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I-Corps   -   Emphasis on Northern I-Corps

Tour Reference: VN-12031

15 Days

11 March - 25 March 2012

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday , 11 – 12 March) – Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal by 8:30 p.m. and proceed to ticketing counter.  Depart Los Angeles on our flight to Taipei.  We lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Tuesday, 13 March) – Ha Noi

After a short layover in Taipei, we depart for Vietnam.  We arrive at Ha Noi’s Noi Bai Airfield (heavily bombed during the war), we proceed through immigration, retrieve bags, clear customs, board our motorcoach, and cross the Red River and its dikes to explore the Ha Noi environs.  We visit the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton); the John McCain Monument; and the fascinating War Museum.  Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Thang Long Opera

Day 4: (Wednesday, 14 March) – Ha Noi to Hue

This morning we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House, the One Pillar Pagoda, and mission permitting, we head to JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) for a command briefing on their efforts.  Continuing on to Noi Bai Airfield, we catch our flight to Phu Bai Airfield.  After a short ride in our motorcoach, we enter Hue (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, ARVN BOQ, Hue University, Treasury, Public Health Building, Provincial Capital Building area, and the Church of the Redemptress.  We then arrive at our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River for a relaxing evening.  After dinner, you can roam the fascinating shops on Le Loi Street until late at night.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 5: (Thursday, 15 March) – Hue

Today we take a relaxing Dragon Boat cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and 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.  To end our day, we drive to Eagle Beach on the South China Sea.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 6: (Friday, 16 March) – Hue to Dong Hoi

Leaving very early, we head north on Highway 1 with our first stops in Quang Tri City where we visit Long Hung Church and Bo De School.  Crossing the Thach Han River our next stop is Ai Tu Airfield.  Continuing north, we enter Dong Ha and visit the Lew Puller School and the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).  Next is Gio Linh FSB (Forward) which overlooks to DMZ.  We walk across the Peace Bridge into North Vietnam over the Song Ben Hai (the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South).  We then explore the tunnel complex in the artillery village of Vinh Moc.  We travel further north to the town of Dong Hoi where we spend the night.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Saigon Quang Binh

Day 7: (Saturday, 17 March) – Dong Hoi to Dong Ha

Today we explore (by boat) the mystical, and recently discovered, caverns at Phuong Nha-Ke National Park. We then re-cross the DMZ via Route 15 into the South and make stops at Con Thien and the Cam Lo Bridge. Turning east on Route 9 we arrive back in Dong Ha where we spend the evening.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huu Nghi

Day 8: (Sunday, 18 March) – Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Our first stop today is the Camp Carroll artillery plateau and the Khe Gia Bridge.  Next is the Rockpile where we hike to the Razorback.  Along the way we will come upon other sites that were of military importance during the war, including the Four Gates to Hell, Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), Ca Lu, and the Hairpin.  After lunch in Khe Sanh village, we head north to the Khe Sanh Combat Base where we will spend ample time exploring.  Next 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          Hotel: Sepon

Day 9: (Monday, 19 March) – Lao Bao to Hue

Departing early, we cross the Da Krong Bridge and plunge into the Da Krong Valley and later the A Shau Valley making stops at FSB Erskine and A Loui.  Turning east on old Route 547, our last stop is FSB Bastogne before returning to the comfort of our riverside hotel in Hue City.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 10: (Tuesday, 20 March) – Hue to Hoi An

Our first stops this morning is Camp Eagle and Camp Hochmuth in Phu Bai.  Continuing south on Highway 1, we make several interesting stops along the way, before heading up the Hai Van with a stop at the Pass of the Clouds to explore old French bunkers and take in a view of Da Nang and the bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van to sea level, we stop at Nam O and then at Red Beach II where the Marines made their amphibious landing in May 1965.  Passing through Dog Patch, we make our way to the location of the China Beach R&R Center.  Next we visit Marble Mountain to explore this sanctuary and climb to the summit.  Our last stop will be near the village of Viem Dong for a memorial service.  It was here that Lance Corporal James “Donnie” Howe, USMC gave the last full measure for his fellow Marines.  He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.  
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific Hotel & Spa

Day 11: (Wednesday, 21 March) – Hoi An

Our first stop is a visit to a silk factory.  Anyone not wishing to endure the countryside hardships of today’s itinerary can opt to stay in town for a free day.  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 is one of the best places for tailor-made clothing.  We travel south and west deep into the countryside to Ap Ba (2) in Antenna Valley.  Next is the An Hoa Regimental Combat Base.  After lunch, we visit 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.  Next we visit Hill 177.  We then climb to the summit of Hill 119, a US Marine Corps Recon outpost.  Our final stop will be the southern end of Liberty Bridge.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific Hotel & Spa

Day 12: (Thursday, 22 March) – Hoi An to Da Nang

Today we travel along Thunder Road (Route 4) to Hill 55, Liberty Bridge (north), Hill 37, Hill 65, Thuong Duc Special Forces Camp.  Crossing into the Arizona Territory, we stop at Hill 510.  Following lunch, we circle around to Happy Valley to several special-request sites.  Tonight we are on our own to sample the many restaurants and night spots located in the city.  Be sure to enjoy the rooftop pool.
Meals: B/L/_          Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 13: (Friday, 23 March) – Da Nang

Today is a free day devoted to shopping, exploring on your own, or for relaxing.  You are your own for lunch, but all hands are required at our special Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B/_/D          Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 14: (Saturday, 24 March) – Da Nang to Ha Noi

After a leisurely breakfast, we head to Da Nang Airfield for our early flight to Hanoi.  Arriving at Noi Bai Airfield we return to the city.  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/L/D          Hotel: Thang Long Opera

Day 15: (Sunday, 25 March) – Ha Noi to CONUS

After breakfast, we transfer to Noi Bai 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 3:10 p.m. this same day.
Meals: (in flight)

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