- Welcome dinner at Hanoi
- Exploring the hidden gems of Vietnam
- Cruising in Ha Long Bay
- Kayaking and Cave explorations at Ha Long Bay
- Tai Chi Classes and Vietnamese Cooking Lessons
- Volunteering for a meaningful project in Lang Son
- Visiting the local handicrafts and potters streets
If you are looking forward to spending your gap year in Southeast Asia, then this 15 days tours in Vietnam should be squeezed in your itinerary! This trip would be a fantastic way to travel across the country, exploring some local communities and villages, busy towns and the breathtaking Ha Long Bay. You'll be meeting new people and making friends from different walks of life.
Experience the authentic flavors of Vietnamese lifestyle, know more about their history, culture, and traditions, try your hands in cooking the local cuisine and get associated with a meaningful volunteering project. This voluntour in Vietnam has been designed by GoDiscoverAbroad for gap year students and backpackers who don't want to be mere tourists - but rather, choose to be responsible travelers!
Day 1 - Arrival in Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam! You'll be taking a flight to Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi where you'll meet our coordinator, who'll then take you to your accommodation (hotel). You can take some rest after your long flight. In the evening, you'll meet your fellow travelers and enjoy a gala welcome dinner.
Day 2 - Explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter
After breakfast, you'll set out to explore Hanoi's 36 Streets otherwise known as the ‘Old Quarter’. Explore the Sugar street, Mattress street, Silver Street, Silk Streets etc and watch the native craftsmen working in this area. It'll be a unique journey to experience how this thousand-year-old-historical city has maintained it’s authentic lifestyle. You'll also visit the Hoan Kiem Lake, the St.Joseph Cathedral, Hoa Lo Prison, The Temple of Literature, and take a walk along the Hanoi railway tracks. You’ll also get to enjoy the local cuisine while exploring the city.
Day 3 - Learn Some Traditional Vietnamese Crafts!
Your first destination for the day would be a local ceramic village where you'll get to spend some time with the potters, learn the art of pottery and make something that you can take back home with you! Yeah, not kidding! See how these people give proper attention in crafting the perfect pots and also take a tour of the local market where these are sold. Later, you'll be heading towards a traditional folk painting community. You'll be having your lunch and dinner at local restaurants.
Day 4 - Exploring Ha Long Bay
Visiting Ha Long Bay will definitely be one of the highlights of your Southeast Asia trip! You can try out kayaking, and explore the gorgeous bay. The stunning scenery will totally mesmerize you. You'll also be visiting a floating village today. There will be a sunset party on the boat deck, and later, you'll be spending your night on the cruise boat! (Yeah, you read it right!)
Day 5 - More fun at Ha Long Bay
Wake up early to attend the Tai Chi classes on the sun deck of the boat and post breakfast, you can go for kayaking or cave explorations. In the afternoon, you can try your hands in cooking the Vietnamese dishes with the crew of the cruise. In the evening, you can either go for fishing or relax and enjoy the 'happy hours' at the bar! You’ll be staying on the cruise tonight as well.
Day 6 - Back to Hanoi
Wake up early for some more Tai Chi lessons. Post breakfast, we'll take you to explore the Sung Sot Caves. After returning, you can polish your Vietnamese culinary skills. Enjoy the last few hours of the cruise. In the evening, we'll all head back to Hanoi.
Day 7 - 9 Cultural Immersion and Staying at Rural Homestay
We'll be exploring some of the pristine villages of Vietnam, go for short treks, stay with the locals at their homes and experience the authentic lifestyle. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with the natives and even lead some simple English classes with the local village children if you wish to. On Day 9, we’ll head back to Hanoi.
Day 10 - Lang Son and Introduction to the Volunteer Project Community
You'll be traveling to the far north region of Lang Son, where you'll be dedicating your time to a volunteering project. You'll explore the Vietnamese village life, and in the evening you will help the community to prepare dinner and all eat together.
Day 11 - 13 Volunteer Project
For the next 3 days, you'll be volunteering to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged people. Your small step can make a big impact. You can either opt for Teaching Program or Community Development Program or both.
- Teaching English language and other skills – don’t worry, your guide will be with you to help with ideas!
- Assisting the community with their work – including planting/harvesting rice, catching freshwater snails, harvesting other community crops.
It'll be a wonderful experience and you won’t forget the local hospitality!
Day 14 - Return back to Hanoi
It’s time to say goodbye to your hosts in the village and head back to Hanoi for your last night. The evening is free for you to explore the local market. You can pick up souvenirs for your friends and family.
Day 15 - Flight back home
As the tour comes to an end, you'll be checking out at 11:00 AM and can book your flight accordingly. In case you need airport drop, you can seek assistance from the coordinator, who'll happily arrange it for you.
Dates & Cost
- Airport pickup between 6 AM to 10 PM in Hanoi
- Accommodation for the entire duration of the stay
- Welcome dinner on Day 1, and all meals during the rest of the trip
- A tour of Hanoi's 'Old Quarters'
- Volunteering Project Fees
- Flight tickets
- Travel Insurance
- Any personal expenditure