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DSU releases details of Indochina trip

February 2, 2017

Three UNESCO sites are on the itinerary for the 14-day, 13-night Indochina trip planned by Dakota State University this summer.

An agency of the United Nations, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) designates sites around the world for their significance to the area’s culture, history, or their scientific importance. Some examples in the U.S. include Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon.

Indochina has several sites, and those visited by the DSU tour group will include the temple complex at Angkor Wat, the remains of the Khmer Empire capitals at Angkor Archaeological Park, and Halong Bay. The bay includes beautiful scenery with some 1,600 islands and islets, and is also of biological interest, says the UNESCO website. 

The trip is scheduled for July 16-29, said organizer Dr. Deb Tech. Other sites and activities on the agenda include:

  • Sites in the Saigon area, including the Cu Chi tunnel, the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and Ben Thanh Market
  • A Mekong Delta day trip, including a stop on Tan Phong Island
  • Sites near Bangkok, including the Grand Palace and Temple of Dawn, Erawan National Park, and a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River
  • Cooking classes in Bangkok and Hanoi
  • Horse rides through the countryside near Siem Reap, an elephant trek through the jungle, and a twilight bath with the elephants on the Kwai Yai River

Tech, who is an assistant professor with the College of Business and Information Systems, said she was pleased with the final itinerary, as it features a good combination of the history, culture, and food of the area. Personally, she is most looking forward to the cooking lessons, but her interest is also peaked by the elephant ride and twilight bath with the pachyderms.

As with previous trips, this discovery trip will “appeal to a broad group of people,” Tech said. Anyone over 18 with a DSU connection is welcome, DSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members. On previous years’ trips to Cuba and Peru, Tech noted that travelers have ranged in age from 20-something college students to retirees in their 70s and 80s. 

The cost for the land portion of the trip will be $2,050; Tech added that there may be a $60 foreign fee payment, but is working to minimize this. This includes accommodations, some meals, private tours and entrance fees, boat trips, and three flights in the area. It does not include the round-trip flight from the U.S. to Vietnam, some meals, personal expenses and tips, Visa fees or bank transfer fees.

Flights from Sioux Falls, S.D. are averaging about $1,500. She asked that those interested in flying out as a group contact her so that she could investigate prices for discounted group flights. Those making their own arrangements will need to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (also called Saigon) in Vietnam (SGN) around 9 p.m. on July 16. Travelers may then plan to depart from Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN) on July 29.  Tech does recommend adding a day on both ends of the time frame for the 24+ hour flights.

Interested travelers will need to make a $1,000 deposit by February 27 to Nicole Claussen. Claussen is interim director of international services at DSU.

Anyone with questions may contact Tech for more information, at 605-256-5173, or deb.tech@dsu.edu.