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Vietnam - coming soon

Culture and Contribution


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Discover Vietnam

Explore and contribute North Vietnam

Welcome to Vietnam. When many think of Vietnam they are reminded of the tragic impact of the war, however there is so much more to be inspired by - this country dates to the 3rd century BC and culturally is a dynamic mix of its past ruling influences, with the best food in Asia.

We are so excited to open up in Vietnam and introduce you to the ancient and modern, rural and urban. You will see the contrast between tropical islands, busy metropolises, and mountains. Plenty to tick off your bucket list. Vietnam is super easy to get around and is a great springboard for the rest of Asia.

Through this dynamic journey of the north you will be taken off the beaten track, to volunteer in a wildlife sanctuary, discover the oh so pretty beaches, the rural communities and of course Ha Long Bay.

This is what we have planned...

If you are interested in this program - email zoe@theleap.co.uk

A journey of culture, community, and conservation in one of the most fascinating places in the world.

Program Itinerary

During this dynamic 4 week program you will explore Northern Vietnam and its hidden gems as well as the classic must-see highlights.

The following is a sample itinerary.

10 days

Hanoi Sight See + Community Work


Your journey will start the French-colonial city of Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River and home to a special combination of faded classical buildings and ancient pagodas. Here you will spend your first five days.

A vibrant place to explore markets, food stalls and museums before heading out to verdant landscapes, traditional villages, and the iconic Ha Long Bay.

Upon landing in Hanoi at Noi Bai International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your lovely friendly family run guest house in the city centre which will be your main base. From here you head off to explore the old town, sample some local delicacies and navigate the tuk tuks.

For the second five days you will travel North to discover the small ethnic minority villages, set amongst stunning emerald-green rice paddy fields, that are cocooned by beautiful mountain landscapes.

Here you will stay in stilted homestay homes for a full cultural interaction, explore the area by bike and immerse yourself in the community contributing to the following projects:

2 days

Ha Long Bay Cruise

River cruise

After saying goodbye to your new friends and the incredible smiley and friendly local people that you have befriended, you will travel back to Hanoi and then onwards to the World Heritage area of outstanding natural beauty – the iconic Ha Long Bay. Known for its emerald waters and vast limestone islands topped with rainforests - straight out of a movie set.

Here you hop on board a local junk boat for 2 nights to explore the lagoons, secluded beaches, and floating villages.


Gorgeous cabins on Oriental Sails Junk boat


3 meals per day from the set menu

7 days

Endangered Primate Rescue Centre Volunteer

Protect the endangered

Next up is the Cuc Phuong National Park – one of the oldest national parks in Vietnam, established in 1962, famous for its cultural and

wildlife heritage and enchanting scenery.

The Endangered Primate Rescue Centre was established in 1993 and is a non-profit rehabilitation, breeding, research, and conservation centre of Vietnam’s endangered primate species. The centre is home to around 150 primates representing 15 species. Seven of these species are kept only at the EPRC, and at no other facility in the world.

For 7 nights you will live in the park to learn about primate conservation whilst supporting the wildlife keepers with their daily jobs such as:

  • Preparing the food, feeding, and cleaning enclosures.
  • Repair and construction of cages
  • Giving tours to visitors to the EPRC
  • Gardening and upkeep of grounds
  • Updating animal records
  • Assisting in design and distribution of promotional materials
  • Assisting in data collection and collation


The EPRC is located inside Cuc Phuong National Park, and all accommodation is within walking distance. You will stay in an EPRC bungalow or a National Park room, depending on what is available at the time of booking. All accommodation is equipped with private bathrooms, air conditioning and Wi-Fi.


3 meals per day

7 days

Ninh Binh & Tam Coc Culture

Ninh Binh and Tam Coc

Your last week will be spent inland, exploring Ninh Binh and Tam Coc (in Ninh Binh), before catching a sleeper train back to Hanoi.

Ninh Binh and Tam Coc are awesome destinations - making up part of the Trang a Scenic Landscape Complex UNESCO World Heritage site.

Often described as the ‘Inland Ha Long Bay’ expect to explore a stunning mix of paddy fields, rivers, ancient pagodas, and limestones monoliths topped with verdant greenery. Utter heaven.

The best way to get around is on a bicycle so you can weave your way around the sites and meandering streets to haggle in the markets and find the best street food.

Beautiful and clean local family run guesthouse


Breakfast only

Program Details & Costs

Dates for 2022 - coming soon.

If you are interested in this program - email zoe@theleap.co.uk

Options and costs

Dates coming very soon.

If you are interested in this program - email zoe@theleap.co.uk

Whats included?


Spending Money: The currency of Vietnam is the Dong (VND). Lots of ATMS around to get the local currency out.

Vietnam is extremely good value for money and there will be many opportunities to buy souvenirs. Our top tip is to get some tailored clothes made in Hoi An at the end of the trip and we can help you with tailor recommendations.

Food Budget: $5/10 for meals out.
Socialising: $50 US dollars per week to cover drinks out, souvenirs etc.

River Cruise

Explore the infamous Ha Long Bay by sail boat

Social Life

Guaranteed. You will be part of a tight team of like minded volunteers, who come from all over the world.


The food, the people, the scenery - Vietnam has it all.

Hot spots

See all the hotspots as well as getting off the beaten track.

Working Hours and Time Out

You'll get up early, working all morning with a nice long break for lunch before cracking on in the afternoon. The volunteering is a key part of what you do and will directly benefit the community and the wildlife sanctuary.

Leaper's Highlights

Have a read of what our Leapers have been up to...

"How fantastic you all are"

We really can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to make this amazing adventure happen, and for all the hand holding for Mimi and us along the way! It’s incredible that they have managed to have as close to normal a gap year as it must be possible to have right now and we are enormously enormously grateful to you and everyone at The Leap who has helped make this happen. Thank you. We have been spreading the good word about how fantastic you all are!

- Selina ( mum )

"Very reassuring"

Hi Milly,

I just picked up your message about the negative antigen test and wanted to say thank you for calling. Very reassuring!

I’ve been so impressed with the support and guidance you’ve given us and Nancy, and with your accessibility throughout. I’m recommending you to lots of friends with children on gap years next year, so double thank you!

Have a lovely weekend

- Jo Cammell

"This experience was life changing."

Although this is from a personal point of view, i wanted to share the great personal development this trip gave me. I believe travel and unknown/unusual environments affects and shapes any individual.

It altered my being in a way i find hard to articulate, it changes you and challenges you that no 9-5 working existence ever could.

- Olivia

"Quite an extraordinary responsibility"

Thank you, Milly. You've been an absolute star - quite an extraordinary responsibility and you're doing it admirably. Great friend of ours, has signed up for Namibia in March after hearing about Skye's adventures ahead...

- Katie Turnbull

"An experience not to be missed!​​"

The Leap took all the responsibility and stress out of the gap year experience. Would advise that all teenagers do this part of their gap year before they 'free' travel. The Leap are highly professional and inclusive of parents.

- Sara

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