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I-Corps - Emphasis on Northern I-Corps

Tour Reference: VN-13031

15 Days

10 March - 24 March 2013

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 10 - 11 March) Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal by 8:00 p.m. and proceed to ticketing counter.  Depart for Taipei and lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Tuesday, 12 March) Ha Noi

After a short layover in Taipei, we depart for Vietnam.  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.  Our first stop is JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) for a command briefing on their efforts.  We then visit the John McCain Monument.  Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: May De Ville City Centre

Day 4: (Wednesday, 13 March) Ha Noi to Hue

This morning we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Ho Chi Minh House, the One Pillar Pagoda, the fascinating War Museum, and the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton).  After lunch, we continue to Noi Bai Airfield and catch our flight to Phu Bai Airfield.  After touchdown, we motor north on Highway One and transfer to our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River in Hue (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam) 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 5: (Thursday, 14 March) Hue

Today is devoted to the study of the 1968 Tet Offensive battles for Hue.  We will first walk the southern battle.  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.  After lunch we visit the Citadel, with its ramparts and towers, and visit sites specific to the northern battle, including the Chuck Meadows Gate and the Dong Ba Gate.  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           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 6: (Friday, 15 March) Hue to Dong Ha

This morning we take a relaxing cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tu Duc Tombs.  After lunch we head north on Highway One toward Dong Ha, stopping at sites along the way, such as Quang Tri City, the Ai Tu Airfield, and the Lew Puller School.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 7: (Saturday, 16 March) Dong Ha

Departing early this morning, we first stop at the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).  Next, we pass through the villages of Mai Xa Chanh and My Loc.  Taking the beach road we cross 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 NVA artillery village of Vinh Moc.  On our return from the North, we merge onto Highway One and cross the Peace Bridge making a stop at Gio Linh FSB Forward (Alpha 2) located on the forward edge of the DMZ on the south.  Next we visit the Marketplace and Con Thien (the Hill of Angels).  Following the route of the Rough Riders, we cross the Washout, pass C-2, C-3, and stop at the Cam Lo Bridge.  We return to Dong Ha for the evening.  Today we traversed the four quadrants of Leatherneck Square: Gio Linh, Con Thien, Cam Lo, and Dong Ha.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 8: (Sunday, 17 March) Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Departing very early, we head west on Route 9.  Our first stop will be Camp Carroll, the Marine artillery plateau.  We continue on to the Rockpile and the Razorback.  Along the way we will come upon other sites that were of military importance during the war, including the Khe Gia Bridge, Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), and Ca Lu.  Next is a stop at the Da Krong Bridge for photos and visit a Bru Montagnard village.  We will pass Khe Sanh Combat Base and continue north where we gear up for the climb to the top of Hill 861A and Hill 861.  After the climb, we lunch in Khe Sanh village.  Our final 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           Hotel: Sepon

Day 9: (Monday, 18 March) Lao Bao to Hue

After breakfast, we stop at Khe Sanh Combat Base where we will spend ample time exploring.  We return east on Route 9 for a short while and then head south deep into the Da Krong and A Shau Valleys.  We stop at the town of A Loui before turning east on Highway 547 back to Hue City.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 10: (Tuesday, 19 March) Hue

Today is a free day in Hue for shopping, relaxing by the pool, or for personal exploration.  Lunch and Dinner is on our own.
Meals: B/_/_           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 11: (Wednesday, 20 March) Hue to Hoi An

Departing early this morning we drive south on Highway One.  We stop at interesting sites along the way before heading up the Hai Van with a stop at the Pass to explore old French bunkers and take in a view of Da Nang and the bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van, we visit Nam O Bridge, the III-MAF area, and Red Beach II.  Finally, we pass through Dog Patch as we enter Da Nang City and stop for lunch.  After a quick photo stop at China Beach on the South China Sea, we pass through the MMAF (Marble Mountain Air Facility) area.  We then visit a marble carving shop and climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located within.  Our last stop today will be a silk factory and wood shop.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Hoi An Trails

Day 12: (Thursday, 21 March) Hoi An

Today we travel west and parallel to the southern edge of Go Noi Island, until we arrive at Hill 119 for a hike to the top of this Recon outpost.  Our next stops are Liberty Bridge (south) and An Hoa Regimental Combat Base.  We will make a special visit to 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.  Tonight, we are on our own for dinner.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Hoi An Trails

Day 13: (Friday, 22 March) Hoi An to Da Nang

After a leisurely breakfast, we travel to Da Nang, where the balance of the day is a free day for personal exploration, shopping, or relaxing.  Lunch is on our own, but tonight all hands gather for a very special Farewell Dinner at the most famous restaurant in Da Nang, the Kim Do.
Meals: B/_/D           Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 14: (Saturday, 23 March) Da Nang to Ha Noi

After breakfast, we head to Da Nang Airfield for our flight to Ha Noi.  After lunch, we prepare for the journey home and more 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/L/D          Hotel: May De Ville City Centre

Day 15: (Sumday, 24 March) Departure

For those opting for one of our fabulous post tours, your day begins as we bid our new friends a happy journey home. After breakfast, those heading home 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: B/L/D (in flight)

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