November 27 – December 9, 2010 • with Jana Stanfield
Includes roundtrip flights from Los Angeles, great hotels, transfers, many meals, touring and more!
For what you'd spend on a European plane ticket, you can spend two weeks volun-touring with Jana Stanfield in Southeast Asia, with superior hotels, daily breakfast, sightseeing, discounted optional tours, and overseas airfare included!
Your travel money can buy you more in Vietnam, right now, than ever before or maybe ever again. And the amazing photos you bring home will explain why Vietnam has emerged as Asia's hottest new destination for Western travelers. Vietnam is a beautiful mix of ultra-modern architecture alongside ancient temples, lush rice paddies adjacent to postcard-perfect beaches.
Our photos will give you a thumbnail sketch of the magnificence of Vietnam, but the photos can't describe the thrill you'll feel seeing the smiles of the Vietnamese people. You'll be amazed at their friendliness, openness, and eagerness to share their beautiful country with you. This is a peace mission, so in addition to seeing breathtakingly beautiful sights, we'll also be giving back, working with local adults and children to make the world a better place.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 2, Sunday, Nov 28: En route to Vietnam. Cross the International Dateline and lose a day. (You'll recover this day on your return trip).
Day 3, Monday, Nov 29: Arrive in Hanoi. Arriving in Hanoi, we board our touring coach and experience a panoramic city tour en route to the hotel. Upon arrival, we'll have a briefing with Jana. Those who've traveled with Jana in the past can tell you that you'll have a lot of choice, autonomy, and freedom to explore on this trip. The briefing will lay out some of the options to help you make the most of your visit to Vietnam. If there's time after that, you can explore Hanoi independently, perhaps visiting some of the many new art galleries that have made Hanoi a popular international center for up and coming modern painters, sculptors and photographers.
After the cyclo tour, you can have dinner on your own, or enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers at a nice local restaurant, where our guide will introduce us to some of Vietnam's culinary delights to help us learn what kinds we like best. Overnight in Hanoi. Medallion Hanoi Hotel (B)
Day 4, Tuesday, Nov 30: Hanoi. This day has some great options for you. Our morning tour will include the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university, constructed in 1070. Yes, 1070! The gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam's past.
Next we'll see Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum (outside visit only). We'll also visit the building that was Ho Chi Minh's private residence from 1954–1969, a small wooden house on stilts surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. You'll find many local Vietnamese visiting each day, paying homage to "Uncle Ho", who was for the people of this country like their George Washington.
Day 5, Wednesday, Dec 1: Hanoi & Halong. Your early morning departure takes you on a picturesque journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta. Observe everyday life of Vietnamese villages as you see the villagers work the local rice fields and plough the fields with their large water buffaloes. You may see someone taking one or more live pigs to market on their bicycle or scooter!
Arrive in Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site like no other. Halong Bay has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water, many of them containing deep, wide caves, and beautiful grottos. Thse strange-shaped limestone rock formations which invite comparisons to everything from fighting cocks to dragons and even General de Gaulle's nose. Local legend has it that long ago, when the Vietnamese were fighting Chinese invaders, the gods sent dragons to help defend the land. The dragons spit out jewels and jade, which turned into the islands and islets of Halong, forming a great wall against the invaders.
Board a Huong Hai or Bai Tho traditional sailing junk. As we navigate the waters, you'll see numerous junks, plying the waters of the bay. You'll explore the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, then onto the island with the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. An alternative journey could be to Dau Go Cave to see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Enjoy a swim in the emerald waters at any of the islands we visit. Overnight on the boat in Halong Bay. Victory Star junk Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 6, Thursday, Dec 2: Halong, Hanoi, Overnight train to Lao Cai & Sapa. Wake up at dawn if you like, and head up to the top deck to enjoy a stunning view of the sunrise with a hot cup of tea. Enjoy a full breakfast on board. We will continue cruising this morning, with more chances to take exquisite photos and video. There's time for a swim if you'd like, or maybe you'd like to take a kayak out on the bay. These Halong Bay photos may become your favorites when you arrive home.
Day 7, Friday, Dec 3: Lao Cai & Sapa. Arriving in Lao Cai early this morning, we'll transfer to Sapa for breakfast at the hotel. We'll venture out and enjoy seeing the Hmongs and other hill tribe cultures living and working in Sapa in their traditional dress. In Sapa, WE will be the “strangers in unusual clothing."
The mountains around Sapa are often referred to as the Swiss Alps of Vietnam, only instead of being covered in snow, they're cut into thousands of working rice terraces. During our two days in Sapa, you'll enjoy walking tours, sightseeing, and visiting with the hill tribe people, and we'll also do our first volunteer work here. Overnight in Sapa. Chau Long Sapa Hotel Breakfast provided.
At the end of our second day in Sapa, we'll head back to the train station in the evening, to take the overnight train back to Hanoi. Our journey continues on to our next destination, the ancient town of Hoi An. Overnight on a sleeper train. Breakfast provided.
Day 9, Sunday, Dec 5: Hanoi & Hoi An. Arrive at the rail station in Hanoi early this morning, where you'll have a “mini hotel" for refreshment and breakfast as well as some more free time to explore Hanoi.
Hoi An Hotel Breakfast provided.
Day 10, Monday, Dec 6: Hoi An. Volunteer work in the morning. Afternoon and evening on your own to independently experience this delightful town. Overnight at your hotel in Hoi An. Breakfast provided.
Day 11, Tuesday, Dec 7: Hoi An. Volunteer work in the morning. Afternoon and evening free to experience the sights and sounds of Hoi An. Overnight at your hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 13, Thusday, Dec 9: Departure. The hotel will prepare a breakfast box since we will have an early morning transfer to the airport in Danang for departure to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), with onward connection to our return flight to USA. Breakfast provided.
Cambodia Optional Extension
Jana will be extending her Volun-tour efforts in Southeast Asia after completion of the program in Vietnam. If you have extra time and would like to join Jana in Cambodia or, perhaps, continue on to Thailand for a few days, please contact us so we can give you some options to consider.
About your cruise ship, the Victory Star junk
The Victory Star features 21 cabins, a full service restaurant, a sun deck with comfortable lounge chairs, spa service and an attentive staff to cater to your every need. See more information about the ship.
- First class hotels with private facilities
- Flights from Los Angeles via scheduled carriers including fuel surcharges (flight schedule)
- Buffet breakfast daily plus 1 dinner on arrival day
- Touring program including entrance fees
- All intra-Vietnam flights and ground transportation
- Overnight cruise on Halong Bay aboard the Victory Star junk
- Professional, English-speaking tour director and local guides
Please download the reservation application and fax or mail it to us, together with your $300 per person deposit.
Fax to: 215-572-9803.
Mail to: 500 Old York Road, Suite 200, Jenkintown, PA 19046.
For more information, contact:
Email: , with a copy to
Jana's Facebook page is the place where we'll share all the latest information about the trip—who's going, what to expect, and what to pack—and where you can connect with Jana and everyone else on the trip. Click “like" so that you can comment and ask questions of Jana and the others you'll be traveling with. Someone will be there daily to answer questions. You can meet your travel buddies before the trip even begins!
See Vietnam in Jana's Videos from last year. These videos are roughly 2 minutes each and include segments on Hoi An Charm, the Hoi An Tailors, Spending the Night With Sapa's Hill Tribes (a 4-part series), plus, videos of Angkor Wat and Cambodia Volun-Tourism.
About your tour host, Jana Stanfield
Recording artist and professional speaker Jana Stanfield, known for the song, "If I Were Brave," has been touring and volun-touring around the world, sharing her music, and her contagious enthusiasm. It started six years ago in Bali where her group, The Caterpillar Society, currently supports a girls' orphanage and children's home. Living out the lyrics of her song, “I'm Not Lost, I'm Exploring" and “The Trick is to Learn to Enjoy the Ride," she has traveled extensively in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Bali. Traveling with Jana gives you plenty of room to create the experience you want to have, whether that's with others in the group, with locals in the community, or on your own.
Jana on “Why Vietnam?": First, people I met in my international travels kept telling me how wonderful and amazing it is to visit Vietnam, how friendly the people are, and how beautiful the country is. Then, my friend Holly Stiel came back from Vietnam with a new wardrobe of the most beautiful, unique clothing, made for her by the tailors of Hoi An. She raved about how much she enjoyed getting to know the people there. I was intrigued. I wanted to replace old pictures of Vietnam with pictures of the real Vietnam, today. I also wanted to do something good there, to say, “I'm sorry," for what happened between our governments. I was surprised to find my apology laughingly waved off by everyone I gave it to in Vietnam. “That was the past, no need to stay there," they say, “That was the government, not the people. We have our independence, and now, many freedoms. We are so happy enjoying the present, looking forward to the future. Keep your mind on that!" Vietnam is booming, for good reason. Now that tourists from around the world are discovering it, it won't be long before prices are up as high as the other hot spots of Southeast Asia, so this is best time to go.
What kind of volunteering will we do? We'll do volunteer work in Sapa and in Hoi An, contributing in the way that is most needed during the time we're there. In the past, we have entertained at orphanages, helped with English practice, scraped paint and painted. Before we go, we'll have a better idea of what we'll be doing, so you can pack what you need.