Your 11-day itinerary in Vietnam
On 29th September 2020, ChildFund will be taking 15 of our fantastic supporters to Vietnam to experience some of the cultural highlights of this beautiful land. At the heart of this journey will be three days in Cao Bang, ChildFund's dedicated programme area in Vietnam.
ChildFund's work in Cao Bang helps some of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities in Vietnam. Cao Bang is home to the Mong, Tay, Nung, Dao and Hoa ethnic minorities who maintain languages and cultural practices unique to their districts.
With the help of an English-speaking guide, you'll gain insights into life in Vietnam's largest cities and in some of its smallest rural communities in Cao Bang. And by visiting the rural communities with whom ChildFund works, you'll get to see how your donations make an impact on the lives of children and families who've previously had so little. Your journey will culminate with a visit to a water supply system in Lung Luong Village - a project funded, in part, by your travel expenses. Here, you'll get to meet some of the people whose lives you've changed through the precious gifts of clean, safe water and good health.
29th September 2020
Depart Auckland for Ho Chi Minh, arriving shortly before noon.
Situated on the banks of the Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's largest metropolis and undisputed commercial capital. Amid busy city streets and glistening skyscrapers, the spirit of the old city lives on in its colonial architecture, ancient pagodas, and bustling markets.
30th September 2020
Discover the best of Ho Chi Minh City and its surroundings. Drive through rural landscapes to the Cu Chi Tunnels to learn about Vietnam's wartime past, and the ingenuity of its people. Then take a closer look at the city centre with visits to historic Reunification Hall and other iconic landmarks.
1st October 2020
Spend the morning at your leisure in Hanoi before meeting your guide for private transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport and the short flight to Hoi An.
Believed to have been settled no less than 2,200 years ago, Hoi An was known as Faifo to early Western traders. This unique old trading town slowly became isolated between the 17th and 19th centuries. In recent years, this charming town has been revitalised by its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2nd October 2020
Be enchanted by the historic wonders and sleepy charm of UNESCO-heritage Hoi An. Spend a half-day with a local guide exploring the ancient town. Explore former merchants' homes, colourful communal halls, and narrow pebbled lanes lined with traditional houses.
3rd October 2020
Today can either be spent at your leisure, or you may join a half-day visit to an organic farm during which you'll learn about Vietnamese cuisine. Sample some of the flavours that Vietnam is famous for, and try your hand at making rice paper using a traditional stone grinder and copper cooking vessels.
4th October 2020
After breakfast, you'll meet your guide and head to Danang Airport for your short flight to Hanoi.
Vietnam's capital, Hanoi blends old world charm with the dynamic bustle of modern Asia. Its French colonial past is evident from colonial architecture around enchanting lakes. To the north of central Hoan Kiem lake lies the Old Quarter while to the south are the broad tree-lined boulevards and majestic buildings of the French Quarter.
Later in the day, you will be met at the hotel by the ChildFund Vietnam team to prepare for the journey to Cao Bang, ChildFund New Zealand's dedicated programme area in Vietnam.
5th October 2020
Leave Hanoi for the long drive to Cao Bang, stopping in Bac Kan Province for lunch and to meet with ChildFund Vietnam's local team. After lunch in Bac Kan, you will continue on to the remote and mountainous province of Cao Bang.
The children and families who live in this province are among the most vulnerable and marginalised people in Vietnam. ChildFund's work has been designed by the community, for the community to ensure long-term solutions to combat poverty. Our goal is for the community to provide and manage their own solutions to poverty, once ChildFund graduates from Cao Bang in 2026.
6th October 2020
TRIP HIGHLIGHT: Travel to Tra Linh to observe progress on the construction of the water supply system that you've helped to fund.
See how your support is making a life-changing difference. With the help of a translator, hear about the importance of this project and about progress to date. Meet some of the 262 children, women and men who will directly benefit from this project, and hear why it is so important to them.
In addition to visiting the project, donors who sponsor children in Cao Bang will also have the chance to meet and spend the afternoon learning about life in their province. After lunch, you will travel from Tra Linh to a secondary school and a village in Thai Cuong.
Later that night, you will travel back to central Cao Bang to your accommodation.
7th October 2020
You'll depart Cao Bang for Hanoi, arriving at your accommodation in Hanoi's Old Quarter in the late afternoon. You'll be free to spend the evening at your leisure.
8th October 2020
The day will be spent at your leisure in Hanoi, exploring any sites that haven't yet been seen or visiting the local markets for a few final glimpses of life in this city.
9th October 2020
You'll be met by your guide for transfer to Noi Bai Airport for your flight from Hanoi to Auckland.