Mai Chau School Volunteer Trip

  • A character building tour learning about other ways of living and helping a local village
  • Stay with a local family
  • Help with a community project
  • Discover Hanoi's History
  • Hanoi
  • Mai Chau




$ AUD / $ NZD

"A character building trip. Explore a different way of living up close and help a local community"
Tracey Johnson _ operations Director

An exciting school trip into the dramatic mountainous region of Mai Chau where students will meet and help ethnic minorities with a 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 to Mai Chau

    Departing after breakfast the bus journey to Mai Chau travels over a dramatic mountain pass, which offers ample opportunities for photos. Arriving in Mai Chau in time for lunch and a warm welcome from the ethnic minority hosts of the homestay. After lunch the group will be divided into small groups and then join the women of the village to learn to make the traditional Thai food. Tonight the group will sleep overnight in the homestay.

  • DAY 03

    Mai Chau Community Service Project

    After breakfast it is an easy half hour walk to the project site where students can expect light construction works such as digging, carrying supplies, mixing cement and brick work. Lunch will be taken with one of the village families involved in the project and the meal will be prepared by one of the cooking teams. Work on the community service project will resume after lunch before returning to the homestay for the evening meal and overnight

  • DAY 04

    Mai Chau Community Service Project

    The morning and lunch will be a repeat of day 3 and in the afternoon the students will divide into very small groups for a walk around the village to meet the locals. This is a wonderful opportunity for some local interaction with the Thai ethnic minority villagers who are eager to learn about life outside of Vietnam and to share their way of life. The students will then visit the local school in the village where they can hand over some gifts and play with the children. Then it is back to the homestay for dinner and a traditional performance by the villagers as part of the farewell party for the group.

  • DAY 05

    Mai Chau to Hanoi

    This morning is the final hours on the project where students will finish their work and hand over the project to the local people. After lunch the group will journey back to Hanoi and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

  • DAY 06

    Hanoi City Tour

    This morning’s Hanoi 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. The tour finishes after lunch, giving the students plenty of time to explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter and do some final shopping.

  • DAY 07

    Hanoi Departure Day

    The transfer to Hanoi international airport will take 45 minutes in a private airconditioned bus.

About the Tour

This school volunteer trip starts in Vietnam’s vibrant and colourful capital city of Hanoi where the students will be delighted with the lively Old Quarter and chaotic traffic. The tour leaves Hanoi for a morning journey to the picturesque village of Mai Chau, which is nestled in valley at the foothills of the dramatic Thung Khe mountain range. The community service project will involve the students carrying out light construction, digging, carrying supplies, mixing cement and carting bricks as volunteer assistance to the ethnic minority group living in this region. In addition, the students will also learn to cook the local cuisine. After returning to Hanoi the tour will finish with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to see the embalmed former leader, Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Gardens, Temple of Literature, Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Hoa Lo Prison.


Accommodation in Hanoi will be in a clean and comfortable hotel with shared rooms. Accommodation in Mai Chau will be in a shared room in a local families home.

About the Homestay

The Mai Chau home stays are beautiful Tai stilt houses made from bamboo and wood. They are elevated 10-12 feet off the ground in order to avoid water damage and shelter animals from the elements. There is one house for men and one house for women approximately 2 minutes walk apart. Teachers will stay with students. Everyone will have electricity, squat toilet and basic bathing area (no hot water). Students will share a large room with their teammates and be provided with fresh sheets, blankets, pillows and mosquito nets.

About the Mai Chau Ethnic Minority Group

In this region there is an estimated 48,580 inhabitants including 7 Ethnic Minority groups – White Tai, H’Mong, Zao, Muong, Tay, Hoa and Viet. In the village of Mai Chau the main group is the White Tai. The White Tai have been living in northern Vietnam for over 1,200 years, having migrated from Yunnan province in southern China. They have descended from the Tai family and are also related to the Thai of Thailand and the Lao of Laos and closely related to the tribal Black Tai or Tai Dam. Their religion is animism or the worship of spirits, mixed with ancestral worship like the Chinese and Vietnamese. About 30% of the White Tai also include Buddhism to their beliefs and around 1% are Christian. They are known to be polite, hospitable people who respect those of a higher rank. These rice growing farmers are known for their intricate, colourful and picturesque weaving and unique dance traditions.


  • A full time tour leader
  • All meals
  • All accommodation
  • City tours in Hanoi
  • Local guides
  • Tool and materials for the community service project

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

This is a school trip. An amended version is available for adults.



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