Monday, August 24, 2009

Trekking for the Greater Good

The ultimate holiday for adventurous spirits, wanting to experience new cultures first hand and even spend their vacation time doing something for the greater good, has to be the upcoming Variety Vietnam Hills Trek & Community Project.

The trip offers travellers a unique opportunity for like adventurous and community minded peoples of all ages, to see the real Vietnam form the fascinating bustle of Hanoi to the seclusion of the Mai Chau highlands as well as participating in a community project.

The packed 13 day itinerary gives a birds eye view of daily life, including working sugar cane, tapioca, rice paddies and peach plantations while staying in charming traditional long houses and meeting indigenous hill tribes including the H'mong, Thai and Muong along the trek through remote mountainous villages in parts of the country that receives very few visitors. And the highlight, a stay at the village of Bao La commune getting to know the minority White Thai people, while constructing a much needed classroom for the village’s children, which culminates in a handover ceremony.

Participants must fundraise $7,000 to participate in the trip, of which at least half will go to Variety the children’s charity while the remainder covers the trip including return airfares (based on a Sydney departure), English speaking tour leader, accommodation on a twin share basis at standard hotels with daily breakfasts in Hanoi; home stay accommodation in Mai Chau; airport transfers if arriving an departing on group flights; all group transport; all trekking arrangements (local guides, porters, permits, sleeping gear); all entrance fees on sightseeing days; meals as mentioned in the itinerary; and arrangements for the community project. Participants are also given assistance with a Fundraising Tool Kit, with ideas, advice and support as required. For anyone that preferred to make a contribution to Variety rather than fundraise, such donations are tax deductible.

It is hoped the Trek will raise more than $100,000, some of which will be used to buy a new Variety Sunshine Coach to transport disadvantaged Australian children to extra curricular activities from sporting lessons to educational programs and holidays.

Variety NSW Chairman, Greg Edwards, said Variety’s mission is to alleviate children’s suffering wherever it occurs, commenting “At Variety we respect children, both in Australia and across the world. This journey of a lifetime will provide an unforgettable experience that participants will take away for years to come and it will leave a lasting legacy for children in a developing community and in Australia.”

If the lure of experiencing a country from this truly local perspective, meeting like-minded people, helping raise funds for kids in need and assisting with the community project, aren’t incentive enough, the Vietnam Trek is also a great substitute for a health resort, with around 14 kilometres gentle trekking a day along village paths, part and parcel of the holiday!

To register for the Trek Vietnam program please call Inspired Adventures on:
02 9262 7882 or visit:

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