Retreat & Team Building Including: Amazing Race Vietnam

Health, Well Being & Team Building

TEAM BUILDING/SCHOOL GROUPS – AMAZING RACE VIETNAM STYLE 

COST ON APPLICATION 

*itinerary can be tailored to your specific group requirements 

DAY 1

CAPITAL CITY to Ho Chi Minh City (D)

via Singapore and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City around. On Arrival your group will be welcomed by our Vietnam School Tour Director and Tour Guide before transferring to your hotel where our Tour Director will assist your group with checking-in. After check-in, you will have some free time to rest and then our Tour Director and Tour Guide will take your group out for a Welcome Dinner.

DAY 2

Saigon The Amazing Race (B, L, D)

Today we begin our sightseeing around Vietnam’s largest and busiest city – but we do it “Amazing Race” style. Teams will each be given a guide and a van and will need to join forces in a team work of map reading, negotiating and interacting with locals and displaying creative communication skills whilst appreciating Saigon’s attractive sights like the Presidential Palace, The Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Ben Thanh Markets. Today we will explore Saigon, its lifestyle and famous landmarks whilst engaging with one another and the locals at the same time. The final check in point will be at a local Vietnamese restaurant where we sit down to enjoy a well-deserved lunch. Tonight we enjoy a Saigon River Dinner Cruise. We will spend 2 hours cruising and reflecting on-board the ‘’BONSAI”- the largest existing dragon boat in Vietnam. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 3

Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta (B, L, D)

At 07.30am our driver and Tour Director will pick your group up from your hotel lobby and head to Vietnam’s ‘rice basket’, the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival we will start off at the Vinhlong market where we will see everything from Vietnam’s beautiful tropical fruits to delicacies such as rice-field rats and even snakes! Our boat ride today will include a trip to the brick kilns where we will witness potters at work sculpting their amazing clay pots. Following this we will visit a nursery garden and sample a vast array of the wonderful fruits which he cultivates on this land. At the end of our boat ride our tour director and driver will take you back to your Mekong accommodation for a rest before dinner. Overnight in Mekong Delta. *Note: Accommodation options in Mekong Delta include Mekong Homestay, Mekong Lodge or Hotel Accommodation.

DAY 4

Mekong – Community Service Project (B, L, D)

After breakfast, our Tour Director will take your group to visit the less fortunate children of the Mekong Delta. The local council will be notified of your group’s visit and after meeting at the local community hall, you will have time to interact with the village children. We strongly encourage people to make much needed contributions of old clothing and toys to the local children. After lunch, our tour director will take you to participate in projects such as building schoolrooms for the children of the community. Enjoy afternoon activities and games with the local children of the village, before transferring back to your Mekong accommodation. Overnight in Mekong Delta.

DAY 5

Cai Be Floating Markets – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L, D)

We will have a very early start at 07.00am this morning as we prepare to visit the famous Cai Be Floating Market. We are certainly in for an amazing experience as we watch the local farmers selling their produce from their boats at this amazingly colourful market right on the waters of the Mekong. Following this we will stop at various local workshops where we will have a chance to see rice-paper and coconut candy being made. Our Driver and Tour Director will transfer your group back to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh around 4.30pm. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 6

Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An (B, L, D)

Our Driver and Tour Director will pick your group up from your hotel lobby and transfer to the airport for your short flight to the enchanting port town of Hoi An which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1998 (Hoi An is a great case study for any student who is interested in sustainable tourism). On the way we stop at the famed China Beach. This evening our driver and tour director will take you into Hoi An to explore the town famous for its tailors and great food. After dinner your group will be transferred back to your hotel. Overnight in Hoi An.

DAY 7

Hoi An Eco-Tour (B, L, D)

Our Tour Director and driver will pick your group up from your hotel lobby at 07.45am. We then head out cycling to Tre Que Village, taking the opportunity to take some photos of the picturesque landscape on the way. Visit the village’s gardens, meeting local farmers, learn about Tra Que “Organic farm” and join in with various farming activities. Next we continue cycling through the rice paddy fields before arriving at Mr. Nhi’s house, the local farmer at Cam Thanh Ecological village. Here we will hear stories of his life, join in on farming activities and ride a water buffalo, before enjoying lunch with Mr. Nhi’s family. After lunch we will enjoy a rest and food massage at Mr. Nhi’s house before transferring down to the local fishing village where we will join in fishing and experience the local cast net “CHAI”. From here we will enjoy a basket boat cruise through the water coconut palm forest and have fun catching little crabs. In the afternoon we will walk around the Eco –village and meet a local former guerrilla who will talk about his/her memories and the history of the U.S – Vietnam War. We then return to our boat and enjoy traditional Vietnamese food before being transferred back to our hotel in Hoi An around 6pm. Overnight in Hoi An.

DAY 8

Hoi An Cooking Class & Cycle Tour (B, L, D)

Our Tour Director and driver will pick your group up from your hotel lobby and we will cycle to Hai Scout Café at 98, Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. From here we will leave our bikes at the café and continue walking to the markets to buy ingredients before heading to the restaurant for your cooking class. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours with each dish first being demonstrated by the Red Bridge’s master Chef before we prepare the same dish ourselves. After your cooking class, we will cycle around Hoi An town and visit the beach. Return to your hotel around 5pm. Overnight in Hoi An.

DAY 9

Hoi An to Hanoi (B, L, D)

Our driver and Tour Director will pick your group up from your hotel lobby at 10.30am and transfer you to the airport for a short domestic flight to Hanoi. On arrival in Hanoi, our local tour guide and driver will pick you up and transfer your group to the hotel where our tour director will assist you to check-in. After check-in, your group will have time for a short rest before our Tour guide and Tour Director takes you out for lunch. After lunch we will visit the Ho Chi Minh complex where we will spend time at Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and One Pillar Pagoda. Following this we visit the infamous Hanoi ‘Hilton’ Prison, where former US presidential candidate John McCain was incarcerated for 5 years. Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 10

Hanoi to Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Our Cruise bus will pick your group up from your Hanoi Hotel at 8am and we will take a scenic, 3.5 hour drive to Halong Bay. Enjoy the landscape of the Red River Delta country side and have a short break on the way. Embark on V’Spirit Classic Cruise around Midday followed by a short cruise briefing. Cruise among the limestone islands while enjoying a delectable lunch. After lunch, enjoy kayaking among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Luon Cave area. In the afternoon we will head back to the V’Spirit Classic Cruise and then visit Soi Sim island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay. In the afternoon we return to the main boat to freshen up, relax or take some photos as the sun sets. After dinner on board we have time to socialize with other guests, fish for squid, or simply relax. Overnight on V’Spirit Cruise.

DAY 11

Halong Bay – Hanoi (B, L, D)

Start your morning with a Tai Chi exercise or a photo hunt. After breakfast we will visit the amazing Sung Sot Cave. After that we will return to the boat to freshen up and check out of your cabin. Later Next we continue cruising to exploring the Bay, visiting Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet and many more attractions. We then head back to the harbor and watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch. After lunch we disembark V’Spirit Classic Cruise and your group will be transferred back to your hotel in Hanoi around 5pm. Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 12

Hanoi – Free Day (B, L, D)

Day at Leisure. Our driver and tour director will take you out for a farewell dinner. Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 13

Hanoi Departure (B)

After Breakfast our driver and Tour Director will pick your group up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight home around 10.45am. Vietnam School Tour Ends.

DAY 14

Capital city Arrival

Your flight will arrive back in Adelaide around 7.30am.

2020 YOGA, WELLNESS, CULTURE AND SOUTH INDIA 

Relax your body, mind and spirit and soak up some of India’s unique culture along the way. The beauty of travel is that it brings us closer not only to our planet and its people, but also to ourselves. Our Yoga, Wellness & Culture journey to South India brings together rejuvenating treatments, cultural hotspots, stunning scenery, bespoke experiences and mindful writing workshops. Indulge yourself with spa treatments and massages, unwind with yoga, soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches, relax on a houseboat cruise along the Keralan backwaters and experience Indian culture with a local homestay.

Join long term Indophile, Sharon Thrupp, as she explores all that South India has to offer. Sharon will lead several writing sessions exploring mindfulness, memoir and travel writing.

As with all Ekno experiences, we select our hotels and locations with an eye on combining luxury and comfort into one fabulous experience. With Sharon as your guide you will not only discover hidden experiences unique to India, but you can also relax safe in the knowledge that your security is foremost in our minds.

TOUR COST: (Cost based on min 6pax)A$3,950 per person on twin share | A$1,250 per person on single supplement

TOUR DATES:  15-28 October 2020 DURATION: 14 Days, 13 Nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Soak up the culture of Mumbai
  • Chill out on the beaches of Goa
  • Experience a traditional Goan cooking class &market tour
  • Unwind with yoga classes, spa sessions & Ayurveda treatments
  • Take part in guided creative writing workshops
  • Explore the old city of Cochin
  • Relax in Thekkady, gateway to Periyar National Park
  • Houseboat cruise& homestay along the backwaters of Alleppey

 

TOUR ROUTE:
Mumbai – Dabolim – Mandrem Beach – Cochin – Thekkady – Alleppey – Cochin

 

 TOUR ITINERARY

Day 01 |15 October 2020 – Arrive Mumbai

Welcome to Mumbai, India. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure or kick start your adventure by visiting some of the local sights. The energy and liveliness of this fascinating city is undeniable and there is plenty to discover in this diverse metropolis. You might like to check out ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus), the High Court, Mumbai City Museumor one of the many ancient bazaars.

Overnight: Hotel, Mumbai

Day 02 | 16 October 2020 – Mumbai

Today we will explore Mumbai and soak up the culture of this thriving metropolis. After breakfast, we will head to Elephanta Island by boat, leaving from the iconic Gateway of India. Elephanta is a small island in the middle of the Mumbai Harbour rich with rock cut temples. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to AD450-750.

When we return to the mainland, we will have lunch at the famous Leopold Café. The café has been immortalised in various books and films and is a great spot for people watching. In the afternoon we will wander around the Colaba area and soak up the atmosphere and shop for souvenirs in the many street markets. You can also choose from one of our bespoke experiences for a unique perspective on Mumbai.

In the evening we will enjoy a traditional welcome feast at one of Mumbai’s many Indian restaurants. 

*Optional bespoke extras:

  • Early morning walking tour of old Mumbai, including the original Koli fishing villages, flower markets and Mumbai’s famous outdoor laundry.
  • Rub shoulders with Mumbai’s elite and enjoy a high tea at the heritage TajMahal Palace Hotel (known as the Taj). 
  • Mumbai is a city of contrasts – explore the lively slums of Dharavi with a walking tour.

Overnight:Hotel, Mumbai

Day 03 | 17 October 2020 – Mumbai – Dabolim

After breakfast we will transfer to Mumbai airport for a late morning/early afternoon flight to Goa. We will transfer to the hotel in Dabolim. After checking in to our accommodation you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring at your leisure. You might like to check out the beaches or hire a bike for the afternoon.

Overnight:Hotel, Dabolim

Day 04 |18 October 2020 – Dabolim – Mandrem Beach

This morning we will take part in a unique cookery class and market tour to experience the rich and aromatic traditions of Indian cuisine. We will start by sharing an ethnic breakfast, followed by a guided local farmer’s market tour where we will have a brief introduction to the different spices, masalas and ingredients used in Indian cooking. We will then participate in a cooking workshop followed by a sumptuous lunch, allowing you to fully experience in the culture and traditions of Goa.

In the afternoon we will transfer to Mandrem Beach, where we will spend the next 3 days indulging in rest and relaxation. 

Overnight:Resort, Mandrem Beach

Day 05-07 | 19-21 October  2020 – Mandrem Beach

We will spend three days focussing on our own wellness and relaxation. Indulge yourself with morning yoga, enjoy massages and day spas, spend time at the beach and take part in guided creative writingsessions as the sun goes down. The writing workshops will focus on a range of techniques and exercises, including mindfulness, sensory writing, journaling and travel writing.

Enjoy interacting with the locals and soak up the unique culture in the Portuguese influenced state of Goa. The days are completely yours to focus on self-care, reflection and new experiences. 

*Optional bespoke extras include:

  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Day spa
  • Ayurveda treatments

Overnight:Resort, Mandrem Beach

Day 08 |22 October 2020 – Mandrem Beach – Cochin

Catch a morning flight to Cochin where and then transfer to the hotel. Spend the afternoon exploring Cochin and soaking up the culture of this port side city. Visit the many cosmopolitan galleries, cafes and boutiques as well as the beautiful old churches and of course the iconic Chinese fishing nets.

Overnight:Hotel, Cochin

Day 09 |23 October 2020 |Cochin

Today we will spend a full day exploringCochin. We will start in Jew town before heading to Mattancherry and the spice warehouses.

In the afternoon you can enjoy a stroll along the harbour or take some time to relax, write and reflect by yourself.

Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a Kathakali dance performance this evening. Kathakali is a classical form of dance practiced in the state of Kerala and is a unique form of cultural storytelling.

Overnight: Hotel, Cochin

Day 10 |24 October 2020 |Cochin – Thekkady

After breakfast we will take a spectacular drive through the Cardamom hills (3 hours). The beautiful hills are lined with tea, cocoa, tapioca, bamboo, coconut, banana, and of course cardamom plantations. In the afternoon we will reach Thekkady, gateway to Periyar National Park.

In the afternoon you can explore the village or indulge in an Ayurvedic massage.

Overnight:Hotel, Thekkady

Day 11 | 25 October 2020 Alleppey Houseboat

 After an early breakfast we will head to Alleppey (4 hours’ drive), where we will board our houseboat for a tranquil cruise along the backwaters. Made in the traditional Kettuvalam (rice barge) style and luxuriously fitted out, each boat has bedrooms, a dining room, open lounge and deck. A captain and cook are on hand to look after your every need. Spend the afternoon drifting along coconut lined canals, past small villages that laze on the islands that dot the backwaters.

Overnight: Houseboat, Alleppey

 Day 12-13 | 26-27 October 2020 | Alleppey Homestay

After breakfast, you will be dropped at your homestay, where your charming hosts will look after you. The homestay is situated on a car-free island and the only way to get around is on foot, bicycle or by boat. Do all three or just chill in a hammock watching life pass by at a snail’s pace.Enjoy the wonderful experience of staying with a local family as you share in their culture and traditions.

There will be time to take part in some mindful writing sessions lead by Sharon. These sessions will focus on travel writing and journeys and are a wonderful way to reflect on your time spent in India.

On our last night at the homestay we will share a farewell dinner comprising of South Indian delicacies.

Overnight:Homestay, Chennamkary (Alleppey)

 Day 14 |28 October 2020 |Departure Cochin

 After say goodbye to your homestay family we will head back to Cochin (2 hours’ drive), where you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

 Thank you for travelling with us and we look forward to seeing you on another Ekno Travels journey soon.

 Includes:

  • Met at Mumbai Airport by an Ekno representative
  • 10 nights’ hotel & resort accommodation with breakfast
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in a homestay
  • 1 night’s accommodation in a houseboat
  • Welcome and farewell dinners (Mumbai & Alleppey)
  • Lunch& dinnersduring houseboat cruise and homestay
  • 2 internal flights – Mumbai to Goa, Goa to Cochin (via Bangalore or Mumbai)
  • All transfers by private vehicles as follows:
    Pickup and drop off at airports in Mumbai, Goa and Kochi

    Sightseeing in Mumbai
    Sightseeing in Goa
    Transport from Cochin to Alleppey and back to Cochin
  • 1-day cookery class and market tour in Goa
  • Entrance fees to all sights and monuments as per the itinerary
  • Local English-speaking guides for Elephanta Island (Mumbai), Goa, Cochin and Thekkady
  • All charges related to transport such as tolls, parking, fuel etc.
  • Guided writing workshops throughout the tour, led by Sharon Thrupp
  • Accompanied throughout tour by English speaking guide

 Excludes 

  • Return airfares to India
  • Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)
  • Lunches and dinners unless otherwise specified in the itinerary
  • Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs
  • Tipping
  • Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments
  • Extra activities and transport not stipulated in the itinerary
  • Compulsory insurance of any kind

Optional Extras:

  • Mumbai walking tour
  • High tea at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
  • Dharavi slum tour
  • Yoga classes
  • Massage
  • Day spa
  • Ayurveda treatments

Conditions of Quote:

The trip price is based on costs and exchange rates current at time of preparation. We reserve the right to adjust the prices due to exchange rate fluctuations and other costs (such as taxes) until 20% deposit has been made. We cannot guarantee airfare cost and choice of accommodation until this deposit has been made.

  

Updated on 26August 2020

We thank you for this opportunity to quote for your holiday to our Incredible India.

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