Tram’s husband Brett is a history teacher and even though he has been travelling to Vietnam each year for 15 consecutive years he still can’t get enough of Vietnam’s tumultuous yet inspiring history. As such, any itinerary we create that has a history focus is most certainly a labour of love.
Below is an example of a summarized itinerary which was created with a history focus. Contact Us for the full itinerary or for an individualised itinerary that best suits your needs.
Day 1 Hanoi
We depart today for our flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel.
Day 2 Hanoi - Halong Bay
Today we make our way to beautiful Halong Bay, we have an opportunity to kayak, explore the caves or sit back to enjoy the splendour. Overnight onboard our boat.
Day 3 Halong Bay – Eco Adventure – Hanoi
We depart Halong Bay and make our way to Vietnam Eco Adventure where we have the opportunity to experience traditional farming and fishing life in firsthand. We also have the opportunity to speak to a former soldier about Vietnam's tumultous past.
Day 4 Hanoi City Tour - Fly to Hue
Today we venture out to explore Hanoi, visiting the Ho Chi Minh conplex, the Ethnology Museum and Hoa Loa Prison Museum where former US presidentail candidate John McCain was incarcerated for over 5 years. Early afternoon we enjoy a 1 hour cyclo tour of the French inspired "Old Quarter". Early evening we fly to Hue.
Day 5 Hue City Tour
This morning we set off for the Ancient Imperial Citadel where we will explore the impressive architecture and the luxurious lifestyle of its former residents. Next we transfer to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Ancient Royal tomb of Minh Mang before enjoying a scenic boat trip along Hue's Perfume River.
Day 6 Hue – My Son – Hoi An
Today we make our way to My Son Sanctuary, one of the most famous Champa architectural and sculptural monuments in Vietnam. Later this afternoon we make our way to Hoi An, visiting Marble Mountain and My Khe Beach (nicknamed China Beach by American GIs during the war) along the way. This evening we have the opportunity to explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Hoi An.
Day 7 Hoi An – Cooking Class – Saigon
We commence our private cooking class at one of the most amazing locations in Hoi An. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving and plate decoration. After the lesson we will sit down and enjoy what we have just prepared for lunch. After lunch we will spend a little more time exploring Hoi An before we transfer to the airport for our flight to Saigon.
Day 8 Long Tan
Today we head off to Vung Tau and the former site of the 1stAustralian Logistic Support (1ALSG) Group. Upon arrival we will enjoy a tour of this town including the former 1 ALSG base area, the War Memorial at Back Beach, the former Peter Badcoe Club site and the ‘Flags’ area. Early afternoon we make our way around the South China Sea coast to visit the former Minh Dam Secret Zone where we have the opportunity to meet a former Viet Cong officer. Our final stop of the day is at the Long Tan Cross memorial, which will include a Commemorative Service to pay tribute to the men who fought and died in Vietnam.
Day 9 Race Around Saigon
Today we begin our sightseeing around Vietnam’s largest and busiest city - but we do it "Amazing Race" style. Teams will each be given a guide and will need to join forces in a team challenge of map reading, negotiating and interacting with locals and displaying creative communication skills. Later this afternoon we spend time at the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. Dinner tonight will be at K.O.T.O restaurant.
Day 10 Cu Chi
This morning we set off for the Cu Chi tunnel system; a complex maze once home to Communist guerrillas in their wars against the Japanese, French, Americans (and Australians). Our farewell dinner this evening will be onboard a boat as we cruise along the Saigon River.
Day 11 Saigon - Home
After breakfast we have time for some last minute shopping. Later this afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight home.
Day 12 Arrive home
We arrive home today.
A student’s character is developed when they serve others. But research has shown that serving others is a learned character trait which seldom develops by chance. As such all our service work itineraries are not only individually tailored to suit a school’s specific requirements but are also structured, so as to help ensure, that participating students have the best chance to learn that all important character trait of service to others.
Below is a summary of an itinerary which has been used previously that incorporates a service component. Contact Us for the full itinerary or for an individualised itinerary that best suits your needs.
Day 1 Arrive Hue
Deaprt for our flight to Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Hue. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel.
Day 2 Hue – Community Service
Today we combine our energy and enthusiasm and begin our service work. Our next two days being spent working towards the betterment of the lives of those who are less fortunate.
(The exact details of Community Service projects will be determined with each school and will be dependent on a number of factors, including school objectives, outcomes desired and money raised).
Day 3 Hue – Community Service
Today we continue our active and positive contribution to the local community that we have been working with.
Day 4 Hue – Hoi An – Cooking Class
Today we set off for the charming seaside town of Hoi An. Early afternoon we commence our private cooking class at one of the most amazing locations in Hoi An. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours with each dish first being demonstrated by our master chef before we prepare the same dish ourselves.
Day 5 Hoi An – Eco Tour
Today we embark on an awesome Eco Tour! We have the opportunity to farm, fish, ride a buffalo, meet and chat to the locals before enjoying lunch on our boat. In the afternoon we have some free time to wander around Hoi An town before heading back to the hotel to prepare for dinner.
Day 6 Hoi An – Danang – Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnel
This morning we transfer back to Danang, stopping along the way at Marble Mountain and My Khe Beach (nicknamed China Beach by American GIs during the war), for a short flight to Saigon. Arriving in Saigon we set off for the Cu Chi tunnel system; a complex maze once home to Communist guerrillas in their wars against the Japanese, French, Americans (and Australians).
Day 7 Race Around Saigon
Today we begin our sightseeing around Vietnam’s largest and busiest city - but we do it "Amazing Race" style. Teams will each be given a guide and will need to join forces in a team challenge of map reading, negotiating and interacting with locals and displaying creative communication skills whilst appreciating Saigon’s attractive sights. Later this afternoon we spend time at the Reunification Palace (the former Presidential Palace of the President of South of Vietnam), The Ho Chi Minh Museum and the War Remnants Museum. Dinner tonight will be at K.O.T.O restaurant. K.O.T.O, founded by Vietnamese Australian Jimmy Pham, is a non-profit organisation which is run by local children who Jimmy recruited from the streets.
Day 8 Volunteer at a local Primary School
This morning we make our way to a local primary school for disadvantaged children. Here we will be provided with a rewarding and fun opportunity to join in on their classes.
N.B. Students’ are encouraged to be pro-active at planning experiences when visiting our partner schools by preparing engaging and fun activities for children.
Day 9 Volunteer at a local Primary School
Today we continue the good work started yesterday at the local primary school. We will certainly need to bring our enthusiasm and energy as the children will be waiting with excitement for our second visit.
Day 10 Saigon - Home
We have time for some last minute shopping before our flight home.
Day 11 Arrive home
We arrive home today.
Over time we have had an increasing number of teachers request itineraries that supplement the Society and Culture curriculum that they are teaching in the classroom.
When we receive such requests the itineraries prepared are designed to help improve a student’s ability to apply what they have learned in ‘the real world’ and to have a positive impact on their academic learning. We aim, through the itinerary, to develop greater inter cultural understanding and to promote social responsibility and citizenship.
Below is one example of an itinerary summary which was created to supplement the Society and Culture course. Contact Us for the full itinerary or for an individualised itinerary that best suits your needs.
Day 1 Hanoi
We depart home for our flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival we meet our guide and transfer to the hotel.
Day 2 Hanoi City Tour
Today we will venture out to explore Hanoi – not only the country’s capital but also the seat of culture and learning and the spiritual heart of the whole nation. First up this morning we will explore the Ho Chi Minh complex before we enjoy a cyclo tour through the French inspired ‘old quarter’ and a traditional Water Puppet performance.
Day 3 Sapa
Our next couple of days will be simply spectacular and will have us experiencing Vietnamese indigenous cultures and allow us to observe local music, dress and other crafts. This morning we transfer to the mountainous region of Sapa which is home to the Dao, Giay and Hmong minority groups. During our trek we will also drop in to the local Lao Chai Primary School to visit and interact with the students.Tonight we enjoy a homestay at one of the hill tribe villages.
Day 4 Sapa – Hanoi
This morning we will enjoy breakfast with our hosts before setting off to visit the Giang Ta Chai village of the Red Dao minority people. This afternoon we make our way to Lao Cai to board our overnight train back to Hanoi.
Day 5 Hanoi - Halong Bay
Today we set off to the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Vietnam’; Halong Bay. We enjoy our overnight baot ride cruising amongst thousands of extraordinary limestone karst formations. After dinner we have the opportunity to try our hand at catching some squid with the friendly crew or entertaining our friends with a spot of karaoke before retiring to our room onboard for the night.
Day 6 Halong – Eco Adventure – Hanoi
After breakfast we make our way back to Hanoi along the way we stop at Dong Trieu village to enjoy the most memorable time at Vietnam Eco Adventure. Our time at this quaint little village will allow us to experience a farmer’s traditional way of life and also gain a first-hand insight into the personal, social and cultural identity of the local people. After lunch we will have the opportunity to talk with a resident of the village, a grandmother who has lived through and witnessed the turbulent history of Vietnam and the rapid societal change that has occurred, particularly in the last 5 years.
Day 7 Museum Ethnology/Hoa Loa - Street Food Tour – Saigon
First up today we will spend some time at the Museum of Ethnology which showcases the lives, cultural activities, and identities of Vietnam's 54 ethnic communities. Following this we will visit the infamous Hoa Loa Prison Museum. Hoa Loa is also known as the ‘’Hanoi Hilton’’ and was where former US presidential candidate John McCain was incarcerated for over 5 years. Early afternoon we embark on a Food Discovery Tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter before we transfer to the airport for our flight to Saigon.
Day 8 Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnel
Today we will spend time at the Cu Chi tunnel system; a complex maze once home to Communist guerrillas in their wars against the Japanese, French, Americans (and Australians). Our time at Cu Chi provides the foundation on which to understand the origins and consequences of war on Vietnamese society. Also on display are various mantraps, the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters created by 500lb bombs dropped by B52 bombers.
Day 9 Saigon – Mekong
This morning we have an early start as we head to the Mekong Delta. Our group will stop at workshops to watch century old techniques as the locals produce rice paper, coconut candy and fish sauce. Later this afternoon we will meet up with our home-stay family where we will help prepare the evening dinner before settling down for a night of festivities with our hosts.
Day 10 Mekong – Saigon
We will have a very early start this morning as we prepare to visit the famous Cai Be Floating Market. We watch the local farmers selling their produce from their boats at this amazingly colourful market right on the waters of the Mekong. Later this afternoon we transfer back to Saigon.
Day 11 Race Around Saigon – Thien Phuoc Orphanage
Today we begin our sightseeing around Vietnam’s largest and busiest city - but we do it ‘Amazing Race’ style. Teams will each be given a guide and will need to join forces in a team challenge of map reading, negotiating and interacting with locals and displaying creative communication skills whilst appreciating Saigon’s attractive sights. This afternoon we will volunteer our time and help out at the Thien Phuoc orphanage, which houses approximately 65 children all of whom have a disability.
Day 12 Saigon - Home
This morning after breakfast we spend time at the Reunification Palace, The Ho Chi Minh Museum and the War Remnants Museum. After lunch we do a spot of last minute bargain hunting before transfering to the airport for our flight home.
Day 13 Arrive home
We arrive home today.
A good friend of Vietnam School Tour’s once said ‘Don’t mess with a classic’ and we certainly weren’t arguing. Many of our schools don’t request a particular area of focus when they organise their trips and leave it to us to put together trips that showcase the most amazing parts of Vietnam and Cambodia while ensuring they are tailored to the needs of our student clientele. Fun filled, shared experiences that really will ‘Open their Eyes (and) Change Their Life’.
Below is an example of a summarized itinerary of a ‘classic’ VST itinerary that has proven itself time and again. Contact Us for the full itinerary or for a tailored version that best suits your needs.
Day 1 Arrive Siem Reap
This morning we depart for Siem Reap via Saigon on Vietnam Airlines. Arriving in Siem Reap we transfer to the hotel for the evening.
Day 2 Angkor Temples
This morning we will be driven to the South Gate of Angkor Thom to begin our exploration of the centrepiece of this ancient city, the Bayon. The Bayon encloses 54 towers decorated with more than 200 enigmatic, smiling stone faces. We also visit the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of the Leper Kings, as well as the famous Ta Prohm Temple. Following our lunch we head to the famous Angkor Wat, the best preserved of all the Angkorian temples.
Day 3 Angkor Sunrise - Land Mine Museum –Angkor National Museum
Our early start today (approx. 5am) will be rewarded with the most amazing view of Angkor Wat set against a rising sun. Countless opportunities of photos are to be had at what is just a magical sight. This morning we will enjoy our packed breakfast near the moat of Angkor Wat. Following our early morning we make our way to the Pre Rup Temple, followed by the Preah Khan and the Banteay Srei Temples.
After lunch we make our way to the Land Mine Museum and also the Angkor National Museum.
Day 4 Service work
This morning we make our way to our building site to complete our house building project. We will get our hands dirty to work towards the betterment of the lives of those who are less fortunate.
Day 5 Service work - Phare Circus
Today we continue with our service work before we hand over our completed work to the people whose lives we have just made a positive difference. This evening after dinner we make our way to Phare Circus to enjoy an amazing acrobatic performance. Phare was started by an art teacher in the village of Battambang to help socially deprived and troubled youngsters after the Khmer Rouge regime. The association now offers free education along with art, music and circus school.
Day 6 Kompong Phhluk (floating village) – Phare Workshop – Angkor Street Eats
This morning we make our way to Bakong. Upon arrival we enjoy an ox-cart ride through the village, before taking a boat ride to the village of Kompong Phhluk villge which is built on stilts. Later this afternoon we stop by Phare Cambodia Circus for an afternoon workshop. Early evening we will be picked up by tuk tuks to begin our Angkor Street Eats food tour. The tour will take us off the beaten tracks and will open our eyes and taste buds to an amazing variety of delicious Khmer foods.
Day 7 Siem Reap – Phnom Penh
Today we board our buses and transfer to Phnom Penh. Our trip will take approx. 6.5 hours, along the way we stop at Skoun to see and experience local life, where the local specialty dish is deep fried spiders and crickets! Upon arrival we check into our hotel to freshen up for dinner. This evening we have the opportunity to explore the night markets before retiring back to our room.
Day 8 Killing Fields – Toul Sleng Museum – Wat Phnom
Today we visit the notorious Cheung Ek Killing Fields and the Toul Sleng Museum. This former school was used as a prison by Pol Pot’s security forces and became the largest centre for detention and torture during the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Later this afternoon we visit the Wat Phnom and the famous Russian Markets before heading back to our hotel to freshen up for dinner. Tonight we enjoy a meal at the riverfront restaurant Veiyo Tonle Restaurant. The restaurant supports an orphanage run by The New Cambodian Children’s Life Association by employing and teaching the disadvantaged youth skills as well as providing monetary assistance.
Day 9 Phnom Penh - Home
This morning we enjoy a well deserved sleep in and a spot of shopping before we board our buses for our drive to Phnom Penh airport for our flight home.
Day 10 Arrive home
We arrive home today.