Transfer to the charming beachside town of Hoi An. Along the way, you will see the beautiful Non Nuoc Beach, the Cham Museum, containing the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world, and five sacred hills known as the Marble Mountains, containing dozens of Buddhist shrines. Lunch and dinner at your own expense.

DAY 6 HOI AN – MY SON – HOI AN (B, D)

Following breakfast, begin the day with a tour deep into the jungle 40km southwest of Hoi An, to visit the ruins of My Son, dating from the 7th - 13th centuries. The dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries were the centre of the Champa Kingdom. Return via Tra Kieu, formerly known as Simhapura or the Lion Citadel, the capital of Champa between the 4th and 8th centuries. This afternoon, visit a family-run lantern-making business, where you will have a chance to design your own lantern, with the assistance of your Vietnamese hosts. Your lantern can be taken with you as a souvenir. Continue with a walking tour of Hoi An’s narrow streets. Highlights include the Temples of Phuoc Kien and Quang Dong and the 16th-century Japanese Covered Bridge. Dinner is included this evening.

DAY 7 HOI AN (B, L)

This morning after breakfast, you will have a cooking lesson at the Red Bridge (Cau Do) restaurant, by the river. Participate in buying ingredients at the local market, before a quick boat trip on the Hoi An River to the school, where you will be treated to demonstrations of local specialities such as squid and pineapple salad, grilled eggplant and banh xeo (pancakes), before being let loose in the kitchen! Enjoy the dishes you cooked for lunch.

This afternoon visit Lifestart Foundation and participate in a painting lesson, and a lantern making class. The Lifestart Foundation supports Vietnamese disabled women, and you will meet them during your afternoon workshop. You will also be amazed at their skill in creating products out of recycled material, and may wish to support them by buying a small present for family and friends in their gift shop
Own arrangements for dinner this evening.

DAY 8 HOI AN – DA NANG – HO CHI MINH CITY – AUSTRALIA (B)

Check out after breakfast. You will be transferred to the airport in Da Nang for your flight back to Saigon, to connect with your overnight flight home to Australia.

DAY 9 AUSTRALIA (B)

Arrive Australia

Inclusions
  • Return international economy airfares, including pre-paid taxes and charges
  • 7 nights’ accommodation at 3 star hotels (twin share)
  • Breakfast daily
  • Lunches and dinners, as indicated in the itinerary
  • English speaking local guide
  • Coach transfers by private coach where required
  • Entrance fees and boat tours, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Cooking class in Hoi An
  • Domestic air fares, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Lifestart workshop