Central Vietnam Community Service Trip

  • Volunteer in a local village
  • Spend time in Lantern Lit Hoi An
  • Countryside bicycle tour
  • Lantern making and painting classes
  • Overseen by local tour leader
  • Hoi An
  • Da Nang

8 DAYS

GROUP TOUR

FROM

$ AUD / $ NZD

This educational tour combines a community service project with cultural learning activities. Students will stay in a Co T Village and help them build much needed infrastructure. At night the Co Tu will get the students involved in cooking their meals and perform a fun fire dance.

  • DAY 01

    Arrive Da Nang

    You will be greeted at the Da Nang airport by the Wide Eyed Tours team and then travel by airconditioned bus to the village of Co Tu, a 2 hour journey. Lunch will be served shortly after your arrival at the central community house.

    The students will be be introduced to the local villagers and be able to inspect their basic dwellings, gaining an understanding of village life and the daily challenges these people cope with.

    The students will be divided into working parties and assigned tasks. The priority will be getting the children familiar with the project and only a day of light manual labour as an introduction and acclimatization of the environment.

    Before dinner everyone can take an easy 1.5 km walk to the nearby waterfall for a refreshing swim.

  • DAY 02

    Co Tu Village Community Service Project

    The students will be completely involved in the community service project today, a reward day of building much needed toilets for family homes and repairing the local school. Another afternoon swim at the waterfall will complete the day before enjoying a dinner cooked by the Co Tu ethnic minority people.

  • DAY 03

    Co Tu Village Community Service Project

    The community service building project continues today with an afternoon break to visit the nearby Zo Ra village to learn traditional weaving and handicraft skills from the local women. In the evening the students will be entertaining with a traditional dance performed by the local Co Tu people

  • DAY 04

    Transfer to Hoi An

    The morning will be spent on the community service building project. After a final meal with the Co Tu people and a chance to say goodbye, it is then time to take the bus to Hoi An arriving mid afternoon. This evening the students will be taken on an orientation walking tour of the charming hamlet of Hoi An.

  • DAY 05

    Hoi An Countryside Bicycle Tour

    After breakfast the cycling tour begins alongside the Thu Bon River to visit a local fishing village. The ride continues along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pausing to see farmers toiling in their rice fields. Peddling through palm forests, across bridges and passed fields of water buffalo. Leaving the bikes on the riverbank, it is time for a boat trip inside the coconut water palm forest. Back on the bikes, the ride continues to Tra Que herb & vegetable organic village. Here students will be shown the local method of farming which the farmers have used for centuries. The students will then have a short and fun cooking class, before enjoying the delicious lunch they have prepared. The day will finish with a swim at nearby An Bang beach before returning to the hotel.

  • DAY 06

    My Son ruins and Marble Mountain

    In the morning the students will take a 30-minute journey by airconditioned bus to Marble Mountain, a cluster of 5 limestone and marble hills overlooking the Eastern Sea. The main mountain has many caves and pagodas dating from the early seventeenth century. After climbing the 150 steps the reward is a commanding view down the length of the coast. During the war in the 1960's the Huyen Kong cave within the mountain was the base for the Vietnamese revolutionaries. After lunch the tour continues to the ancient ruins of My Son, a collection of temple ruins constructed between the 4th and 14th centuries by the kings of Champa. Influenced by Hinduism, these temples were a place for worshipping Shiva and Vishnu. During the war it became a base for the Viet Cong, which forced US bombing leaving 20 of 70 structures intact. The tour of the ruins takes approximately 1.5 hours.

  • DAY 07

    Hoi An Lantern Making & Painting Classes

    A rewarding morning of activities with the Lifestart Foundation, where the students will meet local people from disadvantaged situations, many with complex disabilities. Students will join in classes for traditional Vietnamese painting and lantern making. The afternoon is free for some final shopping and exploring the delightfully peaceful little streets of Hoi An.

  • DAY 08

    Depart Hoi An

    The transfer to Da Nang international airport will take 45 minutes in an airconditioned bus.

About the Tour

The tour begins in the coastal town of Da Nang, on the central coast of Vietnam. Students will travel to the mountains to the west of Da Nang, home of the Co Tu ethnic group, where they will volunteer on building projects in the village. In the village they will also learn about the ancient weaving techniques of the Co Tu people and assist with meal preparations. After 3 days at the village the students will travel to the town of Hoi An located near the beach on the Thu Bon River. Here they will enjoy a countryside bicycle tour http://www.wideeyedtours.com/tours/hoi-an-countryside-bicycle-tour/ which also includes a short cooking class as part of their lunch. Then there is time to enjoy the stunning beach and see one of Hoi An’s legendary sunsets. The next day is full of history and culture with an excursion to the Buddhist holy site of Marble Mountain and the ancient ruins of My Son. The final day offers another rewarding experience for the students when they meet disadvantaged people at the community service based Lifestart Foundation. Here they will learn traditional Vietnamese painting and lantern making and make new friends.

About the Village of Co Tu

The village of Co Tu is located 80km west of Hoi An, central Vietnam and is home to the Co Tu ethnic group. The Co Tu ethnic group is amongst the smallest of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups with a total population of just 60,000. Their history remains shrouded in mystery, but they are believed to have descended from the Chinese Dong Son minority group from the Yunnan valley approximately 3,000 years ago. Their culture is rather primitive as they practice spirit worship, slash and burn agriculture, crossbow hunting with poison arrows, ancient weaving techniques and were known to practice head hunting until as recently as 1950. These people are generally small and extremely hardy and were regarded as keen allies of North Vietnamese forces during the French and American wars. Their knowledge of mountain survival techniques and sheer tenacity in battle is well respected. Today the villagers are impoverished and make money by chopping down trees to sell on the black market, which is illegal but they have no choice. Whilst some homes are clean and have tiled floors, most are incredibly basic and none have proper toilet facilities, merely a hole in the floor. The school has damaged walls, holes in the floors, broken windows and no toilets. This community is very much in need of support and assistance. There is a community house in the centre of Paia Village with two toilets and one shower. The students will be housed in the pristine, but basic homes surrounding the community house. The initial projects would be to build toilets for these homes, followed by repairing the school and then building more homes.

About Hoi An

This charming historic village is located 30km south of Da Nang and located on the Thu Bon River. The streets of Hoi An are teeming with tailors, shops, galleries, restaurants and ancient Chinese temples with intricate architecture. For most parts of the day it is forbidden for anyone to use motorised vehicles in the town so it becomes an easygoing and comfortable little town to wander through. The pristine beach of An Bang is a mere 6km away and the town is surrounded by lush scenery and peaceful villages.

The kids loved it

We took 15 children on this tour last June and they loved every second. Nga the tour leader was so much fun and the Co Tu people really appreciated the kids effort.

We are experienced Asia travel specialists and designers of tailor- made private tours. Get in touch to start the booking conversation.

Guaranteed departure with groups of 4 or more. Also available as a private trip

MORE TO EXPLORE

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VIETNAMESE NEW YEAR (TếT)

Ultimate guide how to Tet in Vietnam. What you should do, where should go, things to do and not to do. Best way to experience traditional local new year holidays.

VIETNAMESE NEW YEAR TRADITIONS: A GUIDE TO THE 12 DAYS OF TếT

Vietnamese New Year start from 23rd December of Lunar Calendar. Each day of 11 days has meaning and its story that you might interested in when staying in Vietnam these days.

  • VIETNAM
    Vietnam National Day 2017


  • Cambodia in Brief
    A Quick Guide to Siem Reap


  • Cambodia in Brief
    A Quick Guide to Phnom Penh


  • Vietnamese New Year and the Lunar Calendar