Join with your new friends in the Vietnam-USA Society on this wonderful Journey that brings you straight to the heart of Vietnam and its people! Attend cultural workshops and demonstrations, enjoy cultural music and art performances, and experience daily life in Vietnam with five days of home-hosting.
Home Hospitality provided by the Vietnam-USA Society.
Live With a Local
- Learn about the cultures in Vietnam and Cambodia to further the goal of world peace. The five days of home-hosting help give insight into the lives of the people in Vietnam.
- We will have five dinners with our host families and also spend time with them as we visit their cities.
- Meet with the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations and the Vietnam-USA Society.
- Boat trip in the Mekong Delta
- Ho Chi Minh City tour
- Cu Chi Tunnels
- Walking tour in Hoi An
- The Forbidden Purple City in Hue
- Boat tour of the Perfume River
- Ngoc Son Temple
- The Temple of Literature
- Ha Long Bay overnight cruise
As I look back on 2016, one of my most enjoyable experiences was traveling with [Friendship Force] to Vietnam. I'm pleased that we were able to make meaningful connections with the people we encountered and with each other. Our ongoing messages and good wishes back and forth are evidence of the bonding that occurred among the ambassadors of six nations. -Ambassador Coordinator for Explore Vietnam in November 2016
Vietnam with Optional Cambodia Extension
13 Days / 12 Nights Program and Itinerary:
October 5, 2017 – October 18, 2017
Coordinator: Chris Smith, FF Sacramento
All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.
Optional Pre-Journey Extension - Cambodia - October 1 to 5
Visit to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom Temple, Ta Prohm Temple, walk to the top of Phnom Bakheng Hill, and enjoy a traditional Apsara Khmer music performance.
Visit to Banteay Srey, known as Citadel of Women or Pink Temple, enjoy a boat ride on the Tonle Sap Lake at Kampong Phluk Village, and visit the floating village of the local fishermen.
Head to Phnom Penh where you’ll visit New Grand Market, take your chances at Casino Naga, visit the Royal Palace, and visit the Golden/Silver Pagoda.
October 6 - Ho Chi Minh City
Travel to My Tho where you’ll take boat cruising through natural canals, visit a fruit plantation, enjoy tropical fruits, a traditional music show, have lunch in the orchards, visit a bee farm and coconut candy workshop.
Have lunch on an island in the Mekong River.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy some free time to explore Saigon by night.
October 7 - Ho Chi Minh City
Visit to the Reunification Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, and the Museum of War Relics. Attend a Vietnamese lacquer painting workshop. Visit Ben Thanh market to do some shopping.
October 8 - Ho Chi Minh City / Cu Chi
Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Dinner Cruise on the Saigon River.
October 9 - Ho Chi Minh City / Da Nang / Hoi An
Fly to Da Nang and have lunch in the city. Then travel to Hoi An.
Go on a walking tour in the Old Town to learn about “History and Architecture of Hoi An – The World Cultural Heritage” with a local guide.
Wrap up your evening with free time to enjoy the Old Town at night.
October 10 - Hoi An
Visit My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An Silk Village.
October 11 - Hoi An / Da Nang / Hue
Depart for Hue city and stop by the Marble Mountains for photo-taking, as well as a local marble workshop to see how marble workers carve huge marble statues.
Go on a city tour of Hue and have a meeting with the local Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO). Attend a briefing on the culture and history of the ancient royal city of Hue, with an introduction of HueFo (Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations of Thua Thien Hue Province), their roles, mission and activities. Meet host families.
October 12 - Hue
Visit the Forbidden Purple City and Imperial Citadel and Museum. Listen to Royal Music in the Imperial Citadel.
Boat Tour along the Perfume River; stop for sightseeing at conical hat making village and visit to Thien Mu/Heavenly Lady Pagoda.
Farewell dinner with HueFo and host families.
October 13 - Hue / Hanoi
Fly to Hanoi.
Visit to the Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge, take a cyclo-tour in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
Head Back to VUFO’s headquarters and meet with host families.
Host families take guests home.
October 14 - Hanoi
Visit to Van Mieu – the Temple of Literature.
Meet with the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO)/The Vietnam-USA Society (VUS) for a briefing on Vietnam.
Visit to Ho Chi Minh’s Complex.
Depart for the Hanoi Drama Theatre for a unique traditional Vietnamese performance upon practices related to the Viet beliefs in the Mother Goddesses, which has been recently recognized as intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The name of the show is “Tu Phu – The Four Palaces.”
October 15 - Hanoi
Visit to the Vietnam Friendship Village (welcome host families will join.)
Attend an outdoor water puppet show at Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.
October 16 - Hanoi / Ha Long Bay
Take bus to Quang Ninh Province with a stopover on the way for refreshment at a humanitarian workshop.
Arrive at Tuan Chau Wharf. Transfer by tender to the cruise. Enjoy a buffet lunch. Start cruising leisurely towards Vung Ha Beach area in Bai Tu Long. Kayak and swimming in Vung Ha Beach. Attend a cooking demonstration.
Evening squid fishing and free time.
October 17 - Ha Long / Hanoi
Earlier risers start the day with Tai Chi class on the sundeck or enjoy the breathtaking sunrise.
Visit to Vung Vieng floating fishing village and a Ha Long Pearl Farm.
Disembark in Tuan Chau and take bus to return to Ha Noi. Stop over the middle to visit a ceramics workshop. Arrive in Hanoi.
Optional Post-Journey Extension - The Tribes of Sapa - October 18 to 21
Take a bus drive to Lao Cai province. Visit to Ham Rong Mountain. Enjoy free time in the evening to explore & discover Sapa market & Stone church.
Visit to FanxiPang, the highest mountain in the South East Asia (take cable cab and tram – it is 600 steps up!).
Visit to Lao Chai Village to visit the Tay and Day tribes.
Going along the bottom of the Sapa valley to get to Ta Van village which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the area.
VUS staff say goodbye to the group.
Depart the hotel for Noi Bai International Airport to take flight home.
$2685 USDPrice Includes: We will travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi with activities that include: boat trip on Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City tour, Cu Chi Tunnels, walking tour in Hoi An, the Forbidden Purple City in Hue, boat tour of the Perfume River, Ngoc Son Temple, the Temple of Literature, Ha Long Bay overnight cruise and five nights home hosting during the Journey. All hotels, internal transportation, guides, tips for drivers and porters, and most meals are included (five dinners are not included).
Know before you go
- Ambassadors should be in good health. There will be walking on uneven surfaces and some strenuous walks, especially in Cambodia and Sapa.
- Airfare from the U.S. to Vietnam or Cambodia is not included, but all interior airfare and transport is.
- Travel Insurance is strongly recommended and not included in the price. Buy your insurance as soon as you make your first deposit to have pre-existing insurance coverage.
- Prices based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement pricing available, or we’ll try to match up singles.
- Prices are based on 10 Ambassadors and will go down slightly if we have more than 10.
- A $25 USD non-refundable deposit is required at signup. A 50% deposit is due by July 15th. Balance due by August 15th.
Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.