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Vietnam Gap Year

Culture, community + wildlife

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Vietnam voluntering road trip

Community, wildlife and exploration

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.


Vietnam 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.

5 nights

Hanoi Sight seeing + History

Hanoi

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:

- School construction projects; building a kitchen or toilet
- Painting and tiling the school yards and surrounding area
- Help setting up a library and fixing chairs and tables
- Teaching English to the children
- Teaching personal hygiene to the children
- Playing different sports and games


5 nights

Mai Chau Community Work + Biking + Trekking

Mai Chau

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



- School construction projects; building a kitchen or toilet
- Painting and tiling the school yards and surrounding area
- Help setting up a library and fixing chairs and tables
- Teaching English to the children
- Teaching personal hygiene to the children
- Playing different sports and games


Accommodation

Stilt House Home Stay

Food

3 meals a day

2 nights

Ha Long Bay Junk Boat 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.

Accommodation

Gorgeous cabins on Oriental Sails Junk boat

Food

3 meals per day from the set menu

8 nights

Ninh Binh & Tam Coc Wildlife Volunteering

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

Accommodation

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.

Food

3 meals per day

7 nights

Hoi An Sightseeing

Time to sight-see

Hoi An is a city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals.

The former port city’s melting-pot history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shop houses and temples to colorful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda.

Embrace the history of this iconic destination then wind down on the beautiful beaches. The perfect combination.

Accommodation

Home Stay

Food

Breakfast only - giving you flexibility to explore.

Vietnam's Details & Costs

Word on the street says Vietnam will be open next year, so we are aiming for April.

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

Options and costs

Word on the street says Vietnam will be open next year, so we are aiming for April.

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

Whats included?

Budget:

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.

Culture

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...

Watch our videos

Vietnam

Meet our team leader in Vietnam

"Thank you so much for giving my son life long friends and experiences"

My son has just got back from an amazing trip to Madagascar. The Leap were great in keeping in contact with emails, blogs and can call and get a speedy reply if you need to contact them, thank you so much for giving my son life long friends and experiences.
Many thanks to Milly from The Leap who was amazing.

- Nikki Field

"Team were amazing"

Thanks so much for your kind email, I am sorry that I only have just seen it now! That evening was definitely a scary shock but it has now made me so much aware about going out at night.

The leap team were also amazing and I cannot thank Chris and Meli enough for helping me both at the hospital and then the following morning when dealing with insurance. My mum is also very, very grateful that you guys have been there to help the entire time!


- Anonymous

"The leap is an awesome company who takes care of every aspect of your trip to make sure you can enjoy it to the fullest"

This trip was honestly amazing and I would highly recommend anyone to take the opportunity to do it.

I met amazing staff and locals over the 6 weeks and also amazing people who I still stay in contact with and I can’t wait to see during the rest of my travels.

The outreach was definitely a highlight as you get to explore more islands and do different activities. The locals are amazing and the sense of community and the appreciation for volunteers makes it so worth doing. I did forest conservation because I love animals and hiking but with the leap your programme is flexible and if you prefer to teach you can switch over as well which you don’t get with other company’s.

What you should know is GO THROUGH THE LEAP!

- Brooke

"How on earth you have managed to pull this off I don't know!"

But you have all been absolutely incredible. I never could have imagined Charlie being able to take part in such a fantastic project in this, the strangest of years! I have huge admiration in your professionalism and ability to deliver in the toughest of times. Thank you so much, I'm sure the presence of the team will do wonders for the project and wonders for the Team Members..what a fantastic opportunity for them all!!

- Andrew Fairs

"​Amazing, emotional and I would do it all again "

Communication was very good before and during the trip, it was nice to know that the leap would reply quickly plus I felt very safe, the 24/7 security relaxed and settled me in. Stella matias and jimmy were amazing, they made my trip!

The programmes and schools we visited were life changing and made me appreciate what I have. The fact that we actually made a difference by raising money for an orphanage to build a well is so exciting and rewarding! And the relationships I made with the children and the other leapers I will never forget.

- Bethany

Get in contact

With the covid travel experts

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