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Indiana University

Producing International Documentaries

16 Days

13 May - 28 May 2012

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 13 - 14 May) – Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal by 8:00 p.m. and proceed to ticketing counter.  Depart Los Angeles on our flight to Taipei and Ha Noi.  Lose one day crossing the International Dateline..

Day 3: (Tuesday, 15 May) – Ha Noi

During our 2-hour layover in the Taipei airport, the Vietnam Battlefield Tour Director will provide a detailed orientation about our stay in Vietnam, which will include: Safety & Security; Health & Well-Being; Cultural; and Administrative issues.  Fondly referred to as the "Big Speech," it is designed to familiarize you with today's Vietnam and to ally any anxieties you may have.  After landing at Ha Noi's Noi Bai Airfield, we proceed through immigration, retrieve our bags, clear customs, and board our motorcoach and cross the Red River and its dikes to explore the Ha Noi environs.  We tour the War Museum that focuses mainly on the French and American wars, and we view the fascinating Diem Bien Phu presentation.  Later we visit Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and the John McCain Monument.  Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner and then attend a performance at the world-famous Water Puppet Theatre.

Class meeting - Preliminary discussion about the French & American Wars.

Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Church Boutique Hotel

Day 4: (Wednesday, 16 May) – Ha Noi

Arising before dawn, we experience the city come alive.  We walk around Hoan Kim Lake and hear of its legend.  See the people of Hanoi (from toddlers through the very elderly) arriving for their morning exercises and you can join in if you like.  The eerie quiet of this tranquil city's awakening will captivate you.  We return to the hotel as the sun comes up and enjoy our first breakfast in Vietnam.  Today we go to the Mausoleum to view Ho Chi Minh lying in state.  We then visit the Ho Chi Minh House, and the One Pillar Pagoda.  This afternoon is free to shop, relax, or roam the city on your own.

Class meeting - Discuss responsibilities and assign topics and themes

Class meeting - Guest lecture from North Vietnam Army (NVA) veteran

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Church Boutique Hotel

Day 5: (Thursday, 17 May) – Ha Noi to Hue

This morning we fly to the old, American military airfield at Phu Bai.  After a short ride up Highway One, we enter Hue (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam).  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.  Here we retrace the path of the 1968 Tet Offensive southern battle for Hue.  This highly important battle marked the first time street-to-street urban warfare had taken place since the battle for Seoul, South Korea in 1950.  We follow the actions of the US Marines, covering, among others, the former MACV Compound, Hue University, Treasury, Public Health Building, Provincial Capital Building area, and the Church of the Redemptress.  After lunch, we cross the Perfume River into the Citadel with its ramparts and towers, and visit sites specific to the northern battle, including the Dong Ba Gate and the phase lines.  We finish the battle study at the Imperial Palace gate blown by the Marines, 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 13 Nguyen emperors.  Finally, it's time to check into our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River.  Be sure to enjoy the hotel pool.  After dinner, you can roam the fascinating shops on Le Loi Street until late at night.

Class meeting - Tet Offensive overview, discuss responsibilities and assign topics and themes for Hue production projects.

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Park View Hotel

Day 6: (Friday, 18 May) – Hue

This morning, we take a relaxing cruise on a Dragon Boat up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tu Duc Tombs. This evening we will have dinner or reception with faculty and student at the Hue University School of Art & Design.

Class meeting - Prepare for exchange with students at Hue University.

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Park View Hotel

Day 7: (Saturday, 19 May) – Hue

Today we meet Hue University students and do a walking tour/video shoot with students. Lunch on your own today.

Class meeting - Prepare for Hue Production Exercise #2.

Meals: B/_/D           Hotel: Park View Hotel

Day 8: (Sunday, 20 May) – Hue

Today we travel to the coast east if Hue.

Class meeting - Guest lecture, Hue artist

Meals: B/L/D

Day 9: (Monday, 21 May) – Hue

Today we travel north on Highway One, stopping in Quang Tri at the Long Hung Church and the Bo De School.  Entering Dong Ha we visit Project Renew’s Humanitarian Mine Action Visitor Center and the Lew Puller School.  After stopping at the Dong Ha Bridge we continue to the Peace Bridge crossing the Song Ben Hai, the river that was the only true physical demarcation between North and South Vietnam.  Continuing on, we arrive at Vinh Moc and explore the underground village and tunnel complex that remains virtually untouched since the American war.  We retire to a beach on the Tonkin Gulf and enjoy an improvised lunch.  We return to Hue where dinner is on our own tonight.

Class meeting -

Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Park View Hotel

Day 10: (Tuesday, 22 May) – Hue

Finish artist profile series.  Video Blog – upload Hue stories.  Lunch on your own today.

Class meeting - Artist profile series discussion

Meals: B/_/D           Hotel: Park View Hotel

Day 11: (Wednesday, 23 May) – Hue to Da Nang

Today we travel south stopping for various photo opportunities before heading up the Hai Van Pass (pass of the clouds).  Stopping at the top to explore old French bunkers, we take in a panoramic view of Da Nang and the bay, and point out Vietnam's last leprosy village.  Continuing on we ride a cable car to the resort area atop of Ba Na Mountain.  Returning to sea level, we visit Red Beach 2 where the Marines first landed in 1965 and make a final stop for photos of an amazing Sitting Buddha monolith.

Class meeting - Hue reflection; video blog discussion; travel to Da Nang.

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Bamboo Green Harborside

Day 12: (Thursday, 24 May) – Da Nang

Today we head south from Da Nang to Marble Mountain, where we will climb the mountain to explore the caves and monastery within.  We will visit a few marble carving shops before heading deep into the countryside to the ancient capital of Trakieu at the My Son Holyland, site of Cham ruins that date back to the 7th Century.  Our last stop today will be to the ancient port city of Hoi An (formerly known as Faifo) where Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese traders once walked.  After dinner we return to our hotel for the evening.

Class meeting - Guest Speaker - Agent Orange discussion.

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Bamboo Green Harborside

Day 13: (Friday, 25 May) – Da Nang to HCMC (Saigon)

We catch our morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by most Vietnamese.  We visit Reunification Hall (the former Presidential Palace).  After dinner, head to the old Tu Do Street (now Dong Khoi Street) near our hotel to explore wonderful little shops where you can search for special gifts to bring home.

Class meeting -

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Silverland Hotel

Day 14: (Saturday, 26 May) – HCMC (Saigon)

This morning we head to Tay Ninh Province to visit the great Cao Dai Holy See Temple and observe the noon ceremony.  After lunch in Tay Ninh, we then visit the Cu Chi Tunnel Complex.  We will pass through the Iron Triangle, and Hobo Woods on our way back to Saigon.

Class meeting - Contemporary culture.

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Silverland Hotel

Day 15: (Sunday, 27 May) – HCMC (Saigon)

Today we visit the Cha Cham Church in Cholon (where President Diem had fled and disguised himself as a priest during the coup.  It was from this place that Diem was captured, then removed and murdered).  From here we head south on Highway 1 passing through Tan An on our way to the town of My Tho in the Mekong Delta.  We will take a boat trip on the Mekong River to visit Thoi Son Island, local houses, and workshops.  We return to Saigon for the evening and some last minute shopping or relaxation.  All hands gather tonight for our very special Farewell Dinner.

Class meeting - War reflection.

Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Silverland Hotel

Day 16: (Monday, 28 May) – HCMC to Los Angeles

This morning we bid farewell to Vietnam and transfer to Thon San Nhut Airport for our 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 the same day.

Class meeting - prepare for trip to airport.

Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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