Here Pho a Good Time not a Dong Time

Trip Region: Southeast Asia
Country(ies): Malaysia and Vietnam
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $1450
Airfare Estimate: $1050
Nightlife: 8   •   Activity: 7

Some Treks will say they have it all – beaches, cities, boats, amazing leaders, parties, clubs, animals, fine dining – but Here Pho a Good Time not a Dong Time is pho-real. Blending the perfect mix of adventure, cultural immersion, and treating ourselves to the finest dining and drinks that South East Asia has to offer, you’ll be ready to fight to the death that you were on the best MTrek. We kick off the adventure in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where you’ll get to know your fellow trekkers and leaders as we fight off jet lag with ice breakers and stupid drinking games. We’ll spend the next two days enjoying the surrounding natural beauty(and elephants) by day and exploring the city at night –  did someone say rooftop bar? Next, we jet over to Hanoi Vietnam and proceed to kick off the contest for who can create the best “pho” pun and eat the most bahn mi sandwiches. Next it’s on the Halong Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site where we can capture all the #content, because what’s the point of B-school if you can’t post about all of the sick travel, also the MTrek instagram contest is pho-king intense. We will spend the night cruising among the limestone islets and emerald waters, then head back to dryland for a beach day. Finally, we head back to Hanoi for more #culture and #content such as night markets, water puppets, and tour the Ho Chi Minh complex. During all of this you will be learning your fellow Trekkers deepest darkest secrets, and forming bonds that will have you calling Mom to say you’re skipping Thanksgiving to hang with your new, cooler, fam. MTrek is a once – well twice, but who’s counting – in a lifetime experience, make sure you spend it with raddest Trek leaders and MBA1s around and remember you’re at Ross for a good time, not a long time.

Estimated trek cost includes all activities mentioned on the itinerary, and nearly all meals and bar tabs.

Travel Day — Saturday, Aug 17

Congratulations! you survived orientation, the crisis challenge, and flying half-way around the world. It’s our first evening in Kuala Lumpur, you will meet your other Trekkers and best leaders this side of the Pacific for an intro dinner and group icebreakers (we swear it will be fun)

Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 18

Rise and shine our little chickadees, it’s time to begin exploring. We start by delving deep into the history of pewter at Royal Selangor Pewter factory and visit the limestone Hindu temple of Batu Caves. Then we head toward the coast to see the straits of Malacca and hang out with the monkeys that call the area home. Finally, we proceed to Kuala Selangor for a sumptuous seafood dinner and cruise the Selangor River and see the fireflies that line the banks at night. For any brave souls, Charlie will be leading the first night out where we will see who is in it to win it.

Day 2 — Monday, Aug 19

Big day! We head to Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre to spend a day with these giants of the rainforest. We will learn how the elephants are rescued and rehabilitated in their natural habitat and get close enough to touch and maybe even give them a bath (not to mention that new tinder profile photo). We then return to Kuala Lumpur to freshen up before our night walk tour. On the night walk tour we will, explore the city and some of its famous landmarks like the Petronas Towers. Later we will hit a rooftop bar and have dinner before we have our first big party night of the trip.

Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 20

Travel Day! Up and at ‘em Rossers time to ship out to Vietnam. We will arrive to Hanoi late afternoon, with time to settle in before we go out for one of our Theme Nights!!!

Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 21

We’re back on the road again as we travel to Halong Bay a Unesco World Heritage site. The bay is a breathtaking secluded harbor with some 2,000 limestone islands jutting out of the waters of the Bac Bo Gulf. We will board our boat and cruise among the dramatic limestone peaks. There's an opportunity to swim in the famous Vietnam East Sea and explore caves filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Spend a peaceful night on board, beneath a sky alive with stars. This is going to be a great chance to capture all the Insta #content your heart desires.

Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 22

We will spend the morning on a sunrise cruise of Halong Bay, then transfer to dry land where we will check-in to our hotel for the night. In the afternoon, we will hike Bai Tho Mountain overlooking Halong Bay, so be ready for more #content and fun activities planned by your fearless leaders.

Day 6 — Friday, Aug 23

Beach Day! We start the day off working on our tans at Bai Chay Beach, Charlie will for sure be suns out guns out. Afterwards we head back to Hanoi. Tonight we explore Hanoi’s old quarter famous for its night food stalls and night market. Bonus points for the Trekker who eats the weirdest street meat.

Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 24

This morning we will go on a half day tour of Hanoi. We will go tol be Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi. From there, we will go to Van Mieu – The Temple of Literature – the first Vietnamese University, founded in 11th century by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong. Afterwards we will make our way local market and enjoy a typical lunch. Finally, we will visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex. In the evening, we go to a water puppet show - YouTube it, looks wild. At night we are doing our last Theme night and hitting the club to see who is the best dancer of the Trek.

Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 25

Final day of touring. We will be going Cycling along the banks of the Red River exploring one of the largest deltas of Vietnam, where traditional villages have been for hundreds of years. At night we will have a final feast to celebrate the trip against which all others will be judged and hit a karaoke bar for one final night of memories

Departure Day — Monday, Aug 26

All great things must come to an end, Trekkers depart back to Ann Arbor for the start of Fall A and the joy of Core. Don’t be sad because you’re going back with your 15 new best friends, and a year of reunions and stupid inside jokes.

Eric “The Bohner” Bohn

The team travel expert and member of MTrek board, Eric has done the least to actually plan this trip and missed every deadline he set. A Midwestern native, he loves all things corn, is unnecessarily friendly and enjoys the seasons.  A true renaissance man, he plays the cello, and has degrees in history and art history – nerd. But don’t let that make you think he’s better than you, Eric is a basic bitch to the core with his love of white claw, ugg slippers, and a sweetgreen salad. On the trip he will be a fountain of knowledge on all things Malaysia and Vietnam, and if he doesn’t know he will make something up that sounds 100% real. Noted for his epicurean tastes, Eric will make sure that we feast on the finest that South East Asia has to offer, from michelin starred to street meat he will have us covered. As a bonus, you’ll get the reward of Eric’s cooking for all MTrek reunion events (for real people the man is a chef!).

 

Elle “The Cool Mom” Masri

Is going to keep the wheels on this trip. A pro at managing multiple responsibilities at once she is not only getting her MBA but also working and traveling while she does it, can you say #Bossbetch. Elle can reliably be found with a glass of wine in her hand while knocking out an excel spreadsheet or mock interviewing future MBAs. The only thing that makes her happier than a glass of vino, is hanging with cute animals (her one request for the trip was baby elephants). If you manage to catch her at home in between jet-setting trips around the country, you can find her crushing the MBA game by day, dancing in clubs at night, and serving up gluten free quesadillas to drunk and hungry MBAs at the post-game. This daughter of a professional dancer had the misfortune of inheriting zero coordination or rhythm, so if you’re looking for someone to awkwardly dance with all mtrek long, Elle’s your girl. Don’t let her unassuming exterior fool you though; Elle has a wild side, she was once deported from the U.K. for reasons that she won’t disclose.

Charlie “The Trash Man” Manzoni

Is the life of every party. He truly gives the Energizer Bunny a run for its money – he keeps going and going and going and going at all times of the day and night. No obstacle is too big to stop this man. He has never taken a nap for fear of missing out on an awesome opportunity. A fan of all forms of transportation Charlie earned his nickname riding on a garbage truck through the streets of New Orleans. Last MTrek, he even hiked up a mountain straight from walking out of a club from the night before. The only thing Charlie likes more than activities are costumes, he is guaranteed the to be the “best” dressed and is head of theme nights for the Trek. But, don’t let the party exterior fool you, Charlie is our resident Tauber nerd and will have every minute of the Trek optimized for maximum payoff. Charlie’s biggest gripe with our MTrek itinerary is ensuring he still has ample time to keep his biceps in tiptop shape.

Hannah “Hot Stuff” Smalley

Is always down for a themed day/night/darty she’ll be your partner in crime be it to pet an elephant or stay up ‘til the crack of dawn. Bringing the laissez les bon temps rouler lifestyle from New Orleans she knows that a good time starts with good food, good friends and even better booze. While she’s not always out, when she decides to drop into Skeeps or Ricks she always brings the fire. Hannah has made sure we have an itinerary chock full of adventure, and if it all falls apart @ her. Hailing from the non-profit world she is a champion at doing a lot with a little, and is the social conscience of the team. Not only will she keep us from garnering bad press for the school, Hannah is also getting her Masters in Public Health, she’ll make sure everyone remembers to wash their hands, and tell us if it’s safe to drink the moonshine with the cobra in the bottle.

Kevin “El Jefe” Tobin

Is the group’s X-factor. A man of mystery and grace, no one is sure how he earned the nickname El Jefe, but we assume he is not to be trifled with. Rumors about his background are frequent around Ross, but separating fact from fiction has been a difficult task. Some say he is the noted saxophone player Duke Silver (where my Parks and Rec heads at), and that he can quote any episode of The Office. Others claim that he does a spot on Borat impression, and that his use of it saved his Mtrek group from a hungry lion on last year’s MTrek. A final piece of hearsay is that Kevin is an expert on wine, and is noted for taking especially deep inhale before tasting, but when pressed for detail he normally just says, “I think this is a red.” Hopefully, he will have us drinking the good stuff on MTrek. The only confirmed thing the team 100% knows about Kevin is that his favorite ice cream flavor is banana, which is a weird flex, but ok. Regardless of what is fact and what is fiction, we are all sure to be surprised by what El Jefe has in store for us.

Sunaina “The Snack” Kavi

Is our resident banker and finance chair for the trip. The only thing she does better than deal valuations is calculating the NPV of her next vodka soda. An impeccable dresser, “The Snack” will make sure that we are looking our most fly for photos, and she is easy to find in a crowd with an oversized bow in her hair and SKS monogrammed on all her clothing.  A total fitness freak, she’ll be leading the trek exercise program, making sure those abs stay tight after the copious Bahn-mi sandwiches and bowls of Pho we’ll be consuming. If you find yourself hungry between meals, have no fear Sunaina is a veritable walking Whole Foods with a plethora of snacks and treats to keep you going through a hike or late night dance session at the club. Her only weakness is a penchant for falling asleep almost anywhere which is her loss, and our win for some great candid #content.