Vietnam is a country of sprawling cities, diverse trekking terrain and stunning World Heritage sites. A north Vietnam expedition may include minority hill tribe treks through the Sapa Valley, rewarding project work in rural villages or a visit to the World Heritage site of Halong Bay.
Alternatively, teams may choose to visit the south; trekking through the pine forest and jungle terrain of the central highlands, exploring the Mekong Delta by boat or bicycle, or visiting the museums and markets of bustling Ho Chi Minh City. A truly cultural destination that will ensure an unforgettable school trip.
VIETNAM EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS
Here are just some of the incredible experiences you can choose from for your Vietnam expedition:
Depending on the expedition teams will spend a few days acclimatising in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An or Hanoi with the opportunity to undertake a trek in a national park.
Making a Difference
Teams may elect to carry out their project work with villages, schools or homeless and disabled caring centres set in rural or urban locations. This is an excellent opportunity to interact with local children and their families who are eager to work together and share their culture.
Vietnam Project Case Study –
Helping the homeless and disabled people of Ba Vi, Hanoi
The centre accommodates up to 300 people, including elderly homeless people, disabled adults, and disabled infants from all over Hanoi. Since 2011, nine World Challenge teams have visited Ba Vi and provided support to its residents. Activities include building a playground, installing a water tank, maintaining facilities and, perhaps most importantly, caring and interacting with residents with no family.
Last year we sent 25 teams to 8 project sites in Vietnam with a main focus on maintaining primary school facilities, and caring for and socialising with homeless and disabled communities.
Teams will have two routes to choose if they decide to trek in Dalat, depending on the intensity level preferred. Whichever you choose, you experience wild camping in the jungle and get the chance to learn about Vietnamese cooking when you help your guide prepare the evening meals.
Trekking in Sapa is great for those seeking a real cultural experience as you explore the Hoang Lien Mountains. You get to stay in hill tribe homes for the opportunity to interact with the local community and learn about their culture and way of life.
Rest & Relaxation
Vietnam has some excellent rest and recreation options.Depending on your itinerary you may visit magical Halong Bay or Hoi An, a pretty little port town with a reputation for good food and diverse architecture. Teams may also visit the home to the famous floating market, the Mekong Delta. Created by sediment deposits from the river, it is often referred to as the ‘rice basket of Vietnam’ (owing to the production of rice, fruit and sugar cane in the region).
- Vietnam, South East Asia
- Population: 87.9 million.
- Languages spoken: Vietnamese.
- Time zone: GMT +7.
- Terrain: Pine forest, jungle, highlands and coast.
- When can I travel there?: All year round (though trekking will be more challenging in the monsoon season between May-Oct).
- Climate: Nov-Feb: During the cool season (Nov-Feb) temperatures are generally under 30°C. They increase during the hot season (Mar-Apr) to an average of 33°-35°C, whilst the Monsoon season (May-Oct) features high temperatures and rain.
- Expedition Physical Rating: Medium.
- Expedition Duration: 28 days.
- Culture Shock: High.
- Typical accommodation: Hostels, tents and homestays.
- Ideal for: A unique cultural experience, fantastic jungle trekking.
- Vietnam stretches 1600km north to south, but is only about 55km wide at its narrowest point, near the country’s centre.
- Vietnamese time always seems to run at a slow pace – try to be patient and always leave plenty of time to catch trains!
- ‘Nguyen’ is the most popular surname in Vietnam with approximately 40% of all Vietnamese (or more than 30 million people) sharing this one family name!
- According to legend, the Vietnamese people descended from the king of the underwater kingdom and a fairy from the mountain highlands.
- Vietnam has more than 50 different ethnic groups.
- The largest group is the Kinh or “Viet” who make up approximately 88% of the population.
Khoa Dinh Nguyen
Khoa has travelled extensively in Vietnam and Cambodia. He speaks Vietnamese and English and, when not working for World Challenge, he is a tour guide and interpreter. Khoa’s one piece of advice: “When in Rome … enjoy yourselves and be open to cultural differences.”
NEW TO WORLD CHALLENGE?
Every World Challenge starts long before your students step on a plane. With our support, develop life skills and take ownership of:
- Destination and itinerary planning
- Fundraising ideas and events
- Budgeting and money management
- Preparation, fitness and nutrition
Get in touch with one of our consultants to start planning your overseas school expedition today!