13 days for $2977*
from Los Angeles (LAX)

Vietnam Volun-Tour

November 27 – December 9, 2010 • with Jana Stanfield

Includes roundtrip flights from Los Angeles, great hotels, transfers, many meals, touring and more!

Jana Stanfield in Vietnam Say yes to the rest of your destiny….beginning with this volun-tour trip to Vietnam. See the world and make it a better place because you were there.

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!

Rice paddies, Vietnam 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.

Black Hmong girl, Sapa  Photo by Ruud van Leeuwen You'll some of the most amazing sites in Vietnam, including breathtaking Halong Bay and anicent Hoi An, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as Sapa, home to Vietnam's colorful hill tribes.

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   Destination
1 Saturday Depart USA
2 Sunday En route
3 Monday Hanoi
4 Tuesday Hanoi
5 Wednesday Hanoi & Halong
6 Thursday Halong, Hanoi & Overnight train to Lao Cai
7 Friday Lao Cai & Sapa
8 Saturday Sapa, Lao Cai & Overnight train to Hanoi
9 Sunday  Hanoi & Hoi An
10 Monday  Hoi An
11 Tuesday  Hoi An
12 Wednesday  Hoi An
13 Thursday Hoi An/Depart Vietnam

Detailed Itinerary

Vietnam Volun-Tour tour itinerary Day 1, Saturday, Nov 27: Depart USA. Our journey to Vietnam begins as we board our flight at Los Angeles International Airport late in the evening.

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).

Colorful rooftops of Hanoi 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.

Chauffeur pedaled
Chauffeur pedaled "cyclo"
Before dinner, you'll spend an unforgettable hour being carried on Vietnam's world-famous chauffeur-pedaled tricycle, through Hanoi's Old Quarter, also known as “36 streets". This will give you the “lay of the land" so you will be familiar with where we're staying, in Hanoi's most exclusive neighborhood. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore, especially by cyclo, with plenty of photo opportunities all around you.

Vietnamese cuisine 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)

Temple of Literature, Hanoi 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.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi 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.

Hanoi  Photo by Donald Huxtable
Hanoi   Photo by Donald Huxtable
Hanoi is a wonderful, friendly city, full of decadent French bakeries and sidewalk cafes. This afternoon you'll have another chance to further discover the many shopping and eating possibilities which abound in this exciting city. Our guide can offer some optional excursions for an extra fee, or you can spend the afternoon with Jan, mixing with the locals and get a feel for how people live and work in Hanoi. We'll be centrally located in the bustling ancient city, surrounded by unique markets, shops, and restaurants. There is a beautiful, peaceful, lake here, where you can go for a leisurely walk, buy fruit, ice cream, tea or coffee from outdoor venders along the wide sidewalks around its perimeter. You're likely to see a photo shoot on your walk around the lake. Keep your camera ready for shots of beautiful women driving by on Vespa scooters that are tricked out to match their purses, high heels and designer helmets. Overnight in Hanoi. Breakfast provided.

Bicyclist, Vietnam 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!

Halong Bay 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.

Junks on Halong Bay 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.

Ede longhouse, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology  Photo by Rungbachduong
Ede longhouse, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology   Photo by Rungbachduong
Return to Hanoi late this morning. You'll have the chance to visit the Museum of Ethnology to learn more about the diverse history of Vietnam's hill tribes that we'll soon be seeing. The museum features videos, traditional clothing, reconstructed housing and other artifacts of each tribe. The tribes are separate ethnic groups, currently living as they have for thousands of years in the mountains of Vietnam. This will be a great stop before heading to Sapa, where you'll visit some of these remaining hill tribes and personally experience their unique cultures.

Flower Hmong women at market  Photo by Brian Snelson
Flower Hmong women at market   Photo by Brian Snelson
This evening you depart from Hanoi on a sleeper train to Lao Cai on our way to Sapa. Breakfast provided.

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."

Rice terraces, Sapa 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.

Sapa town

Tribal girl, Sapa Day 8, Saturday, Dec 4: Sapa, Lao Cai & Overnight Train to Hanoi. Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out at noon.

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.

China Beach - Photo by Donald Huxtable
China Beach   Photo by Donald Huxtable
Transfer to the airport for our flight to Danang. Upon arrival, we'll board our touring coach and have our first view of Vietnam's famous China Beach, a former U.S. recreation base, known for its sparkling white sand and excellent views of the Marble Mountains.

Hoi An old town  Photo by Jean-Marie Hullot
Hoi An old town   Photo by Jean-Marie Hullot
Later today, we'll continue our journey to our second UNESCO World Heritage Site—the ancient trading port of Hoi An, a town that seems to be caught in a picturesque time warp. It was one of the major trading centers in the 16th century, and much of that history is preserved in the ancient houses, pagodas, temples and old bridges here. When traders brought their ships up the river to Hoi An from the sea, they often spent their money on Hoi An's amazing silks, and Hoi An is still filled with tailor shops where you can have the latest fashions created for you overnight. We'll do volunteer work here, and there will also be time to explore.

Outdoor Market, Vietnam - Photo by Donald Huxtable
Outdoor Market, Vietnam   Photo by Donald Huxtable
Take a Vietnamese cooking class if you like (extra fee), where the chef will take you to the morning market to choose your fresh ingredients. Rent a bicycle or motorbike if you like (extra fee) and spend time on the pristine white beaches. Perhaps you'd like to take a boat to the Cham Islands (extra fee), where you can snorkel or go diving in beautiful clear water. After all the memorable touring and visits we've experienced together, this is your place to make the trip your own. Overnight in Hoi An. Hoi An Hotel Breakfast provided.

Vietnamese schoolgirls 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.

Thuy Son caves, Vietnam  © danang.gov.vn
Thuy Son caves, Vietnam   © danang.gov.vn
Day 12, Wednesday, Dec 8: Hoi An. This morning we'll enjoy a visit to the Cham Museum which contains the finest collection of artifacts from the area's ancient people, and we’ll view our surroundings from the top of Marble Mountain. There's a sacred cave you will not want to miss in Marble Mountain, where holy relics have been hidden during every war, and many of those religious artifacts and statues are still being worshipped today. We will enter that cave with the spirit of reverence it deserves, hoping to see the light shining in at just the right angle to illuminate the giant stone statue of the Buddha. Return to the hotel in Hoi An for lunch.

Photo by Marc Descollonges
Photo by Marc Descollonges
Your last afternoon in Vietnam. This is your opportunity to shop for those last minute gifts for friends and family back home. This evening, Jan invites you to join her for a very special farewell dinner to celebrate all we've experienced along the way. Overnight at your hotel in Hoi An. 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.

Destination FAQs

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.

Included Features

  • 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

Tour Prices

Tour Price & Discounts
Tour price (per person, sharing double room) $2977
Caterpillar/Success Principles Discount:
submit your deposit by Aug. 15, 2010
"Bring a Friend" Discount:
if you and a friend both submit deposits together (within 24 hours) and mention each other on your application, you both get a discount!
Taxes, Fees & Options
Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee $95
Single occupancy room (optional) $295
Travel insurance (optional, recommended) $129
Vietnam Visa Fee (paid separately) $25


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.

Acrobat PDF fileReservation application PDF

For more information, contact:

Jana Stanfield
Tel: 615-305-4180
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

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.