The Power of the Youth: A trip to Đất Mũi with Hoa Sen University

From 02 – 04 February 2018, Vietnam Track (08 participants) was glad to join the voluntary trip to Ca Mau with Tuổi Xanh Club (Hoa Sen University.) This is the article of one participant sharing his views on the trip – Stefen Lotz from South Africa.

>>>To view our photo gallery, please click here

According to a litany of sayings, it is evident that the future of a country is determined by the potential of its youth. If the past weekend trip with the Tuổi Xanh Club (Green Age Club) of Hoa Sen University is anything to go by, I would say Vietnam is in excellent hands. This dynamic group of both students and young working professionals orchestrated a very successful weekend trip to Đất Mũi at the southernmost point of Vietnam.

In broad outlines the itinerary was simple: charter a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Đất Mũi, participate in some activities with the community kids, sleep over at the Coast Guard station and come back; all part of Xuân Biên Giới – an event that brings the Spring warmth to soldiers and border inhabitants. In reality it turned out to be a much more complex affair. The bus trip had to be managed in terms of meals and rest stops, ferries had to be organized, locals and government officials had to be placated, an army of 45 volunteers had to be assigned tasks and managed and even shower facilities had to be arranged in a community where a bathroom is a luxury.
 
 
The spartan setting itself is conducive to good character building. Đất Mũi is a small fishing village perched on wooden stilts on the fringes of the canals of the Mekong river. Here, in the last throes of its long meander from Lasagongma Spring on the plateau of Tibet, the river continues to provide in abundance. Life is simple. The houses are small wooden frame constructs with corrugated iron cladding built on top of the water. Boats of various sizes, put-put up and down the canals on their way to ply their trade, haul in the last catch or collect the new harvest of tropical fruits. About the whole of Cà Mau province is covered in swamp land and mangroves, ideal for the cultivation of shrimp and crab. And of course, heaven for mosquitoes.
 

Thanks to good planning, the student leaders managed to pull off a very successful outing. Everybody jumped in to help with the tasks, never complained and participated with real energy and passion. Everyone I met were friendly and helpful. I talked to various current and future HR professionals, digital wonder-kids, engineers, international relations students and future leaders with informed opinions and smart ideas; each of them with enough confidence and willpower to take Vietnam forward on the global stage.
 
 
 

The school kids who benefited from this wealth of goodwill were delighted to be rewarded with sweet treats and gifts. In return, the higher grades entertained the community with dance performances and the local authorities praised the students for their help.
 
 
The evening was reserved for a campfire, dinner and drinking with the soldiers at the Coast Guard Station nearby. For this, our small contingent of foreign participants retired to a nearby hotel, as entrance entailed strict security clearance. We instead feasted on a selection of crab, oyster, fish and clam dishes, washed down with ample amounts of Tiger.
 
 
The next day we took a stroll through Năm Căn market before embarking on the long bus ride home. Clearly less hangover than the students who joined the solders, we could leisurely contemplate the vast expanse of swamp that surrounded us, before nodding off into a rickety sleep.
 
All photos credited to original source

[Event] – Bac Lieu Weekend Trip: Meet The Dandy

Welcome you to our 7th travel – Bac Lieu, the hometown of many wealthy landlords of Southern Vietnam. This tour was particularly designed by a Bac Lieu local with the aim of offering the most local experiences for participants.

Situated next to the Southernmost province of Vietnam (Cà Mau) and 288km away from Hồ Chí Minh City, Bạc Liêu is such a charming countryside province of Mekong Delta awaiting to be explored by travellers. In this trip, the local identity can be learnt through paying a visit to

  • The French-styled House of Công Tử Bạc Liêu who was infamous for his lavishness,
  • A 130-year-old Khmer pagoda named Xiêm Cán Pagoda,
  • Nọc Nạn Historical Relic Site where the bloody battle between farmer brothers and the French took place,
  • Cao Văn Lầu Memorial House to honor the famous musician who composed the classic Cải lương song – Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang telling the the story of a wife awaiting her husband’s return from the battlefield,
  • Offshore Wind Farm which is the first one in Asia and has been operated since 2013,

And other destinations such as Hùng Vương Square, Nón Lá Theater, Tắc Sậy Church, Bạc Liêu Museum, etc.

We can have a chance to experience some of Bạc Liêu special dishes such as Bánh xèo (sizzling crepe,) Bún bò cay (spicy beef noodles soup,) Bún nước lèo (broth noodles) and many others which will be found in Bạc Liêu Night Market.

Anything else? Well, they are waiting for your own exploration.

Time: 27-29th July 2018
Schedule:

Fee:

The sooner your payment is, the higher promotion you get 😉

  • 27/06 – 06/07: 1,600,000VND ($70)
  • 07/07 – 20/07: 1,700,000VND ($74)
  • 21/07 – 25/07: 1,900,000VND ($83)

Including:

  • Two-way bus tickets
  • Entrance tickets
  • Rental motorbikes in 2 days
  • Hotel
  • Food & drinks, water
  • Tour guide fee

***Excluding: Other fees out of those above-mentioned things.

Cancellation Refund Policy:

If you cancel your registration, you will receive refund based on the time of your cancellation.

  • 27/06 – 06/07: Refund 90% of the total fee.
  • 07/07 – 13/07: Refund 60% of the total fee.
  • 14/07 – 20/07: Refund 30% of the total fee.
  • 21/07 – 27/07: No refund.
Registration Process:

Step 1. Register by filling in the form below.

https://goo.gl/forms/dPQe3NbyGPnuOIWX2

Step 2. Complete your payment via:

***Bank Transfer: The information of bank account will be sent to you via email.

***Direct Payment:

Contact Minh Nguyen

  • Phone: 01666725720
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minhvuongainguyen

***Your registration will only be counted after completing your payment.

Before registration, please read the following terms carefully.

1/ In each trip, there is a main guide who is in charge of planning, arranging everything, contacting people, and guiding during the trip. The guide cooperates with us via the Local Supporters Program. All of the expenses of the guide will be shared among other participants in the trip. That’s why in your fee including the fee for the guide. The guide of this trip is Vuu Bich Tram.

If you agree with the above-mentioned term and feel interested in the trip, register ASAP! First come first served. Please fill in the the form below.

>>>Check out our photo galleries of previous trips

Xiem Can Pagoda (Photo source: Andre Luo)
Non La Theater (Photo Source: yesgo.vn)
Hung Vuong Square (Photo source: mytour.vn)
Offshore Wind Farm (Photo source: vietnammoi.vn)
Prince of Bac Lieu House (Photo source: Wikipedia)
Bun nuoc leo
Bun bo cay

 

[Event] – Can Tho Weekend Trip : Feel The Local

Hi guys, how was your holiday? After a long holiday, your batteries may have been fully recharged. Are you ready for another exploration?

Welcome you to our 6th travel – Can Tho, the largest city in the Mekong Delta and a must-visit destination for any visitor. This tour was particularly designed by a Can Tho local for the aim of offering the most local experiences for participants.

  • Time: 26-27th May 2018
  • Schedule:

Fee: 1,800,000 VND ($79)

Early birds (First 05 persons): 1,500,000 VND ($66) (-16%)

Including:

  • Two-way bus tickets
  • Entrance tickets
  • Rental car in 2 days
  • Rental boat to visit floating market
  • Hostel
  • Food
  • Water
  • Tour guide fee

Registration Process:

Step 1. Register by filling in the form below.

https://goo.gl/forms/C6ab7xqDDd3vJRXj1

Step 2. Complete your payment via:

***Bank Transfer: Information of bank account will be sent via your email.

***Direct Payment:

Contact Minh Nguyen

  • Phone: 01666725720
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minhvuongainguyen

Registration deadline: 16/05/2018

Payment deadline:  18/05/2018

*Your registration will only be counted after completing your payment.

Before registration, please read the following terms carefully.

1/ In each trip, there is a main guide who is in charge of planning, arranging everything, contacting people, and guiding during the trip. The guide cooperates with us via the Local Supporters Program. All of the expenses of the guide will be shared among other participants in the trip. That’s why in your fee including the fee for the guide. The guide of this trip is Le Thi Yen Oanh.

If you agree with the above-mentioned term and feel interested in the trip, register ASAP! First come first served. Please fill in the the form below.

>>>Let’s take a look at our previous trips:

Thanh An Island (Can Gio) | Giang Dien Waterfall (Dong Nai) | Tay Ninh

 

[Event] – BBQ Beside Da Han Waterfall

Hey guys, long time no see. How was your Tet Holiday? Let’s PARTY to celebrate Tet together with BBQ Beside Da Han Waterfall (Dong Nai.) Yay!!!

Date: 11 March 2018 (Full Day)

– Gathering time: 7a.m

– Gathering place: near Ben Thanh Market (exact location will be announced later.)

Fee: 600,000 VND

All of the cost will be shared among all of participants. This is only our expected budget. If there is remaining money, it will be returned back to each of the participants.

Including:

  • Entrance ticket (60,000 VND)
  • Rental car
  • BBQ Food (seafood, beef, vegetable, etc.)
  • BBQ grilling tools
  • Utensils
  • Drinks
  • Fee for the guide

Registration Process:

Step 1. Register by filling in the form below.

Step 2. Complete your payment via:

***Bank Transfer:

  • Account No.: 19028799055018
  • Account Holder: Bui Dang Ngoc Minh
  • Bank Name: Techcombank – Branch: Ho Chi Minh City 

***Direct Payment:

Contact Minh Ngoc Dang

  • Phone: 0919 357 733 / 0917 695 475
  • Email: buidangngocminh141@gmail.com
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minnie.mummim

Registration deadline: 04/03/2018

Payment deadline:  07/03/2018

*Your registration will only be counted after completing your payment. 

Before registration, please read the following terms carefully.

1/ We are here to connect travelers, both locals and foreigners, to have a great weekend getaway. We are definitely trying to ensure the safety of every participant, but if some problems happen and money needed in case, we cannot cover this part for you. It is advisable that each of participant take care of yourself during the trip.

2/ In each trip, there is a main guide who is in charge of planning, arranging everything, contacting people, and guiding during the trip. The guide cooperates with us via the Local Supporters Program. All of the expenses of the guide will be shared among other participants in the trip. That’s why in your fee including the fee for the guide. The guide of this trip is Minh Ngoc Dang. 

If you agree with the above-mentioned terms and feel interested in the trip, register ASAP! First come first served. Please fill in the the form below.

>>>Let’s take a look at our previous trips: 

Thanh An Island (Can Gio) | Giang Dien Waterfall (Dong Nai) | Tay Ninh 

Vietnam Track Looking For Local Supporters

[English below]

Là một người con sinh sống trên mảnh đất Việt Nam đã nhiều năm, bạn đã đi và đã quan sát được nhiều. Bạn nhìn thấy, học và cảm nhận được đất nước mình còn ẩn chứa nhiều phong cảnh đẹp, món ăn đặc sắc và phong tục tập quán độc nhất. Vì nhiều lý do mà những điều này vẫn còn nhiều người chưa biết hay chú ý đến…

Bạn có đành lòng để nó mãi “vô danh”?

Nếu không, thì mời bạn tham gia cùng Vietnam Track trong hành trình tìm và giới thiệu những nét đẹp ẩn khuất của Việt Nam ra bạn bè Thế giới!

Mỗi tháng một lần, Vietnam Track sẽ tổ chức một chuyến đi cuối tuần (1-2 ngày) đến những vùng đất khác nhau ở miền Nam Tổ quốc. Tất cả các chuyến đi đều được mở cho người Việt lẫn người nước ngoài
Để tổ chức những chuyến đi thành công, chúng mình rất cần sự hỗ trợ của các bạn local, người đã sinh sống, đã đi và đã hiểu rõ về quê hương của mình.

Đây là dịp để bạn:

– Chia sẻ giới thiệu về quê hương hay vùng đất yêu thích của bạn.
– Giao lưu
kết bạn với những người bạn đến từ nhiều quốc gia.
– Thực hành tiếng Anh
và những kỹ năng xã hội khác.

Nhiệm vụ của một Local Supporterthiết kế chuyến đi và trở thành hướng dẫn chính trong chuyến đi do chính bạn thiết kế. Và bạn không cần phải lo lắng về chi phí trong chuyến đi của bạn, vì nó sẽ được chi trả bởi những thành viên còn lại trong đoàn.

Đối tượng: Người Việt ở miền Nam (gồm các tỉnh Đông Nam Bộ và Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long)
Yêu cầu:
+ Có hiểu biết khái quát về vùng đất mà bạn muốn giới thiệu.
+ Có khả năng tiếng Anh giao tiếp cơ bản.

Cách thức ứng tuyển:

+ Hồ sơ ứng tuyển gồm:

1/Thông tin cá nhân
2/Bản thiết kế chuyến đi, bao gồm: địa điểm ăn chơi, phương tiện di chuyển giữa các địa điểm, thời gian, địa điểm cư trú và chi phí ước tính.

Lưu ý:

1/Bạn cần thiết kế chương trình vào cuối tuần (1-2 ngày) và xuất phát từ TPHCM.

2/Bản thiết kế của bạn nên cung cấp thông tin một cách chi tiết, giúp chúng mình dễ hình dung chuyến đi sẽ được thực hiện như thế nào.

3/Điểm cộng dành thêm cho bản thiết kế nào có chèn hoạt động xã hội/tình nguyện nhé. (Vd như chuyến Tây Ninh vừa rồi, bọn mình ngoài tham quan những địa điểm du lịch, còn kết hợp với giáo viên trường cấp 2 để tổ chức hoạt động tiếng Anh cho các em học sinh.)

Email về: contact@vietnamtrack.com

Subject: [Local Supporter] – Địa điểm – Họ tên

VD: [Local Supporter] – Đồng Nai – Nguyễn Văn A

Quy trình tuyển chọn:

1/Chương trình Local Supporters nhận đơn dài hạn.

2/Sau khi nhận được bản thiết kế chuyến đi của bạn, chúng mình sẽ xem xét mức độ khả thi. Sau đó, chúng mình sẽ liên hệ bạn để trao đổi thêm về lịch trình và chốt thời gian thực hiện.  

Mọi thắc mắc, xin liên hệ Vietnam Track qua:

FB/Vietnamtrack

Email: contact@vietnamtrack.com

SDT: 01666 725 720 (Minh)

>>>Xem chuyến đi đảo Thạnh An, thác Giang ĐiềnTây Ninh của bọn mình ở đây. 

[ENGLISH]

As a offspring of Vietnam, you have probably traveled and explored a lot in your homeland. You have observed, learned and discovered that Vietnam consists of many unique hidden beauty, cuisines, and culture. But for some reasons, what you experienced have not been shared or noticed by many others…

Do you want these Vietnamese values to be ‘anonymous’ forever?

If not, please join us Vietnam Track for the quest of discovering and introducing hidden charm of Vietnam to foreigners around the world!

Once every month, Vietnam Track will host a weekend trip (about 1-2 days) to different provinces in southern area of Vietnam. All Vietnameses and foreigners are welcomed to join. To ensure the success of each trip, we really need the support of local people who have been living, traveling and having knowledge of your hometown or favorite destinations.

This is your opportunity to:

– Share and introduce your hometown/favorite places.

– Exchange culture and make friend with people from many countries.

– Practice your English and other social skills.

The responsibilities of a local supporter are to design and host your own trip. And also, do not worry about the cost because your travelling expense will be paid by other members of the trip.

– Applicants: Southern Vietnamese (including Southeastern Vietnam and Mekong Delta)

– Requirements:

+ Have a general knowledge of the places you want to introduce.

+ Basic English communication skills.

– Application process:

+ Profile:

1/ Personal information.

2/ Your traveling plan must include destinations, means of transportation, time, restaurants, accommodation and estimated budget.

Note:

1/ You should plan a trip for weekends and the starting point is Ho Chi Minh City.

2/ Your plan should be detailed so that we can visualize how the trip will be arranged.

3/ A plan including volunteering/social work is considered a plus.

(e.g. in our last trip to Tay Ninh, besides visiting popular destinations, we cooperated with secondary teachers to organize English activities for pupils.)

Email to: contact@vietnamtrack.com

Subject: [Local Supporter] – Place – Last name Firstname

Ex.: [Local Supporter] – Dong Nai – Nguyen Van A

+ Application period:

1/ The application is open long-term.

2/ After receiving your plan, we will consider its possibility. Then, we will contact you personally to discuss about the schedule and arrange the exact timeline.

All questions can be sent to Vietnamtrack via:

FB/Vietnamtrack

Email: contact@vietnamtrack.com

Phone number: (+84) (0)1666 725 720 (Ms. Minh)

>>>View our last trips to Thanh An Island, Giang Dien Waterfall and Tay Ninh here.

Let’s listen to Oanh, the Can Tho Local Supporter of Vietnam Track.

Can Tho trip (26 – 27/05/2018)