Vietnam is blessed with a beautiful east coast onto the South China Sea and is neighboured by China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the west. It is has a lot of offer further travel after a volunteer placement from a gentle cruise in Halong Bay to renting motorbikes and exploring the Ho Chi Minh trail (as seen in the infamous BBC Top Gear episode!).
Top 5 reasons to visit and volunteer in Vietnam
- Island cruise - Halong Bay, which means 'descending dragon bay' is one of those majestic places you don't believe really exists until you see it. Home to over 3000 incredible islands poking up from the Gulf of Tonkin. Take a boat cruise and weave in and out of these islands and explore some of the hidden caves.
- Asian city - a trip to Vietnam wouldn't be complete without a visit to Hanoi. This will give you a true Indochina city experience, all your sense will be overwhelmed by the smells and sounds plus the sheer number of motorbikes in this city (over 3.5 million)! There is something here for everyone including culture, history, religion, street stalls, fancy foods and local living.
- Tailors and beaches - Hoi An, once a sleepy riverside village is now the place for tourists to pick up souvenirs, get tailor made clothes or grab a drink of iced coffee and a traditional fresh spring roll by the beach. Hoi An has retained its Vietnamese charm and you can enjoy the silk lanterns, traditional food and locals dancing as you meander down the cobbled streets.
- Natural wonders - for nature lovers Cat Ba Island which is a national park is a great place to explore. Prehistoric scenery with vertical rocks, hidden waterfalls, lakes and beaches all set in the limestone hills.
- Rolling tea plantations - probably the first thing that springs to mind when you think about Vietnam - tea! Take a tour around one of the hundreds of tea plantations dotted around the country. You could even spend a day helping them work in the fields. Sapa, one of the main marketing towns, is one of the best places to learn about the tea making process and treks through the rolling hills can be started here.
- Teach English to orphans and street children in rural Vietnam
- Play with sports and games with the children
- Live in a guesthouse in a beautiful location
- Experience real Vietnamese culture