Venture Into The Fascinating Country Of Vietnam
Your tour will provide an excellent overview of this fascinating country. The history and culture along with spectacular and varied environments will create a lasting memory for students and staff.
Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east.
Vietnam was under Chinese control for a thousand years before becoming a nation-state in the 10th century. Successive dynasties flourished along with geographic and political expansion deeper into Southeast Asia, until it was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving a nation divided politically into two countries. Bitter fighting between the two sides continued during the Vietnam War, ending with a communist victory in 1975.
Emerging from a long and bitter war, the war-ravaged nation was politically isolated. The government’s centrally-planned economic decisions hindered post-war reconstruction and its treatment of the losing side engendered more resentment than reconciliation. In 1986, it instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth had been among the highest in the world in the past decade. These efforts culminated in Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007 and its successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2008.
- all internal air transportation as specified in the itinerary
- hotel accommodation specified in the itinerary
- 3 meals daily as specified in the itinerary
- national guide provided throughout the tour in Vietnam
- transfers, admission fees, sightseeing & tours specified in the itinerary
- private air-conditioned vehicle and English-speaking guide
- 1 teacher chaperone per 10 paying passengers (can be customized)
- professional support for parent meetings, information sessions etc.
- professional travel consultant for your tour development and preparation
- curriculum resource support
- air transportation to and from closest departure city
- travel insurance (RBC Youth Travel Insurance is available at very reasonable cost)
- items not specified in the itinerary
- tipping (though we can recommend suggested gratuity for guides & drivers)
- items of a personal nature
- visa and passport documentation required for travel
Day 1 Calgary – Ho Chi Minh City
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam and located near the Mekong River Delta. Lose one day when crossing the International Dateline.
Day 2 En-route to Ho Chi Minh City
Day 3 Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (D)
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Balance of the day is free at leisure. Evening enjoy the welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the Grand Hotel (3-star) for two nights.
Day 4 Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to the extraordinary Cu Chi tunnels, just outside Ho Chi Minh City. During the war for independence, “Viet Cong” guerillas built the labyrinth of narrow tunnels virtually underneath U.S. bases, using them to hide during bombing raids and to stage surprise attacks. En route to Cu Chi, seasonally we can see how rural people live and work. View occupations such as cashew nut farming, rice farming and production of rice paper, a key ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a half-day city tour. Visit the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Chinatown, Binh Tay Market and Thien Hau Temple
Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
Depart Ho Chi Minh City for a scenic morning drive through the Mekong Delta. At My Tho take a boat to Coconut Island. Enjoy a brief walk on the island, trying native fruits and viewing local handicraft production. Continue by boat to Tan Thach commune to visit a family-run enterprise making coconut candies. Take a horse-drawn cart to Quoi Son to visit a bee farm and to enjoy tea and candies. Float on a sampan through the narrow, tree-lined canals of the Mekong Delta. At Qui Island stop for lunch, then return by boat to My Tho. Visit Vinh Trang pagoda if time permits. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon.
Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City – Nha Trang (B/L/D)
Transfer to airport for flight to Nha Trang. Upon arrival, check-in to the hotel. Balance of the day is free at leisure. Overnight at the S. Nha Trang Hotel (3-star) for two nights.
Day 7 Nha Trang (B/L/D)
Enjoy Nha Trang’s turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Take a morning boat cruise to offshore islands in Nha Trang Bay. Afternoon visit to the Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Long Son Pagoda, the Cathedral of Nha Trang.
Day 8 Nha Trang – Danang – Hoi An (B/L/D)
Transfer to the airport for flight to Danang. On arrival, visit the open-air Cham Museum housing the world’s finest collection of Cham art. Take a short drive to the riverside town of Hoi An just south of Danang. En route, visit the Marble Mountains and stone-carving village at Non Nuoc. Upon arrival in Hoi An, transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the Hoi An Hotel (3-star) for two nights.
Day 9 Hoi An (B/L/D)
Take a walking tour of this ancient trading port. Visit a traditional Chinese Communal House, a Hokkien Temple, ancient merchants’ houses, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the colourful local market. Visit a workshop where artisans make Hoi An’s famous lanterns. Guests learn how the lanterns are made then have a chance to create their own lanterns, from designing the frame to gluing the cloth. Finish the day with a sunset boat trip on the Thu Bon river to Thanh Ha pottery village.
Day 10 Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi (B/L/D)
Transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Evening, enjoy a water puppet show - a remarkable Vietnamese art form that combines traditional music, fireworks, underwater puppeteers, and elaborate puppets floating gracefully over water. Overnight at the Sunway Hotel (3-star) for two nights.
Day 11 Honoi (B/L/D)
A full day to explore the architecture and history of Hanoi. In the morning, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s former residence, the One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. In the afternoon, visit the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts, the Lake of Restored Sword, and Ngoc Son Temple. A one-hour cyclo tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a relaxing way to end the day.
Day 12 Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Bac Ninh, the cradle of traditional Vietnamese music and theatre. On arrival take a horse-drawn cart through country lanes to visit the Dinh Bang communal house and Do temple. Enjoy local folk songs before proceeding to Halong for the evening. Overnight at the Halong Bay Hotel for one night.
Day 13 Halong Bay - Hanoi (B/L/D)
In the morning relax on a 5-hour boat cruise through magnificent Halong Bay, a UNESCO designated World Heritage site. Enjoy a seafood lunch on board. Return drive to Hanoi, stopping en route at the Dong Giao woodcarving village. Overnight at the Sunway Hotel (3-star) for one nights.
Day 14 Hanoi – Calgary (B)
Transfer to airport for flight return home. Bon Voyage!
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B – breakfast L – lunch D - dinner