The Siege of Con Thien - 50th Anniversary
27 August - 10 September, 2017
15 Days
Price: $3,595.00
Tour Reference: VN-17093
Ground Only Price is: $2,600.00 *
Deadline for registration is May 29, 2017
Two AmTracs destroyed by sachel charges during the Battle at Con Thien, May 8 1967.
Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 27 - 28 August, 2017)  –  Enroute

Report to the International Terminal by 9:00 p.m. and proceed to the EVA Airlines ticketing counter for our flight to Taipei.  Lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Tuesday, 29 August, 2017)  –  Taipei to Ha Noi

After a short layover in Taipei where we endure the Big Speech, we depart for Vietnam.  We land at Noi Bai Airfield (heavily bombed during the American War) and proceed through immigration, retrieve our bags, clear customs, and board our waiting motorcoach.  We then cross the Red River and its dikes to explore the Ha Noi environs.  We visit the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and stop at the John McCain Monument.  Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.

Meals: B (in flight) /_/D

 
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Day 4: (Wednesday, 30 August, 2017)  –  Ha Noi

This morning we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House, and One Pillar Pagoda.  Mission-permitting, we will stop at DDPA (Department of Defense POW/MIA Agency) for a command briefing on their efforts to recover our brothers still Missing in Action.  We then enjoy a fabulous lunch at the Lotus Buffet Restaurant.  Next is the fascinating War Museum with its Dien Bien Phu exhibit and American artifacts.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 5: (Thursday, 31 August, 2017)  –  HA Noi to Hue

Early this morning we head back to Noi Bai to catch our flight to Phu Bai Airfield.  We then head north on Highway 1 and enter Hue City (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam) and begin our study of the 1968 Tet Offensive battle for Hue.  The Battle of Hue was one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war, and we spend the remainder of the day visiting strategic sites around the southern city.  We follow the actions of 1/1 and 2/5 covering, among others, the football stadium, the former MACV Compound, Tran Cao Van Street, Joan of Arc Girl's High School, Hue University, Treasury, Public Health Building, Provincial Capital Building area, and the Church of the Redemptress.  Famous for its university, this town, known for open and radical thinking, is also home to the high school that graduated Ho Chi Minh, General Giap, and President Diem.  We then arrive at our hotel (which was the ARVN BOQ during the war) on the southern bank of the Perfume River.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 6: (Friday, 1 September, 2017)  –  Hue

Today we take a relaxing Dragon Boat cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda.  It was from this pagoda that Thich Quang Duc was driven to Saigon where he immolated himself in protest to the government's oppressive treatment of the Buddhist people.  We re-board our boat and continue upstream.  Making an amphibious landing, we climb a hill to meet our motorcoach and drive to the Tu Duc Tombs.  After lunch, we visit the Citadel with its ramparts and towers, and visit sites specific to the northern battle, including the Chuck Meadows and Dong Ba Gates and Phase Line Green.  We finish at the Imperial Palace gate blown by 1/5, which allowed the ARVN to enter and lower the NVA flag that had flown from the main flagpole for 24 days.  We then visit the Forbidden City, home to the ancient emperors.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 7: (Saturday, 02 September, 2017)  –  Hue to Dong Ha

This morning, we head north on Highway 1, stopping at Camp Evans.  Farther north we traverse the section of Highway 1 known as the 'Highway of Horror.' During the NVA's 1972 Easter Offensive, thousands of local refugees - most of which were old people, women, and children trying to flee south - were mercilessly slaughtered by communist NVA troops and artillery.  The north side of the Trung Phuoc Bridge is where the worst of the massacre occurred, because massive numbers of people were trapped by the downed bridge which prevented escape.  Soon thereafter we enter Quang Tri City where we visit La Vang Basilica (site of a 1798 appearance of the Blessed Virgin).  Returning to Highway 1 we stop at Long Hung Church, a Catholic Church in which ARVN troops sought refuge during the 1972 Easter Offensive invasion from the North and in which NVA troops sought refuge as they retreated during the ARVN counter-attack.  The church has been left as it stood after the battle, with scars from grenades, rockets, and bullets.  We also visit Bo De School, which provides a shocking and violent reality of the 'Battle of 81 Days and Nights' for the city and its Citadel.  The battle is infamous for the huge amount of ordnance fired by both ARVN and NVA forces.  Next we cross the Quang Tri Bridge.  We then stop at the Ai Tu Airfield (Quang Tri Airbase).  Our last stop of the day is the Lew Puller School.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 8: (Sunday, 03 September, 2017)  –  Dong Ha

This morning we walk to the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by Capt. John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).   Boarding our motorcoach, we travel east on the north side of the Song Bo Dieu and Song Cua Viet, passing through Mai Xa Chanh and My Loc.  Turning north we follow the new beach road along the Tonkin Gulf.  We then cross the Song Ben Hai (this river was the only true physical demarcation between the North and the South).  Now in North Vietnam, we explore the tunnel complex in the artillery village of Vinh Moc.  The Vinh Moc Tunnels are an incredible complex of tunnels that were dug by local people to evade the constant U.S. counter-battery bombing of the area.  These tunnels are important to the siege of Con Thien, because the Hill received many of its incoming rounds from here.  The tunnels include kitchens, wells, and a 'hospital,' as well as living quarters for roughly 60 families and NVA troops.  The tunnels, which are at a depth of 30m saved many villagers' lives, and are still in very good condition.  We then head west and south, crossing the Hien Luong Bridge (also known as the Peace Bridge).  Back in South Vietnam, we proceed to FSB Gio Linh (Forward) which overlooks the DMZ from the Republic side.  We then pass through Alpha-3 and visit the U.S. base at Alpha-4, better known as Con Thien (the Hill of Angels) taking plenty of time to explore.  A-4 was the western anchor of the McNamara Line.  Crossing 2/4's Bastard's Bridge (aka The Washout), we pass by Charlie-2 and Charlie-3 and stop for photos at the Cam Lo Bridge.  We then return to Dong Ha on Route 9.  Today we traversed the four quadrants of Leatherneck Square: Dong Ha, Gio Linh, Con Thien, and Cam Lo.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 9: (Monday, 04 September, 2017)  –  Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Early this morning we head west on Route 9 (the main U.S. supply route from the coast to Khe Sanh).  Vietnam is a very long, thin country, and we will traverse it from the coast all the way to its border with Laos.  Our first stop is Camp Carroll, (the joint-forces artillery plateau).  Crossing the Khe Gia Bridge, we stop at the Rockpile where we gear up and hike to the northeast side of the Razorback.  Back on Route 9 we come upon other sites that were of military importance during the war, including Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), where we visit to the airstrip.  Passing through Ca Lu and crossing the Hairpin we enter Khe Sanh Village and stop for lunch.  Next we venture north to Khe Sanh Combat Base where we spend ample time exploring.  In 1966, Khe Sanh Combat Base was a U.S. jungle outpost close to the border with Laos.  It grew into a major military base and airstrip under LBJ and was the scene of a 77-day siege in 1968.  Our last stop is the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp, overrun in the first-ever NVA tank assault.  Co Roc Mountain soars to the heavens just across the border.  Tonight we stay in the Laotian border town of Lao Bao in somewhat Spartan accommodations.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 10: (Tuesday, 05 September, 2017)  –  Lao Bao to Hue

After breakfast, we return east on Route 9 for a short while stopping at a Bru Montagnard tribal village.  We then head south at the Da Drong Bridge onto Highway 14 (now called the Ho Chi Minh Trail Highway) and deep into the Da Krong and A Shau Valleys.  The road we take was part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail (the HCM Trail was not one continuous road, but an extensive network of ever-changing roadways and footpaths spanning four countries).  Despite heavily bombing the area, the NVA supply route infiltration network was never completely cut off.  This is an area of beautiful dense jungled hills and it's easy to imagine how troops and supplies traversing the Trail travelled somewhat undetected.  Continuing south, roughly parallel to the Laotian border, we pass through stunningly beautiful countryside.  The area around the A Shau Valley and A Luoi saw particularly fierce fighting in the late 1960's.  Probably the most famous is the Battle of Hamburger Hill (May 1969) which resulted in a horrific number of casualties on both sides.  This mountaintop outpost was controversially abandoned by the victorious U.S. soon after the fight.  This area was heavily napalmed during the war - an estimated 69 tons of napalm were dropped during the Battle of Hamburger Hill alone - and it's astounding how well nature has recovered.  We view Hill 937 (Dong Ap Bia) from a distance.  At A Loui, we turn east on Highway 547.  Tonight dinner is on our own.  You may want to grab a pizza or a burger at the DMZ Bar, just a short walk from our hotel.

Meals: B/L/_

 
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Day 11: (Wednesday, 06 September, 2017)  –  Hue to Hoi An

This morning we bid Hue goodbye and head south on Highway 1.  We pass by Dam Cau Hai, one of the largest lagoons in all of Southeast Asia encompassing 112 square kilometers.  We soon enter the Lang Co fishing village, where we walk across the bridge separating Dam Lap An from the sea.  We then head up the breathtaking Hai Van and stop at the Pass of the High Clouds to take in a view of Da Nang and her bay.  The Hai Van Pass has been a vital military strategic foothold for centuries, and was used by the French during France's Indochina War and by the U.S. in America's Vietnam War.  Bunkers and fortifications dot the hillsides here.  Continuing down the Hai Van to sea level, we cross Nam O Bridge.  We then visit Red Beach II, where U.S. Marines made their first amphibious landing in Vietnam in March 1965.  We pass through Dog Patch as we enter Da Nang City.  After lunch, we stop at My Khe Beach on the South China Sea.  My Khe was better known as "China Beach," which was used as an in-country 'R&R' by U.S. troops.  A little farther south we pass through the site of the Marble Mountain Air Facility, a U.S. helicopter base during the war.  Our last stop is a wood-carving and silk shop as we arrive in Hoi An.  Hoi An, a beautiful well-preserved ancient trading port, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Its temples and architecture show the different cultural influences of its time and its lovely Japanese covered bridge is unique.  Luckily for Hoi An, its importance waned long before the war, and it was left essentially isolated and relatively untouched.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 12: (Thursday, 07 September, 2017)  –  Hoi An

Today is a well-deserved free day.  You can relax by the pool or you may want to roam by yourselves the streets and shops of this ancient port city, formerly known as Faifo, where Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese traders once walked.  The town ceased to be an important trade harbor when its inlet shoaled and the port was moved north to Da Nang.  Shopping is excellent here and is one of the best places for tailor-made clothing.  There are literally hundreds of amazing little shops in this town.  Lunch and dinner are on our own.  Be sure to sample some of the many local restaurants and night spots.

Meals: B/_/_

 
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Day 13: (Friday, 08 September, 2017)  –  Hoi An to Da Nang

This morning we head north and visit at a marble carving shop near the Marble Mountains.  This area is famous for their stone-sculpture industries.  The Marble Mountains are visually-striking hills that rise from the flat coastal region - these mountains are home to Buddhist shrines and numerous caves.  We climb to the top of the largest mountain and explore the VC hospital area located deep within.  After lunch, we arrive at our riverside hotel in Da Nang.  The remainder of our afternoon is free, but tonight all hands are required at our very special Farewell Dinner at the most famous restaurant in Da Nang, the Kim Do.

Meals: B/L/D

 
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Day 14: (Saturday, 09 September, 2017)  –  Da Nang to Ha Noi

After a leisurely late breakfast, we head to Da Nang Airfield for our flight to Ha Noi.  Transferring to our hotel, we prepare for the journey home, relax, or imbibe with a little last-minute shopping.  This evening we enjoy a visit (mission permitting) to the Marine House, home of the U.S. Marine Corps Security Guard responsible for the protection of the U.S. Ambassador and the American Embassy.

Meals: B/_/D

 
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Day 15: (Sunday, 10 September, 2017)  –  Departure

This morning we return to Noi Bai Airfield for our flight to Taipei.  Departing from Taipei, we gain a day enroute by re-crossing the International Dateline, arriving in the continental United States this same day.

Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

 
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Tour Pricing Information

Tour Price: $3,595.00 / Per Person is based upon Double Occupancy (2 people per room)
Single Supplement is $598.00

Ground Only Price: $2,600.00 / Per Person is also based upon Double Occupancy (2 people per room)
Single Supplement is $598.00

Tour Price Includes:

  1. International roundtrip airfare from our Houston, Texas gateway.
    • Ground Only Tours - International roundtrip airfare is not included.
  2. Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation.
  3. Vietnam airfare.
  4. Vietnam Visa Processing and fees.
    • Ground Only Tours - Vietnam Visa Processing and fees may or may not be included.
  5. Hotel Accommodations throughout tour.
  6. Virtually all meals, as indicated in itinerary.
  7. Historical Trip information packet, containing maps and other information pertaining to your tour.
  8. Admission fees to all sites, museums and special attractions listed.
  9. Services of our experienced Directors & English--speaking local guides.
  10. Gratuities (NOTE: VBT American guides are prohibited from accepting tips.)
  11. Bulk-baggage handling.
  12. Emergency Medical, Evacuation, Repatriation and Hospitalization Insurance included in each tour.

Why choose Vietnam Battlefield Tours?

Here's just a few reasons:

  1. VBT - We use only highly-experienced U.S. Marine Corps & U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran guides.
  2. VBT - Runs 15-day tours which ensures unrushed touring.
  3. VBT - Has all-inclusive pricing. (Beware of hidden charges forced on you by other tour operators).
  4. VBT - Gets you to places other companies cannot access.
  5. VBT - Our tours are designed for customization based on participant's requests (no off-the-rack tours).

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