Volunteer With the Co Tu and See the Best of Vietnam

  • Volunteer with the Co Tu and Explore the best of Vietnam
  • Take part in a community project in Central Vietnam
  • Stay with local families
  • Extend your trip with an exciting tour to Vietnam's top spots
  • Hanoi
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Co Tu
  • Hoi An
  • Saigon
  • Mekong delta

13 DAYS

SCHOOLS TOUR

FROM

$ AUD / $ NZD

"Our flagship schools tour. The students will love meeting the Co Tu"
Tracey Johnson - Operations Director

An exciting school tour full of diversity to keep students stimulated and engaged which includes a rewarding community service project.

  • DAY 01

    Arrive Hanoi

    The group will be greeted at the Hanoi airport by the Wide Eyed Tours team and transferred by airconditioned bus to the hotel in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. An orientation walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter will give the students a great introduction to the chaos of this fascinating city and finish at a local restaurant for dinner.

  • DAY 02

    Hanoi City Tour

    This morning’s Ha Noi City Tour will begin with a tour of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to learn about Uncle Ho’s great life and see the Presidential Gardens surrounding the Mausoleum. The tour continues to the Temple of Literature, Tran Quoc Pagoda and Hoa Lo Prison. Today’s lunch will be a treat at KOTO, a vocational training organization for street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. The afternoon is free for the students to explore the chaotic tangle of lively streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

  • DAY 03

    Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

    This morning the group will take a private airconditioned bus on a three and a half hour journey to Ha Long City where they will board a junk for an unforgettable cruise on the tranquil waters of the bay. After a delicious seafood banquet on board the boat the students will be able to take a kayak to explore the hidden areas around the bay, enjoy a hike up to the top of Ti Top Island to see the amazing view of the bay and take a swim off the sandy shores of the island. A full day of stunning scenery, delicious food and fun activities.

  • DAY 04

    Ha Long Bay to Hanoi

    After a morning visiting the Sung Sot Cave and a final meal on board which includes a cooking demonstration, it is time for the tour group to return to shore, board the bus and return to Hanoi.

  • DAY 05

    Hanoi to Da Nang

    After a short flight to Da Nang the group will board a private airconditioned bus for the two hour journey to the village of Co Tu. 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 06

    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 07

    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 08

    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. The students will be taken on an orientation tour around the peaceful lantern lit streets of Hoi An, which are teeming with colourful shops, restaurants and galleries.

  • DAY 09

    Hoi An Free Day

    Today there are no planned activities so the group is free to enjoy the charm of Hoi An and its friendly locals. The nearby beach is safe, clean and beautiful and the best way to get around is by bicycle.

  • DAY 10

    Hoi An to Saigon

    A short flight brings the group to the modern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh, also known as Saigon, with its towering skyscrapers, shopping malls and neon lights mingling with street food sellers and a sea of motorbikes. This evening the group will enjoy dinner at the Ben Thanh night market with an opportunity to shop at the colourful street stalls before returning to the hotel.

  • DAY 11

    Saigon and the Cu Chi Tunnel Tour

    This morning’s Saigon City Tour will include the absorbing War Remnants museum, the historic central Post Office, the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace. After a local lunch the Cu Chi Tunnels Tour begins with a 1.5 hour drive to the countryside. Upon arrival the students will be shown a short propaganda film that was produced in 1969. Then they will have an opportunity to experience life in the tunnels and crawl through sections under supervision of the trained local Cu Chi guides. The tour will leave a lasting impression of the desperation and ingenuity of the Cu Chi guerrillas.

  • DAY 12

    Mekong Delta Full Day Tour

    This active full day tour to the Mekong Delta is full of fun and exciting new foods to try. The students travel by airconditioned bus for 2 hours to the city of My Tho where they will board a long narrow boat to explore the waterways of the Mekong Delta. During the tour they will sample fresh tropical fruit grown in the Mekong and enjoy a lunch of specialties from this region, including Elephant Ear fish. The group will return to Saigon late in the afternoon for a rest before a farewell dinner.

  • DAY 13

    Saigon Departure Day

    The transfer to the Saigon airport will take 45 minutes in a private airconditioned bus.

About the Tour

This Vietnam Community Service School Trip begins in Vietnam’s vibrant and colourful capital city of Hanoi where the students will be delighted with the lively Old Quarter and chaotic traffic. A city tour will immerse the students in the culture of the north before they journey to Ha Long Bay for an unforgettable cruise. After spending a night on board the Ha Long Bay cruise boat a short flight will take them to the central 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 exploring the peaceful little streets of this charming little town, which are lined with colourful shops, restaurants, tailors and galleries. The tour continues down south with a flight to Saigon where the students will be immersed in war history with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels and the War Remnants Museum. The tour is completed with a  Mekong Delta full day tour down the fascinating waterways of this vast river to marvel at the colourful life upon the water and enjoy a range of mouth watering tropical fruit and local foods.

About KOTO Foundation and Social Enterprise

In 1996 Jimmy Pham, an Australian of Korean-Vietnamese origin, decided to help the street children of Hanoi build a future for themselves and he started a small sandwich shop which employed the children to service tour groups who needed a picnic dinner to take on the overnight train to Hue. Over the years the shop expanded and by 2008 KOTO had become a training restaurant and a top tourist destination. KOTO stands for “Know one, Teach One” based on the concept that learning should be passed on and knowledge is meant to be shared. KOTO has trained over 600 students in two training centres in Hanoi and Saigon, with 200 concurrently enrolled. To learn more about KOTO you can visit their website http://www.koto.com.au/

Volunteer with the 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.

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

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