Tet Holiday Tour 2009: Christmas Shoe Boxes
The Sixth Annual Christmas Shoebox Tet Holiday Tour. A trip of a lifetime – the tour includes visiting several orphanages to distribute Christmas Shoeboxes to children who would not have a Tet Holiday celebration without us. We also visit and give gifts, have holiday parties with special holiday foods at children’s centers and some hospitals and on the way we see the best of Vietnam. Please let us know if you are interested in future trips so we can make reservations. Contact Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-532-4107.
- Price quoted is for an adult (person 12 years or older), double occupancy: $2100. In- country package only. We have priced our tours this way because you can often get better prices than I can as a group; some want to use their miles and some even want to travel first class. I will be pleased to help you arrange your transportation.
- Differential charged for single occupancy: $350.
- Children ages 2 to 12 as a thrid in the same room with parents will be discounted. Children under 2 - free but may pay extra charge for crib if there is one.
- Hotel accommodations in twin rooms (three stars or better when possible)
- all breakfasts and most meals, as indicated
- all in-country flights, trains, boats and ground travel in air conditioned vans or buses
- English speaking guide
- sightseeing fees, water puppet show and other entertainment venues, etc.
- Also, the first half of visa and most tips and baggage handling fees.
- Travel to and from Vietnam
- Second part of visa ($25.00)
- drinks, some tips, telephone calls, laundry, insurance, room service and other personal expenses.
- Gifts for the children in the orphanage centers or project fees, if planned.
- If you are an adoptive family - an extra fee will be charged for arranging birth family searches or meetings, where possible or if desired.
We reschedule to accommodate the children’s orphanage and centers where we schedule visits.
Day 1 – Sunday (1-11): Arrive in HCMC (Saigon). You will be met by DF staff for transfer to hotel. Activities will depend on time of arrival. Free day for those arriving early in the day if desired. For those who are awake after a brief rest and lunch, a walking tour of downtown Saigon Welcoming Dinner. A visit to the night market.
Day 2 – Monday (1-12): After breakfast - Early departure – Drive to Ben Tre – MeCong Delta - Visit the orphanage and handicapped children’s center. Distribute shoeboxes and other gifts, provide holiday party for handicapped children’s center. Stay the night or drive towards An Giang. Dinner.
Day 3 – Tuesday 1-14): After breakfast check out of hotel. - Drive to An Giang where we plan to build an HIV center for children. Give gifts to children in hospitals and orphanage. Fly to Saigon on late flight. Hotel and dinner.
Day 4 – Wednesday (1-15): Tour of Saigon, China town, Cathedral, Pagodas, Zoo, and other points of interest. Lunch along the way. Visit orphanages for party of deliver gifts. Late afternoon flight for Danang. Hotel and dinner.
Day 5– Thursday (1-16): Visit Hai Chau Hospital where many of our children were born and where last year we completed three new projects. Short tour of Danang. Lunch on China Beach, rest and swim, climb Marble Mountain (for the hardy). Early dinner with officials in local beach restaurant. Drive to Hoi An and check into Hoi An Hotel.
Day 6– Friday (1-17): Visit Hoi An library and new Toy Library. Tour ancient town of Hoi An by Cyclo. Lunch. Take short ferry ride to Cam Kim Boat Village where we have a Project. Distribute shoe boxes and/or other gifts and holiday foods. Late afternoon free. Swim at pool, shop, rest. Shopping is great and you can have lovely clothing made – ready next day.
Day 7- Saturday (1-18): Early departure for Danang airport to fly to Hanoi. Check into hotel – bus tour of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake Pagoda, Hanoi Hilton War Museum (??)- Lunch in Western Style Restaurant, continue tour,
Day 8 – Sunday – (1-19): Day of rest and relaxation. Rest by the pool, shop, take a local tour, or we can suggest other places of interest. Water Puppet show in the evening and dinner together.
Day 9 – Monday – (1-20): Drive to Ha Long Bay - Overnight Boat Tour of Ha Long Bay, lunch, dinner and breakfast on boat. Provide Tet Holiday gifts and food items for the children of the floating villages.
Day 10 – Tuesday (1-21): Return to Hanoi. Lunch along the way. Stops along the way. Board the Victoria Over-Night train to Sapa. Late dinner on the train
Day 11 – Wednesday (1-22): Arrive early and transfer to the hotel for breakfast. Tour Ancient Village of Sapa. Full day visit Ta Van and Ta Phin Villages. Distribute gifts and/or holiday foods to individual families. Overnight in Sapa at Victoria Hotel. Dinner at hotel. (Perhaps a home stay in a tribal village would be arranged for the hardy – or for all of us??)
Day 12 – Thursday (1-23): Visit Sapa Market (Bac Ha), the town, Cat Cat village and the Ha Rong Mountains. Take late evening train on the Victoria Over-Night back to Hanoi. Farewell dinner on train.
Day 13 – Friday (1-24): Early arrival in Hanoi. Tour is over. Check into hotel for those who are staying over (and Joy and staff). Luggage will be taken to hotel. Free day. Relax, take walking tours, last minute shopping, lunch on your own. Meet at hotel for dinner. Most will leave for airport during the day or for the early night flights – Taxi on your own to airport as we are all flying at different times.
Day 14 – Saturday (7-25): If you stay over– Check out of hotel. Take taxi on your own to airport. Those staying longer are on their own. There is so much to do and see in Hanoi and the surrounding area.
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Vietnam Photo Journal
by Don Funk