Seven years ago Rustic Pathways brought its first student group to Vietnam. For many years the focus revolved around photography and touring the country's many historic landmarks. Over time, our connections here have deepened and we have made many lifelong friends in small but beautiful places. In 2011, we are proud to offer a service immersion program in Vietnam for the first time, along with extended touring and trekking programs designed to showcase the amazing highlights of this diverse country.

Airline Information and Program Connectivity

All Vietnam programs start and finish in Southeast Asia. Starting and finishing locations vary by program; please visit rusticpathways.com.au/flights or call us on 1800 321 435 for complete information about air travel. All programs in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Mongolia, Burma and India connect seamlessly.

Fact File

Population: 88.5 million
Capital City: Hanoi
Currency: Dong - 1 Aussie dollar buys about 19,000 dong (as of November 2010)
Languages: Vietnamese, Tay, Hmong and Dzao

Well-Known Attractions

Ha Long Bay: turquoise saltwater sea of islands in the northeast
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum: tomb of the revered communist leader
The Cu Chi Tunnels: over 120 kilometres of underground passageways used during the Vietnam War

Local Lingo

Xin chao (Vietnamese), Pá prama (Tay): Hello
Cam on ban (Vietnamese), Day fon (Tay): Thank you
Bao nhie?u cho lizard kho?ng?: How much for the lizard?
Toi muon ca phe chon: I would like weasel coffee

Did You Know?

Vietnam is the world's largest exporter of cashew nuts and second-largest exporter of coffee. A popular Vietnamese coffee is Lopi Luwak, which is collected after it passes through the digestive tract of a civet, commonly known as a weasel. Although Vietnam is approximately 1,659 kilometres from north to south, the country gets as narrow as 48 kilometres across. Northern Vietnam and Southern Vietnam are two very distinct areas. The people of Vietnam generally refer to the Vietnam War as the American War. With very few exceptions, the Vietnamese population has moved beyond the war. Less than 50 percent of Vietnamese people alive today were alive at the time of this conflict.

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