Community-based Tourism in Cat Tien National Park (2 night)

HCM 308-301
  • Participate in a community-directed service project
  • Explore daily life at a local village
  • Visit Nam Cat Tien national park and learn about role and pressure of surround population on the forest and environment conservation
Program Overview
Country: Vietnam
Depart: Nov 16, 2018 7:30 AM
Return: Nov 18, 2018 5:00 PM
Duration: Overnight Program
Capacity: 15
Difficulty: Moderate
Program Fee
$378.00 (early booking: $356.00)

Field Class Conflicts
  • PSY-292D-79583 Seminar: Special Topics in Psychology

This program offers you a unique opportunity to engage with locals, participate in a community-based tourism project and learn about local conservation efforts. (Not adventure/ active-based.)

Ta Lai Longhouse (where you will stay) is a project established to support and improve the livelihood of the local communities, while raising awareness for the environment. By creating jobs directly and indirectly for local people, Ta Lai Longhouse has proven that by preserving nature and culture, locals can have more stable income than collecting forest products (which can be an exploitation of the forest and its natural resources.)

The Ta Lai Longhouse is the first ever community-based tourism project in Cat Tien National Park. Being one of Vietnam’s most important and largest National Parks, Nam Cat Tien park covers 71,920 Hectares (278 square miles) of lowland forest and swamp in southern Viet Nam and is home to numerous birds (Germain’s peacock pheasant, bar-bellied pitta and the rare endemic orange-necked partridge) and mammals (endemic golden-cheeked gibbon, bears, elephant and gaur).

On this program, voyagers will have the opportunity to contribute to the community of Ta Lai village through a community project involving house renovation. Most of the houses in the village are under poor condition due to old age and bad maintenance. The roofs are rusty and have holes and some can easily collapse, which make it quite dangerous during the rainy season. Walls may also become moldy as the locals usually cook inside the house with wood. Students will join with the host and local staff to replace the roof, wash and paint the walls, install new doors or windows, and construct a small kitchen outside of the house.

On the last day, voyagers will enjoy a short trip to the national park headquarters to visit Gibbon Island and the Bear Rescue center.


Day 1

  • Travel to Ta Lai village (approx. 3.5 hrs driving)
  • Arrive in Ta Lai, cross Dong Nai river by ferry then walk for 1.5km to Ta Lai long house
  • Leisure walk to visit Ta Lai village
  • Enjoy the local Goong performance and Bamboo dance before having dinner tonight
  • Overnight at the traditional Ta Lai long house (Very basic, no air-conditioner, only mattress, pillow, blanket and mosquito net)

Day 2

  • Breakfast at the long house
  • Join local staff on a community project focused on house renovations
  • Return to the Long House for lunch
  • Continue project in the PM
  • Kayak on a lake
  • Farewell dinner and campfire at the long house
  • Overnight at the traditional Ta Lai long house (Very basic, no air-conditioner, only mattress, pillow, blanket and mosquito net)

Day 3

  • Breakfast at the long house
  • Visit headquarters of Nam Cat Tien national park
  • Visit Gibbon island
  • Visit Bear Rescue Center
  • Lunch at a local restaurant
  • Return to Ho Chi Minh City

Meals Included

  • Day 1 = Lunch, Dinner included
  • Day 2 = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
  • Day 3 = Breakfast, Lunch included
  • 2 x bottled of water/pax/day on bus included

Special Note

  • Hat, sunscreen and bug spray is highly recommended
  • Accommodation at the traditional Ta Lai long house is very basic (no air-conditioner, only mattress, pillow, blanket and mosquito net)
  • Appropriate gifts for children in the village is recommended (no candy)
  • Children under 6 are not permitted