About Vietnam

The Global Volunteer Network Vietnam volunteer program gives volunteers the chance to become involved in children's aid and education projects in Vietnam. This program has something to suit all skills and experience levels.

You have the opportunity to work in the Children's Program with orphans, street children and children with disabilities or in the Teaching Program with high schools, colleges and universities.

While sharing your knowledge and compassion you will gain an in-depth experience of the country and its culture that will stay with you the rest of your life.

For more information, please visit the Vietnam program page on the Global Volunteer Network website.

Recent Vietnam Journals:

All packed and ready to go

 Posted by Laurie Kanefsky at 10:15 pm  Vietnam  Comments Off on All packed and ready to go
Jul 262013

So last night after Paul and I finished going over all the things that he would now be taking care of when I am away we were talking about the actual travel it involves to get to Viet Nam and back.  Apparently,  I am going to be going around the world.  Literally.  My trip to Hanoi will take me through Zurich and Bangkok.  When I return home from Saigon/Ho Chi Minh I will be going through Tokyo and returning to New York.  Pretty amazing and that does not even include all the experiences in between.

One week to go…..

 Posted by Laurie Kanefsky at 6:29 am  Vietnam  Comments Off on One week to go…..
Jul 202013

Starting to pack.  Not sure that there will be room for all the stuff.  However, I am committed to taking ONE carry-on only!  Stay tuned.  Also starting to think about what the experience in Ba Vi will be like.  Looking forward to meeting staff and children.

Day 2

 Posted by Angela Seol at 4:30 pm  Vietnam  Comments Off on Day 2
Jul 102013

9 July 2013 After the exciting first day, we had to get up nice and early for Day 2, because it was the day that we were finally going to the main purpose of this tour; Friendship Village. The Friendship Village was around 40 minutes away from Hanoi. Hanh came to pick us up with a taxi to take us there. Of course I was still adjusting to the different ways of traffic in Vietnam,but I soon got over it. We arrived at the Vietnamese Friendship Village and I was amazed at how nicely set out it was. It had a sense of home and warmth about it and I was starting to get excited about what I was about to experience. We all stumbled out of the taxi with all our luggage (the taxi driver had a mission trying to fit it all in the little van. Hanh showed us our room in the Volunteers’ Building. The room had three beds, a cupboard with drawers and a mini bathroom with a bath, toilet and a sink. I’ll admit it was not a 5-star hotel but what’s the fun in that? After generally unpacking, Terry and Hanh took us on a tour of the village before going to a nearby café, where we had an outline of the tour operator with coffees and kakao sur da (iced chocolate). We also met Luan, who was part of ‘Helping Hands’, Terry’s charitable trust. Terry introduced us to Linda, an American that had a  professional education on children’s special needs, especially in autism. When we went back to the village, a few kids were starting to come out after their afternoon nap. They were more sociable and interactive than I expected but they were adorable. We ended up spending the rest of our [click here to read more]

Start of the Adventure

 Posted by Angela Seol at 2:32 am  Vietnam  Comments Off on Start of the Adventure
Jul 092013

After a total of 14 and a half hours of flight time, I have finally landed in the city of Hanoi, Vietnam. It was amazingly hot and humid, the complete opposite of the NZ winter. I was greeted by Kelly (who’s also from NZ!) and Hanh. After introductions we waited for another 2 hours for Ali, the other volunteer from the UK. This was a great chance to talk to Kelly and Hanh about the tour and general questions. Soon after, everyone was relieved to see Ali walk through the gates, especially after a rather confusing phone conversation, which ended up being my sister. We drove to the hotel,  May de Ville in the Old Quarter, where we unpacked. Hanh took us to explore the Old Quarter. She took us to  see the lake and explained the ‘Turtle Tower’. She took us to various places and showed us where the cheapest shops were and some of the hot spots regarding food. (FOOD BABY!) To be honest,  it was a bit of a culture shock and took a bit adjusting to the different ways of traffic. We also exchanged our money for the Vietnamese currency. We ended up having noodles for lunch AND dinner, shows how much we loved it. We then walked back to the hotel to settle for the night, but not after a game of pool. (Ali won.) We all came back to our rooms and got into our beds and watched ‘Dream High’, a Korean TV show that was showing. It was a exciting first day and we were all pretty knackered and went to sleep quickly, waiting for the official work to start. ~The key to Happiness is excitement for the future.~

Part 2 – Our weekend in Sapa (11-12 May)

 Posted by Amanda Quilty at 4:19 am  Vietnam  Comments Off on Part 2 – Our weekend in Sapa (11-12 May)
Jun 062013
Part 2 - Our weekend in Sapa (11-12 May)

11/5/2013 Today we were up at 7am and down to breakfast before Pang picked us up at 8:30am to drive 15km’s to the Red Dao Village. It was overcast today but it was nice to be in an area a little cooler than Ba Vi. The Red Dao people are beautiful. When we arrived at the village we were surrounded by about 9 ladies who followed us on our walk through. We walked up to a cave and then visited one of the ladies houses. (Sorry about the photos, we were using Stacie’s camera with the video recorder and the photos didn’t come out to good)               The drive to the Red Dao Village Driving to the Village     Because we went to one of the houses it was expected of us to buy something from her so Stacie bought me a beautiful handmade scarf for Mother’s Day. The other ladies wanted us to buy from them too but we had already bought so much the day before that we decided to only buy one thing today. After we finished touring the village, Pang dropped us off back at the hotel and the afternoon was ours to roam around Sapa. We wandered through the Market Place and streets of Sapa.                  Stacie had been craving a hamburger and we stumbled across a restaurant that sold burgers, so we went in and order one Chicken Burger and one Beef Burger. They were delicious, the chicken burger was to die for.. After lunch we went back to the hotel to have a rest and also to do some  journalling. Then it was time for dinner, we ate at an Italian Restaurant called Carmelia’s and we had Spring Rolls [click here to read more]

May 25 – Our last night in Hanoi

 Posted by Amanda Quilty at 4:53 am  Vietnam  Comments Off on May 25 – Our last night in Hanoi
Jun 032013
May 25 - Our last night in Hanoi

This morning we left Suoi Hai at 8:30am by private car heading towards Hanoi to the Airport View Hotel where we were staying the night before flying to Da Nang. Once we dropped our things off at the hotel we got a taxi into the Old Quarter. We went to have lunch at the Blue Butterfly then met up with Terry and Hanh at the Sua Chua shop to say our goodbyes. We got in touch with the girls (Kate, Kate, Joey and Cleme) to arrange to meet up for dinner. While we waited to meet the girls Stacie and I went to have a foot massage. I felt like I was walking on pillows afterwards..   We met the girls at Nola’s Restaurant, had a quick bite to eat. We were getting a lift back to the hotel with Cleme because she was flying out to France at 11pm. Once we got back to the hotel we repack our things and went to bed because we had to be at the airport at 5am for our 7am flight to Da Nang.

May 24 – Our last day in Ba Vi

 Posted by Amanda Quilty at 1:46 am  Vietnam  Comments Off on May 24 – Our last day in Ba Vi
Jun 022013
May 24 - Our last day in Ba Vi

Today was our last day at the orphanage. We woke up this morning feeling sad about leaving Ba Vi and the children but also excited to see other parts of this beautiful country. Also today was Cleme’s last day, she worked at the centre until 11am then headed into Hanoi with the other volunteers Kate, Kate and Joey. Stacie and I decided to work right though to 5pm today and head to Hanoi on Saturday morning. Stacie and I decided that we wanted to make the day all about fun. We had brought Jelly Cups for the younger children and Choco Pies and Jelly Cups for the older children. And in the afternoon we were going to have a little farewell party with the dance class and kids from the block. So we started the day as usual in Rooms 1 & 2.     We said our goodbyes to the staff and children in Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4. We gave out jelly cups to kids who could eat them. On our way the nursery to say goodbye to the babies we got held up at the hall by some of the kids in Stacie’s dance class. The people from Pepsi had come and made a big donation and Stacie was asked to dance with her kids. The videos are too big to load onto the journal but when we get home we will put them up on facebook We decided to go to lunch before going to the nursery. After lunch we went up to the nursery.         We ran an art class in the afternoon too..       After art it was time for Stacie to run her last dance class. But this time the teacher became the student! Teacher becomes Student [click here to read more]

May 23

 Posted by Amanda Quilty at 7:33 pm  Vietnam  Comments Off on May 23
Jun 012013
May 23

Today was our 2nd last day at the centre. So we spent the morning in Rooms 1 & 2 playing with the children. Because it was raining we put the mats on the porch undercover. We had building blocks, rattles and bubbles to play with. Stacie has spent the last 6 weeks trying to get Zoy out of his cot and finally with the help of Quan Anh she did it. Video of Zoy Stacie and Kate playing with Zoy Stacie and Zoy Playing Ball Our Volunteer Hand Tree for VIVPS 2013     Once we finished at Rooms1 & 2 we went up to the nursery for a little while.   On the way to lunch we came across this huge snail, a turkey and a crab!     Today at dance class it was more about socialising than dance. Also one of Stacie dance students Giang, was very upset that she will be leaving tomorrow. Giang wrote Stacie a beautiful letter and gave it to her today.  

Part 1 – Our weekend in Sapa (9-10 May)

 Posted by Amanda Quilty at 2:55 am  Vietnam  Comments Off on Part 1 – Our weekend in Sapa (9-10 May)
May 312013
Part 1 - Our weekend in Sapa (9-10 May)

9/5/2013 We boarded the night train  (The Orient Express) at about 8:30pm to Sapa. We were in a 4 berth soft sleeper with 2 other Australians Adam and Kate from Wollongong. The train left Hanoi at about 9pm by about 10pm I was out like alight! 10/5/2013 After a restless nights sleep on the train we arrived at Lao Cai at 5:30am and were met by our guide Pang and driver Tien and they drove us to Sapa which was about an 1 hour away. The countryside is amazing! Terraced rice paddies everywhere, not yet green because it’s too early to plant the rice. But in about a months time it will green everywhere. It’s hard to believe that some of the terraces are over 300 years old and have been carved into the side of the mountain by hand.                 We arrived at our hotel ‘The Fansipan View’ it had a beautiful view of the highest mountain in Vietnam Mt Fansipan.         We had breakfast and freshened up before starting starting our 12km trek to Lao Chai and Tan Van villages.                 When we left the hotel we were followed by 3 H’mong women. They walked with us the 12km’s to there village and at the end it was expected of us to buy something from them – of course if you didn’t see something you liked you could say no. Along the way they would say ‘if you see something you like – you buy something from me’ and here in Vietnam if you say maybe they take it as yes!     I found it hard to say no to the children along the way and they knew it, so [click here to read more]

May 22

 Posted by Amanda Quilty at 3:07 am  Vietnam  Comments Off on May 22
May 302013
May 22

Today when we got to the centre we went down to Room 1 & 2. We helped out by feeding, changing and playing. Yen had come back from Hanoi after having more eye surgery. Hopefully one day she’ll see things that aren’t literally right up against her face. Bi Anh Bi Anh when we first met him was always climbing out of the cot and coming over to us, he has no control of his body so he would often grab onto your hair or arm or whatever he could  to stop from falling. But once we discovered he liked being taken out in the wheelchair, it really calmed him he became such a mellow little boy. After spending the morning in Rooms 1 & 2 it was time to head to the nursery. After baby cuddles we went to lunch. On the way we stopped at the dress maker where we were having a top made for Sandra. Sandra I think you’ll love it. We also met Hanh and the new volunteer Joey (from Malaysia) at Liam’s. On the weekend in Hanoi Kate the UK volunteer got a tattoo and if I was thinking of getting another one this is one I might get. After lunch and a cold drink at the cafe we went back to the centre. We ran an art class then I went down to Rooms 3 & 4 to check out the murals.   After art it was time for dance class. Today Stacie went through the dances she had taught the kids and then she passed the class over to Kate from Tassie who taught a dance to the music  ‘I like to move it move it’   Kate’s dance  

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