Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Arrival at Hanoi. Transfer to hotel. A free evening. Hanoi retains an air of the French colonial period despite wide scale rebuilding after the war.
Day 2: Hanoi
Begin your exploration of the capital with the city center, comprised of traditional pagodas and temples, colonial villas, and lakes set along free-lined streets which move at pace much more congenial than HCMC. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the One Pillar Pagoda, continue to the Army Museum, nearby Flag Tower, and finish with a taste of classical Vietnamese culture at the Fine Arts Museum and Temple of Literature.
Day 3: Hanoi – Hue
Fly to the most beautiful city in Vietnam. Visit the citadel of the city and recall the battle of Hue during the Tet Offensive, when the NVA held the city for the three weeks.
Day 4: Hue – Dong Ha
Drive up highway 1; passing Camp Evan and Fire Support Base Nancy; continue to the battle site of Quang Tri. Next pass the site of Ai Tu Combat Base and airfield of the 3rd Division Headquarters of the former South army. Next reach Dong Ha enter the quadrilateral area bordered by Con Tien, Gio Linh, Dong Ha, and Cam Lo which was nicknamed Leatherneck Square during Operation Buffalo. Continue up Highway 1 across the Hien Luong Bridge over the Ben Hai River which once demarcated North and South Vietnam. Visit the tunnels in Vinh Moc and the Con Thien Fire Support Base before overnight at Dong Ha.
Day 5: Dong Ha – Khe Sanh
Ride paralleled to the DMZ (Demilitarize Zone) along Route 9 to Khe Sanh. En route pass a series of Fire Support Bases the Rockpile, Da Krong Bridge, as well as the Huong Hoa District headquarters.
Day 6: Khe Sanh – A Luoi – Dong Ha
Tour Khe Sanh Base, a coffee plantation, an old French fort and the Montagnard Village. Continue on Route 9 to Lang Vei special Forces Camp. Visit the Lao Bao Border town where illicit border trade remains very active. With advanced notice, a border crossing to Laos is possible to follow Operation Lam Son 719, where South Vietnamese soldiers surged in to attack the Liberation Front soldiers strongholds in the neighboring country. Travel to A Luoi and visit the special Forces camp there. Visit Landing Zone Cunningham, Landing Zone Erskine and Landing Zone Razor. Upon special advanced request continue south to A Sau Valley and infamous Hamburger Hill. Return to Dong Ha this evening.
Day 7: Dong Ha – Hue
Optional excursion to the ancient tombs of Khai Dinh and Tu Duc and a cruise on the Perfume River. Otherwise, enjoy a free day in pleasant in Hue.
Day 8: Hue – Da Nang
Leave Hue for Da Nang, the fourth largest city of Vietnam. Tour the city, recalling the chaos of march 1975, when the Saigon government abandoned Da Nang and countless refugees fled the city. Also visit the beach where the US Mariners first came ashore, beginning major American involvement in Indochina.
Day 9: Da Nang – Qui Nhon Via Chu Lai
Morning visit to Hoi An. During the 17th century traders stopped at this port when travelling en router to Malacca in Malaysia. Continue on the coastal plain to Chu Lai airbase and see the work of the Skyhawks. Stop at the Son My District, sense of infamous My Lai incident. Travel along the rugged Animate mountains down to Route 1. Sarcastically referred to as “The street without joy” by French soldiers. Evening arrive in Qui Nhon, a major port and supply depot that kept Route 1 open during the war.
Day 10: Qui Nhon – Nha Trang
Leave Qui Nhon for Nha Trang, once the headquarters of the US Fifth Special Forces Group in the second Corps.
Day 11: Nha Trang – Da Lat
Enjoy the turquoise water and fine sandy beach. Take a boat to nearby Bamboo Island for snorkeling, to the Mieu Island for a visit to a fish breeding farm and to the Ponagar Cham Tower, a fine example of 2nd century Cham architecture. Then, leave Nha Trang for the central highland city of Da Lat.
Day 12: Nha Trang – Da Lat
Visit the Valley of Love, the central market, the Lake of Sighs. Travel through the central highlands to Bao Loc, visit silk farms and mulberry plantations. Evening arrive at HCMC, which retains much flavor from the war era.
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City
Among the sights of graceful women in Ao Dai and bustling streets, visit the busy riverfront, the former Presidential Palace, photo stop at the former US Embassy, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the central market. In the afternoon visit some of the war remnants such as the site where a Buddhist monk immolated himself in protest of the war and the church where Diem was assassinated.
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City – Iron Triangle – Cu Chi
This morning travel on the National route 13 past the town of Phu Cuong. Visit the Phu Loi Base used to relocate villagers. Through the Cau Dinh jungle, pass a staging area of the 503rd Airborne Brigade. At Ben Cat, see the site of the bases of the 173rd Airborne and the 11th Armored Cavalry Arrive in Ben Suc, the Northern tip of the Iron Triangle, and continue to Dau Tieng Reservoir and the esoteric Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh. Visit the restored tunnels at Cu Chi before returning to HCMC.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City
Enjoy a free day in HCMC
Day 16: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure
Transfer to airport for departure.
– Accommodation based on twin sharing
– Domestic Flights mention in program
– Air Conditioned transportation
– Meals as indicated (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch & D = Dinner)
– All admission fees
– English speaking guide
– Boat Trips
– Bottled Water
International air-tickets and airport departure tax, Meals not mentioned in the program (between 7 – 15 USD/meal/person) ,Drinks, phone calls and all personal expenses ,Travel insurance .
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