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Lest We Forget

Tour Reference: VN-09042

Special Request Tour

20 Days

19 April - 08 May 2009

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday , 19 – 20 April) – Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal.  Depart Los Angeles on our flight to Taipei.  We lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Tuesday, 21 April) – Ha Noi

After a short layover in Taipei, we depart for Vietnam.  Arriving at Ha Noi’s Noi Bai Airfield (heavily bombed during the war) we proceed through immigration, retrieve our bags, clear customs, board our motorcoach, and cross the Red River and its dikes to explore the Ha Noi environs.  Mission permitting, we head to JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) for a command briefing on their efforts.  Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Thang Long Opera

Day 4: (Wednesday, 22 April) – Ha Noi

Today we tour Ha Noi to include a visit to the Ho Chi Minh House and Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the fascinating War Museum, the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), and the John McCain Monument.  We also pay 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.  Tonight we attend a performance at the world-famous Ha Noi Water Puppet Theater.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Thang Long Opera

Day 5: (Thursday, 23 April) – Ha Noi to Ha Long Bay

After an early breakfast, we travel to Tam Coc (so-called dry Ha Long Bay) for a boat trip on its beautiful waterway.  We then visit Bich Dong Pagoda, after which we arrive in Ha Long.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Grand Halong

Day 6: (Friday, 24 April) – Ha Long Bay

This morning, we embark on a 6-hour boat trip on Ha Long Bay, one of the most beautiful and mystical places on earth.  Here you will enjoy magnificent views of the bay’s 3,000 islands, including an on-board seafood lunch and visits to Surprising Grotto and Titov Beach.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Grand Halong

Day 7: (Saturday, 25 April) – Ha Long Bay to Hue

After breakfast, we fly from Noi Bai to Phu Bai Airfield.  Turning north on Highway 1, we enter Hue City (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam) and begin our study of the 1968 Tet Offensive battle for the southern city.  We follow the actions of 1/1 and 2/5, covering among others, the former MACV Compound, Tran Cao Van Street, Girl's High School, the ARVN BOQ, Hue University, Treasury, Provincial Capital Building, and the Church of the Redemptress.  We also enter the Citadel, with its ramparts and towers, and visit sites specific to the northern battle, including the Chuck Meadows and Dong Ba Gates.  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.  Next we visit the Forbidden City, home to the ancient emperors.  We then retire to our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River in Hue for a relaxing evening.  Be sure to enjoy the hotel pool.  After dinner, you can roam the fascinating shops on Le Loi Street until late at night.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 8: (Sunday, 26 April) – Hue to Khe Sanh

Early this morning we depart for the DMZ stopping at sites along the way, such as Quang Tri City, Ai Tu Airfield, the Bridge at Dong Ha, the Peace Bridge over the Song Ben Hai (the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South), the Vinh Moc Tunnels, Con Thien (The Hill of Angels), Camp Carroll (the Marine artillery plateau), the Rockpile and the Razorback.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Thai Ninh

Day 9: (Monday, 27 April) – Khe Sanh to Hue

Our first stop this morning 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.  We then visit Khe Sanh Combat Base where we will spend ample time exploring.  Next we cross into the Da Krong Valley and into the A Shau Valley.  Turning east at A Loui, we stop at FSB Bastogne and FSB Birmingham before entering Hue.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 10: (Tuesday, 28 April)) – Hue to Hoi An

This morning we take a relaxing Dragon Boat cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Nguyen Dynasty Tu Duc Tombs.  Meeting the motorcoach at the tombs, we head south on Highway 1 towards Da Nang.  We stop at interesting sites along the way before heading up and over the Hai Van (Sea Clouds) Pass with a stop at the top to explore old French bunkers and take in a view of Da Nang Bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van, we visit make a stop at Red Beach 2 (where the Marines first landed in 1965).  Next is China Beach.  Upon entering historic Hoi An Town, we will visit a woodcarving and silk factory.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific

Day 11: (Wednesday, 29 April) – Hoi An

This is a free day with an option.  You can 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.  Shopping is excellent here and one of the best places for tailor-made clothing.  Or you can board the motorcoach to Marble Mountain and climb to the summit.  After our climb, we will visit a marble carving shop.  We can also visit such military sites as Hill 55 and Hill 65.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific

Day 12: (Thursday, 30 April) – Hoi An

Today is another free day with an option.  For those who would like a little more exercise, we will travel west and make stops at such military sites as LZ Ross and An Hoa Combat Base.  We can also stop at the My Son Holyland located deep in the foothills of the Que Son Mountains.  My Son is the site of Trakieu, the ancient capital of the Cham Kingdom and contains ruins dating back to the 5th Century.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific

Day 13: (Friday, 01 May) – Hoi An to Qui Nhon

Today we have a Breakaway Tour going to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Main Group - Today we travel to Quy Nhon stopping at interesting sites along the way that can include Tam Ky, Chu Lai, Crescent Beach, Ky Ha, Quang Ngai Town, Duc Pho, LZ Snoopy, LZ English, Bong Son, and LZ Two Bits.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Saigon Quy Nhon

Breakaway Group - This morning, transfer to Da Nang Airfield for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by most Vietnamese).  After landing at Tan Son Nhut Airfield, you visit the Presidential Palace, the Central Market, and the War Remnants Museum.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Elios

Day 14: (Saturday, 02 May) – Qui Nhon

Main Group - For those folks that paid extra for the An Khe tour, we depart the hotel early and head west on Route 19.  Our first stop is An Khe Pass and then enter An Khe itself for exploration.  Continuing on, we stop at Mang Yang Pass, site of the 1954 annihilation of the French Group Mobile 100 armored column.  NOTE: All others enjoy a free day in Quy Nhon to spend on the beach, relax, shop, or explore on your own.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Saigon Quy Nhon

Breakaway Group - RETURN to CONUS - After breakfast, you transfer to Ton Son Nhut Airport for your short flight to Taipei.  Departing from Taipei, your gain a day enroute to the continental United States by re-crossing the International Dateline, arriving in Los Angeles at approximately 3:25 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

Day 15: (Sunday, 03 May) – Qui Nhon to Nha Trang

Today we travel to the beautiful resort town of Nha Trang and visit the ruins at Cham Rae and the Vinpearl Resort.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Que Huong

Day 16: (Monday, 04 May) – Nha Trang

This morning we enjoy a visit to Ponagar Tower and Long Son Pagoda.  We then take a boat trip to the Tri Nguyen Aquarium.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Que Huong

Day 17: (Tuesday, 05 May) – Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City

Today we fly to Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by most Vietnamese).  After landing at Tan Son Nhut Airfield, we visit Cha Cham Church, Cholon, and the Central Market.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Vien Dong

Day 18: (Wednesday, 06 May) – Ho Chi Minh City

Leaving early this morning, we venture northwest to Tay Ninh Province to the Cu Chi Tunnels.  On our arrival back in HCMC, we visit the Presidential Palace and the War Remnants Museum.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Vien Dong

Day 19: (Thursday, 07 May) – Ho Chi Minh City

Today we travel south to My Tho where we board a boat for an excursion on the Mekong River, stopping to visit local houses, shopping areas, and the Vinh Trang Pagoda.  Tonight we gather for our Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Vien Dong

Day 20: (Friday, 08 May) – RETURN to CONUS

After breakfast, we transfer to Tan Son Nhut Airfield for the flight to Taipei.  Departing from Taipei, we gain a day enroute to the continental United States by re-crossing the International Dateline, arriving in Los Angeles at approximately 3:25 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

Post Tour: Two clients left group today for post tour to Bangkok, Thailand.

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