VIETNAM: RETURN TO THE SOURCE
January 3 - 15, 2018 (13 days)
&
CAMBODIA: HEAVEN ON EARTH

January 15 - 18, 2018 (4 days)

Journeys with Shantum Seth

For futher information & registration please contact us at info@buddhapath.com

Buddhapath (Eleven Directions) is 3rd in this august global list (including Plum village and Spirit Rock) of inner journeys in outer spaces. Rating has been done by CNN. Read more...
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VIETNAM: RETURN TO THE SOURCE & CAMBODIA: HEAVEN ON EARTH
Journeys with Shantum Seth

Vietnam: 'Return to the Source': Visit Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hội An and Ho Chi Minh City (13 days, beginning in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City): January 3 to 15, 2018

Cambodia: 'Heaven on Earth': Explore the magnificent fusion of Buddhist and Hindu sacred architecture in Angkor (4 days, beginning and ending in Siem Reap): January 15 to 18, 2018

It has been 30 years since we began offering pilgrimages 'In the Footsteps of the Buddha', as a response to a request from Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh. He mentioned to me on more than a couple of occasions that I should offer a pilgrimage to Vietnam. I visited Vietnam a number of times, and was enchanted by its haunting beauty. Finally, as our 30th anniversary journey, I have decided to offer a journey titled 'Return to the Source' as homage to him, and as many former pilgrims have requested a journey to Vietnam.

Vietnam and its people have always held a special connection for me, right from the days of the Vietnam/American war when the seeds of peace activism were watered in me. Also, since I met Thich Nhat Hanh in 1987 I felt I owed a great debt of gratitude to Vietnam and its culture, for maintaining and developing the Buddha Dharma from possibly the 3rd century BCE, in a way that would speak to me from the land of the Buddha in the 20th century.
As on previous journeys our time will be divided between visits to historical and cultural sites with dedicated periods for meditation.  The pilgrimage is thus a “retreat on the road”, which will give us the chance to form a temporary community (sangha) as well as to spend time in quiet reflection. 
We shall witness an ancient and living Buddhist culture on this fascinating pilgrimage through Vietnam.  We shall meet some of its skilled teachers, who are known to me and experience how Buddhism is engaged with social and educational organisations within a single party socialist republic.

The journey will begin in the capital city of Hanoi with its ancient temples and shaded boulevards, from where we will take an overnight cruise on the emerald waters between the limestone islands of Halong Bay. Next we fly to the imperial city of Hue which is situated on the Perfume river. We will visit the Tu Hieu Pagoda where Thich Nhat Hanh entered as a novice at the age of 16 and was ordained as a Dharma teacher. We will visit the coastal city of Hội An, with its beautiful beaches and its well-preserved ancient town with Vietnamese and colonial architecture, that was declared a heritage city by UNESCO. From there we will take a day trip to Mỹ Sơn, which is a cluster of abandoned Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century CE by the kings of Champa. We shall fly to the 'high octane city of commerce and culture‘, Ho Chi Minh City, from where we will make excursions to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the infamous underground city for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War and the Mekong Delta where we will take a boat ride around the floating market. We shall have a closing ceremony for the Vietnam leg of the journey, while some of us will continue onwards, flying to Siem Reap in Cambodia to explore the ruins of Angkor for 4 days.

The Angkor complex fuses sacred Buddhist and Hindu religious architecture, and is supposed to be an earthly representation of heaven. It was built between the 9th and 15th century CE and is an extensive UNESCO World Heritage site which includes Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple and many other temples with countless sculptural decorations. Angkor Wat, at the heart of Khmer identity, and is even featured on the flag of Cambodia.
As with all our journeys, this pilgrimage too will be undertaken in an ecumenical and secular spirit and welcomes Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

This transformative experience is also a way of celebrating my 60th birth year with family and friends. I feel it is a time for reflection and returning to the source of what has inspired and guided a lot of my adult life; the Buddha and his teachings, through Thay. Do join us.

Warmly,
Shantum

TEACHER BIOGRAPHY
Shantum is an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Zen Buddhist lineage (of the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh) and has been leading pilgrimages ' In the Footsteps of the Buddha' and other transformative journeys since 1988. He will offer meditations, talks and facilitate discussions along the way. He is also well connected with people in Vietnam, so shall facilitate meetings and discussions with interesting people.

He has co-authored books such as Walking with the Buddha and been a consultant for films like BBC-Discovery’s Life of the Buddha and BBC-PBS’s The Story of India. He is a Senior Advisor to the World Bank/Govt. of India to help promote Buddhist pilgrimage tourism in India and South Asia.

Shantum is actively involved in village development and cultural programmes including bringing mindfulness into Indian education, being pioneered by the non-profit Ahimsa www.ahimsatrust.org He is working on setting up a Meditation centre in the foothills of the Himalayas, where he lives. 

ITINERARY JANUARY 2018*  


Day

DATE

DAY

TRAVEL

NIGHT STAY

1

03-Jan-18

Wednesday

Pilgrimage starts.  Hanoi. Orientation 12 noon.

Hanoi

2

04-Jan-18

Thursday

Hanoi

Hanoi 

3

05-Jan-18

Friday

Hanoi – Halong Bay by road. Overnight cruise                     

Halong Bay Cruise

4

06-Jan-18

Saturday

Halong Bay – Hanoi by road

Hanoi

5

07-Jan-18

Sunday

 Fly from Hanoi - Hue

Hue

6

08-Jan-18

Monday

Hue  

Hue

7

09-Jan-18

Tuesday

Hue 

Hue

8

10-Jan-18

Wednesday

Hue - Hoi An by road 

Hoi An

9

11-Jan-18

Thursday

Hoi An - My Son - Hoi An by road  

Hoi An

10

12-Jan-18

Friday

Drive to Danang. Fly Danang - Ho Chi Minh City    

Ho Chi Minh City

11

13-Jan-18

Saturday

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

12

14-Jan-18

Sunday

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

13/1

15-Jan-18

Monday

Departure.
For Cambodia Extension: FlyHo Chi Minh City - Siem Reap

Siem Reap

2

16-Jan-18

Tuesday

Siem Reap

Siem Reap

3

17-Jan-18

Wednesday

Siem Reap

Siem Reap

4

18-Jan-18

Thursday

Departure

 

*there could be minor changes in the itinerary

Vietnam: Return to the Source: Visit Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hội An and Ho Chi Minh City (13 days, beginning in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City): January 3 to 15, 2018 – US$ 4950

Cambodia: Heaven on Earth: Explore the magnificent fusion of Buddhist and Hindu sacred architecture in Angkor (4 days, beginning and ending in Siem Reap): January 15 to 18, 2018 – US$ 1170

The price includes:

  • Talks and meditations by Shantum Seth

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or double rooms

  • All meals and bottled drinking water

  • Domestic/local flights

  • Excursions and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles (or by boat, if mentioned)

  • Entrance fee for mentioned visits

  • English-speaking local guides

The price does not include:

  • Services other than mentioned

  • Visa to enter Vietnam and Cambodia

  • International Flights, including the flight between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap for those taking the Cambodia extension

  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature

  • Tips

  • Travel insurance

TO REGISTER
A non-refundable deposit of US$500 per person is required at the time of booking.  The remainder of the cost of the pilgrimage is due by November 1, 2017. 

CANCELLATION
For cancellations received up to eight weeks before the commencement of the journey only the deposit will be forfeited.  Cancellations received less than eight weeks will be 100% of the total cost.

PILGRIMAGE REGISTRATION INFORMATION & TRAVEL FACTS
The cost for the 13-Day Vietnam: Return to the Source Pilgrimage:(beginning in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City): January 3 to January 15, 2018 – US$ 4950 (based on twin-sharing. Single room supplement is $1750)

The cost of the 4-day Cambodia: Heaven on Earth (beginning and ending in Siem Reap): January 15 to January 18, 2018 – US$ 1170 (based on twin-sharing. Single room supplement is $390)

Visa for Vietnam:
Most visitors to Vietnam require a visa to enter the country and all travelers must have a passport valid for 6 months after their planned exit from Vietnam.
Please visit: https://visa.mofa.gov.vn/Homepage.aspx

Passports should be valid for six months from the date of exit from Vietnam. We recommend you make a photocopy of your passport and keep it somewhere separate, or scan it and keep it in an accessible email account.
Visitors should have a visa before entering Vietnam, or a visa on arrival can be obtained with a letter of approval. We can arrange this letter of approval for you. A visa on arrival, with prior approval is granted to many nationalities for stays of 15 days or less. Some nationalities are eligible for a visa exemption. Please click here to see if you are exempted for a visa to Vietnam.
Alternately, you must apply online or at the embassy for all 30 to 90 day single or multiple entry visas.
Once you have obtained your visa, please send us the details.

The e-Visa for the Kingdom of Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia enables citizens from most countries, who hold a passport that is valid for at least six (6) months, to apply for a visa online. Applicants must apply online at least four (4) days before traveling to the Kingdom of Cambodia. An e-Visa Cambodia once issued is valid for three (3) months from the date of issue.
Please visit:
https://www.evisa.gov.kh/Default.aspx

ARRIVAL
Arrival is at Hanoi and departure is from Ho Chi Minh City.  For those coming only for Angkor-Cambodia, arrival is Siem Reap airport.

Participants are responsible for making their own flight arrangements to Hanoi and departure from Ho Chi Minh City/Siem Reap. Also the flight between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, for those taking the optional extension to Angkor (We are happy to assist with the flight bookings). For international flights, tickets could be booked as early as possible.  You may check with us before you confirm your flight bookings.

We will arrange a complimentary airport transfer on arrival.

DEPARTURE
We will do a complimentary airport transfer for your departure.  The Vietnam journey ends in the morning of January 15, 2018. The Angkor extension ends in the morning of January 18, 2018.

EXTRA NIGHTS
For those wishing an extra day or two to recover from air travel before the pilgrimage begins, or who wish to stay longer after the pilgrimage ends, we would be happy to book extra nights at Hanoi and/or Ho Chi Minh City/Siem Reap.

 *SINGLE ROOM
Single rooms are available and there is a single room supplement.

For single travelers who do NOT want to opt for a single room, we will undertake to room them with someone suitable.
*In case we are not able to room you with anyone else, there will be a charge of 50% of the single supplement charge.  

WEATHER & CLOTHING NEEDS
January is one of the most unpredictable months in Vietnam. Similar to how Europeans and North Americans crave for a white Christmas, many Northern Vietnamese would wish for a light rain on the first day of the Lunar year (which falls in February in the coming year) which can set the atmosphere and bring about luck. Those living in Ho Chi Minh City would see much sun and warm weather for most of the days in January. In Central Vietnam, the dry season started with pleasantly warm temperature. The North, on the other hand, may remain anywhere from cool to cold for another while. So expect temperatures ranging from 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) to 34 degrees Celsuis (93 degrees Fahrenheit)   

Cambodia could have a maximum temperature of 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit)  and a minimum of 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit)  in January.

Cotton clothes are useful at any time of the year but you will need light woolens for the hills and an umbrella or a parasol for light rain and sharp sunshine. Modest dress for women is advisable especially when visiting religious sites (legs and arms have to be covered). 

Please bring comfortable sneakers or sandals (which you can wear with socks if it gets cold).  We also visit a number of temples where you will need to remove your shoes, so it is helpful to bring a pair of socks (the airline slip-ons are very convenient).  It is always useful to have a hat or cap to protect you from the sun.  The free baggage allowance is 20 kilos (44 lbs.) check-in baggage. Your cabin baggage limit is 5kgs (11 lbs) so we recommend that you travel light.  Laundry facilities are available at all the places we stay, and laundry is usually returned within 24 hours.

HEALTH CONCERNS
We stay in clean, safe places, and the food in the places we stay will be clean, fresh and prepared to suit a delicate digestive system.  You will be provided bottled mineral water for drinking.

There is no other medical restriction upon your entry into Vietnam or Cambodia.  If you prefer to be more careful, then please speak to your physician.  We do carry a first-aid kit with us, but if you are on any regular medication, please do bring along a supply for the duration of the journey.  We recommend you get an insect/mosquito repellent and also a stomach medicine for both diarrhea and constipation as one’s stomach has its own way of adjusting to different foods.
If you have any special diet needs or medical needs, please do let us know.

ADDITIONAL TRAVEL SERVICES (e.g. shuttle buses, taxis)
We provide all the transport services during the pilgrimage, including having you met on arrival in Hanoi/Siem Reap.  There is no extra charge for meeting people at the airport. 

DISCLAIMER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY
Shantum Seth and Seth Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (Eleven Directions / Buddhapath) while undertaking tours, transportation, hotel accommodation and other services only act on the clear understanding that they shall not be in any way responsible or liable for any accident, damage, loss, delay or inconvenience caused in connection with travel and other facilities arranged by the company, their employees or agents. All bookings are accepted and executed with utmost care, yet no responsibility is taken for any change or deviation on account of factors beyond their control.

By making a deposit for the tour, participants acknowledge that they have read and understood this document in its entirety, and have consented to all conditions herein, including the Disclaimer and Release of Liability.  For participants under age 18, their parent or legal guardian shall sign on their behalf and the same Disclaimer and Release shall apply.

 

REGISTRATION FORM
Each pilgrim must complete this form in full, and send (email is fine) with a non-refundable deposit of $500 per pilgrim to:
Ms Bina Aranha
Buddhapath/Eleven Directions
309-B, Sector 15A
Noida 201 301, India
Tel: +91-120-4334284; 2511633; 2512162; 2512162

Email: info@buddhapath.com

 

 

 

 
For futher information & registration please contact us at info@buddhapath.com
 

 

 

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