|Duration in days||
Open Enrollment (Ages 18-26)
|Duration in days||
Full-Time Delegation Manager
International Land and Air Transportation
Breakfast and Dinner Daily
Entrance to all Attractions and Activities
Guided Sightseeing by Expert Local Guides
All Tips and Gratuities
Pre-Departure Trainings and Support
24-Hour Support on Program
Medical Protection Plan
All Fees and Taxes
It’s time for your journey to begin – depart for Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon arrival into Vietnam, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Tonight, join your group for your official Welcome Dinner and get to know your fellow student travelers.
Begin your journey to the Cu Chi Tunnels and travel through the countryside which was once a stronghold of the Viet Cong. Upon arrival, learn what life was like for soldiers who lived there during the war. You will meet a Veteran at the Cu Chi Tunnel who will show you around and talk about the war time in Vietnam. Explore the tunnel which served not only as living quarters, but as supply routes and hospitals for thousands of guerilla fighters. This afternoon, walk along the Saigon River along Dong Khoi Street to the Saigon Opera House, a commanding building completed in 1901.
Visit The Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam, a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. Boats are the main means of transportation. Arrive at Ben Tre, one of the tributaries of the Mekong river and take an afternoon cruise down the river.
Travel to Hoi An, a former trading port that welcomed Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants from the 16th to the 18th Centuries. Now one of coastal Vietnam’s most charming towns, Hoi An is home to some of the country’s most beautiful ancient architecture inspired by Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese cultures.
Travel to My Lia. Visit the Massacre Monument which was built in memory of the 504 civilians who were killed during the war in just one morning. Later, drive to My Tra riverbank of Quang Ngai city for lunch before heading back to Hoi An for a free evening.
Depart Hoi An for My Son, the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization. The Cham people ruled central Vietnam from the 2nd – 13th centuries, and their kingdom once stretched into what are now Laos and parts of Cambodia. Visit the My Son temples, the last standing temples owing their spiritual origins to the Hinduism of India which date back to the 4th-13th centuries.
Hue was the Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty 1802-1945 and ruins of the city’s regal past can still be seen inside the Citadel and the Imperial City. Created in the 19th century, the Imperial City was modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing and holds many palaces and temples inside its giant walls. Many of the buildings have been damaged by war over the years and are now being restored to their former glory. Later, take a boat trip from the city center along the Perfume River, and visit Thien Mu Pagoda.
This morning head to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along Highway 1, a mountainous road offering views of cascading ranges. This narrow strip of land running west to east from the Vietnam-Laos border to the sea once included the wartime boundary between North and South Vietnam. Visit the Citadel of Quang Tri, the site of a major 1972 battle between US backed South Vietnamese forces and their North Vietnamese adversaries. Then head to Khe Sanh combat base, the site of a landmark 1968 battle near the Vietnam-Laos border. Later, head to Dong Ha City, you will cross Hien Luong Bridge, that spans the Ben Hai River at the middle of the DMZ and marks the former border between North and South Vietnam. The tour continues at the nearby Vinh Moc Tunnels, which housed an entire Vietnamese village for two and a half years.
Visit the Mine Action Visitor Center in the city center of Dong Ha to learn about the devastation of the Vietnam War, its consequences and the recovery from loss, pains and poverty by the people as well as efforts of the government, people, and international organizations to respond to this challenge. Later, visit Truong Son National Cemetery before heading to Chay Lap farmstay in Quang Binh.
This morning take a boat trip into the Phong Nha Cave. Then explore Paradise Cave’s fascinating rock formations. Once you’re inside, the sheer scale of Paradise Cave is truly breathtaking, as wooden staircases descend into a cathedral-like space with colossal stalagmites and glimmering stalactites of white crystal that resemble glass pillars. After lunch, start your biking tour around Phong Nha National Park. Tonight, board your overnight train to Hanoi.
Arrive into Hanoi. Start with a visit to an 11th century relic, the Temple of Literature, which was built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. At almost 1,000 years old, it’s one of the few remaining examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture still standing in Hanoi. Next, is the Ngoc Son Temple set on a tiny island on the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Later, continue to Hoa Lo prison, which was used by the French for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. The prison was demolished during the 1990s, though the gatehouse remains as a museum.
This morning board your flight to Dien Bien Phu. This afternoon you will visit Dien Bien museum, A1 hill, and the Commander Christian de Castries Tunnel. Later, visit and explore the local markets.
This morning, enjoy some free time in Dien Bien Phu. Later, visit Commander Vo Nguyen Giap Tunnel which was used to end the war and prompted the signing of the Geneva Accords of 1954. This afternoon, fly back to Hanoi.
This morning depart by boat to the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay. Sail among famous islets of Bai Tu Long Bay and explore the Thien Canh Son Cave. This afternoon go kayaking. Later, participate in a traditional Vietnamese cooking class and dinner. Tonight, enjoy the charm of Bai Tu Long Bay at night.
Watch the sunrise on Bai Tu Long Bay and take a tai-chi lesson on the sundeck of your boat. Visit Vung Vieng fishing village and discover the local people living around Halong Bay. This afternoon fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Start your day at the South Gate of Angkor Thom and explore the centerpiece of the ancient city, the Bayon. The Bayon encloses 54 towers decorated with more than 200 enigmatic, smiling stone faces. You’ll also visit the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of Leper Kings, as well as Ta Prohm Temple. Later, visit the famous Angkor Wat – the best preserved of all the Angkor temples. Explore this huge architectural wonder and watch the sunset.
This morning, visit the exquisite Banteay Srey, “Citadel of the Woman”, home to some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art, and take a tour of the Landmine Museum. Later, in the afternoon visit the Artisant Angkor and The Angkor Silk Farm to learn about the production of silk fabrics. Tonight, enjoy the circus show organized by the NGO Phare. This performance is artistic, creative, relaxing and assists poor and handicapped children gain education and livelihoods.
This morning visit Tonle Sap Lake and take a cruise to Kompong Phluk, an isolated Khmer community of three villages built on wooden stilts. This community has about 3,000 inhabitants who farm fish and vegetables on floating platforms. During your visit, your boat will take you through mangrove forests, a unique ecosystem that survives on flooded soil for months. Keep an eye out for birds and especially the crab-eating macaques. Tonight drive to Phnom Penh.
Visit the Royal Palace, built in 1813, within the grounds is the Silver Pagoda, named because of the 5,000 silver tiles which cover the entire floor. Later, continue to explore Cambodias’ turbulent past with an insightful and emotional visit to Toul Sleng and The Killing Fields. The remains of almost 9,000 bodies have been excavated from mass graves in this area. Today Cheung Ek is a Memorial site for Cambodians and visitors from all over the world to pay their respects for those lost. A memorial stupa has been erected and displays over 5,000 human skulls, bones and clothes of the victims.
As your journey ends, head to the airport for your flight home.