Wherever we travel, it’s the flavours and the people we remember best. A crusty bánh mì or streetside pho, seafood cù lao hotpots and (scarily addictive) coffee with condensed milk. On this unique departure we won’t just drop you in Halong Bay and call it a day. Our local leaders will introduce you to social enterprise creators in Hanoi, masterful street vendors in Hoi An and skillful fishermen on the Mekong Delta. Get ready to learn about business and community in a whole new environment!

 

See inside the Vietnamese kitchen that’s dishing up second chances

 

KOTO - Know One, Teach One - is a social enterprise that brings valuable skills training to disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. Their flagship initiative is a two-year hospitality services and culinary arts program, but it offers more than just professional development. KOTO provides workshops for self-awareness and personal development, on-site psychological counselling, meditation exercises, group activities, and - most importantly - community. A community you will experience first-hand on this Expedition.

Upon completion of the program, trainees graduate with an internationally-recognised hospitality accreditation from Box Hill Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Every graduate in the programs history has succeeded in finding employment, from placements in KOTO’s own restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to five-star hotels across the world. 

Read More about KOTO: Class 34 via The Intrepid Foundation

 

TRANSFORMATIONAL: Vietnam's Social Good Expedition

DEPARTING NOVEMBER 08 - 17, 2020 || Price from $1,675pp twin share for 10 days

Want your own room? Single supplement $350    Find out more

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. After your briefing, head outfor your first introduction to Vietnam’s lively culinary scene. Stop at a family-owned restaurant and savor a bowl of noodles withan unexpected secret ingredient!

Arrival Transfer Included

Meals Included: Dinner

Accommodation Lan Vien Hotel or similar

Enjoy breakfast at the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, a community project dedicated to helping underprivileged childrenand victims of trafficking. Afterwards, you’ll be taken on a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting major sites such as the Templeof Literature, One Pillar Pagoda and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. The tour willalso include lunch at the KOTO cafe, an amazing project which provides vocational training for disadvantaged young people.You’ll have some free time this afternoon. Hanoi is a strangely quiet city compared to its southern counterpart. Escape from the noise by visiting the various parks and lakes or hire a bike and cycle around town for the best view of the city.

Included Activities

  • Blue Dragon breakfast
  • Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh, Stilt House and Museum
  • Temple of Literature
  • KOTO Lunch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

AccommodationLan Vien Hotel or similar

Travel by private minibus to the famous Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours), one of Vietnam's most spectacular naturalwonders. Once you arrive at the bay, you’ll take a long, slow cruise through the area, exploring the beautiful green waters andamazing Surprise Cave. Access to Surprise Cave is via staircases. Once inside the cave the pathways are a little uneven andslippery. You may also have the opportunity to go swimming from Ti Top Island beach. You’ll spend the night on the boat. The traditional junk-style boat has twin-share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and barwhere you’ll enjoy all of your meals, including fresh seafood for lunch and dinner.

 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AccommodationOvernight boat

 

Special Information

It is recommended to pack a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay for ease of boarding and disembarking. You can storeyour main luggage in Hanoi for tonight.

Kayaking and swimming is restricted to designated zones within the bay.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight, sometimes resulting in a shortage.The boat is not likely to be a traditional sailing junk, as many older or imported vessels do not comply with waterway trafficsafety laws

Head back to Hanoi by private minibus (approximately 4 hours). On arrival Hanoi, you’ll begin a street food tour at the city’slargest covered market, Dong Xuan. Sample delicious Vietnamese cuisine just like the locals do - on the street. Stroll throughhidden alleyways and bustling markets of Hanoi’s charming old quarter. Learn more about Hanoi’s unique food culture. Try localspecialties with influences from French and Chinese cuisine. Finish the night at the famous beer corner ‘Bia Hoi’.

Included Activities

  • Hanoi Street food by night

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

AccommodationLan Vien Hotel or similar

Start your day with an early flight from Hanoi to Danang (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes). From here you’ll take a 45-minutebus ride to Hoi An. Once arrival, your leader will take you on a walking tour of Hoi An, where you’ll see all of the sights, like theJapanese covered bridge and the Old Town’s maze of alleys. Afterwards, head to a rustic food market and keep you eyes outfor some things to buy – this is a great place to pick up knives and other Vietnamese cooking gadgets. In the late afternoon,head nearby to a small village called Tra Que – on the edge of Hoi An, it’s named after the vegetables and fragrant herbsgardens that are laid around town and known as a culinary destination. You’ll take a walking tour through the farmland, meetlocal villagers, then roll up your sleeves for a hands-on cooking class with a village chef specializing in the cooking of the PhoHoi people.

Included Activities

  • Old Town walking tour
  • Tra Que Culinary Village visit
  • Tra Que Hands-on cooking class with local chef

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

AccommodationHoi An Riverside Resort & Spa or similar

Today is free for you to explore Hoi An at your leisure and of course your leader can recommend the best food and activities.For early risers, take the opportunity to visit the Hoi An fish markets – they are at their most vibrant in the mornings! Afterwards,if the weather's fine, perhaps hit the local beach for a swim (a great way to get there is by bicycle, which you can hire in town).In the evening, you could enjoy some seafood by the water, or jump on a boat for a barbecue feast on a nearby island.

Optional Activities

  • Hoi An Fish Market - Free

Meals Included: Breakfast

AccommodationHoi An Riverside Resort & Spa or similar

This morning you’ll make your way to My Khe Beach, a beautiful spot which lies against a backdrop of the Marble Mountains.This location was significant for both the Americans and the Vietnamese during the war. Enjoy a visit to the Marble Mountains toexplore its caves and pagodas. Access is via rock hewn staircases or for a fee of VND40,000 you can use the elevator.Afterwards, take a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. After checking in to our hotel, we will head out to visit a local artisan that is keepingthe historical practice of lacquer alive, this art form has been part of Vietnamese culture since the 14th century.

Included Activities

  • Marble Mountain
  • My Khe BeachTraditional lacquer workshop visit

Meals Included: Breakfast

Accommodation Millennium Boutique Hotel or similar

Start your tour of Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to the Reunification Palace. Formerly known as the Presidential Palace, it was thesite of South Vietnam's surrender at the end of the war. Next, head over to the War Remnants Museum where you’ll see oldmilitary equipment including an F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter. Finally, you’ll tour the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Thisformer Viet Cong stronghold provides an insight into the resourcefulness and tenacity of the Vietnamese people, as well asunderground life during the Vietnam War.This evening enjoy AO Show operated by Lune Production– each of their show are spectacular and very Vietnamese.

Included Activities

  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Reunification Palace
  • War Remnants Museum
  • AO My Village Show

Meals Included: Breakfast

AccommodationMillennium Boutique Hotel or similar

This morning head out on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Board a private boat to Ben Tre to visit the coconut gardensand stop at a local home to sample tropical fruits and coconut jams. Afterwards, paddle in sampans (small rowing boats) pastcoconut trees along the Mekong Delta. Take a tuk-tuk tour around the villages and learn about rural life and the industry createdaround coconut products like brooms and coconut fibre mats. Eat lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the Delta, samplingregional specialties such as the famous elephant ear fish. Cruise the major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier, then return by busto Ho Chi Minh City. This evening head out to sample some local specialties as a farewell dinner with your team and leader.

Included Activities

  • Mekong Delta day trip including coconut gardens & village tuk-tuk tour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AccommodationMillennium Boutique Hotel or similar

Today you're exploration of Vietnam comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able todepart the accommodation, check out time by 12pm.

Meals included: Breakfast

What's included

Meals

9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Private Vehicle, Boat, Taxi, domestic flight

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights), Boat (1 night)

Inclusions

  • Arrival Transfer
  • Hanoi- Blue Dragon breakfast
  • Hanoi- Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh, Stilt House and Museum
  • Hanoi- Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi- KOTO Lunch
  • Halong Overnight Boat 
  • Hanoi by night Street Food adventure
  • Ho Chi Minh- Marble Mountain
  • Ho Chi Minh-My Khe Beach
  • Ho Chi Minh-Traditional lacquer workshop visit
  • Ho Chi Minh-Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh-Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh-War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh-AO My Village Show
  • Mekong Delta day trip including coconut gardens & village tuk-tuk tour

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Country Visas
  • Entrance fees
  • Early or late hotel check in/out
  • Optional activities
  • Travel insurance
  • Tipping and Services not mentioned in the program

 

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