Capitay city: Hanoi
Currency: Vietnamese Dong
Best time to travel: Year round (rainy season May to September)
Community Projects available: Yes
View our blog posts on Vietnam
Why travel to Vietnam
- Learn about Vietnam’s history with visits to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Temple of literature or the DMZ (demilitarised zone)
- Halong Bay, cruise or paddle amongst the limestone cliffs of this World Heritage listed site
- Come face to face with the colourful hill tribe people in Sapa or Mai Chau
- Trek in Sapa or Mai Chau.
- Climb Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak located in Sapa
- Take a cooking class in Hoi An
- Easily add on a visit to the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia
Vietnam is a wonderful introduction to international travel for students. There are many options to keep students interested, entertained and informed whether you choose to travel only in the north, the south or if you have the time, combine all the highlights and add on a side trip into Cambodia to visit the temples of Angkor Wat.
While Vietnam’s history is largely dominated by the Vietnam War it has been the site of battles and invasions for over 2000 years. From the early Cham Kingdom (relics dating back to AD192) to the arrival of the French, who made Vietnam part of French Indochina in 1887, Vietnam's history has given the country a diverse population made up of different ethnic groups. The predominant ethnic group is known as ‘Kinh’ and make up about 90% of the population. There are dozens of other ethnic groups including Cham and Khmer.
Vietnam is a country of immense geographical diversity. Vietnam is roughly divided into three main areas – Bac Po (north), Trung Bo (centre) and Nam Bo (south). The main feature of the north of Vietnam is mountains and forests along with the vast Red River Delta. The north is also home to the Gulf of Tonkin and a maze of islands in Halong Bay. Central Vietnam is made up of agricultural plains wedged between the Truong Son Mountains and the South China Sea making some dramatic mountain passes overlooking ocean vistas. The Mekong Delta dominates the south of the country.
Popular places to visit in Vietnam:
Halong Bay: using only high quality junks, your students can spend as many days as required cruising the limestone cliffs of this spectacular World Heritage listed site. Kayaking and walking options including cave explorations can also be made available. Halong Bay is located a few hours drive east of Hanoi in Northern Vietnam.
Hanoi: Located in North Vietnam, the capital city is a vibrant place and easily enjoyed by an age. Learn about the father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, with visits to his mausoleum, his humble wooden cottage and a museum dedicated to his life. Students can also walk through the grounds of the magnificent Presidential Palace; visit the impressive Temple of Literature as well as the One Pillar Pagoda. Relax with a walking tour of the Old Quarter or catch a water puppet theatre show.
Central Vietnam: Discover the ancient capital of Hue, take a cooking lesson in Hoi An, or visit the World Heritage listed My Son sanctuary, the religious centre for the Champa Kingdom which began around AD192.
Southern Vietnam: In bustling Ho Chi Minh city there are sightseeing opportunities to the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace and Notre Dame Cathedral. Heading further south, travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels or take a boat ride to view life along the Mekong River.
Cambodia: To add more cultural elements to your student tour we can easily arrange for your students to cross the border to visit the Angkor Wat temples near Siem Reap, where you can walk or cycle around the complex, and also visit the capital city of Phnom Penh.
Did you know that Vietnam has one of the lowest unemployment rates out of all developing countries?