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Magical Mystery Tour

Tour Reference: VN-13033

15 Days

24 March - 7 April 2013

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 24 - 25 March) Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal by 6:30 p.m. and proceed to ticketing counter.  Depart for Taipei and lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Tuesday, 26 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.  We visit the fascinating War Museum, the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), and the John McCain Monument.  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.  Afterwards we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Melia Hotel

Day 4: (Wednesday, 27 March) Ha Noi to Hue

This morning we visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh House on the way to Noi Bai Airfield, where we catch our flight to Hue/Phu Bai Airfield.  After lunch in Hue, we 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 Hotel

Day 5: (Thursday, 28 March) Hue

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 visit 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.  We then visit the Forbidden City, home to the ancient emperors.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang Hotel

Day 6: (Friday, 29 March) Hue

Today we make a quick run up to the DMZ.  Our first stop will be in Quang Tri City to visit the Long Hung Church and the Bo De School (both heavily damaged during the Easter Offense of 1972).  In Dong Ha stop at Song Do Dieu we walk over the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).  Continuing north we stop at the Peace Bridge over the Song Ben Hai, the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South.  Continuing north we then explore the tunnel complex in the artillery village of Vinh Moc.  We will have lunch in a seaside restaurant (in North Vietnam) before returning south along the beach to Hue.  Dinner on your own.        For those not wishing to travel to the DMZ, you will have a free day in Hue for shopping, personal exploration or just relaxing.  Lunch and Dinner on your own.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Huong Giang Hotel

Day 7: (Saturday, 30 March) Hue to Da Nang

Departing early this morning we drive south on Highway 1.  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 panoramic view of Da Nang and the bay.  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.  Finally we enter Da Nang City.  From here we head over to China Beach on the South China Sea and turn south to the old location of MMAF (Marble Mountain Air Facility) to check into our hotel.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Crown Plaza Da Nang

Day 8: (Sunday, 31 March) Da Nang

Today we head west to visit Hill 55, the 7th Marine Regimental Hill, Hill 65 and Liberty Bridge (North End).  As we return to our hotel we stop at Marble Mountain where we can visit a marble carving shop and climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located deep within.  Dinner is on your own.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Crown Plaza Da Nang

Day 9: (Monday, 1 April) Da Nang to Hoi An

Today we head south on Hwy 1 and cross to the south side of the Tu Bon River.  We follow parallel to the southern edge of Go Noi Island west, we will point out Hill 119 and make a stop is Liberty Bridge (south) before we 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.  If the new road to Antenna Valley is open we will cross from An Hoa and then head to the city of Hoi An by way of the Que Son Valley.  Hoi An is an ancient port city (formerly known as Faifo) where Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese traders once walked.  As we enter Hoi An we will visit a silk factory to see how silk is grown, harvested and made into products.  We will then check into our hotel for the evening.  After dinner you are free to roam the streets and shops of Hoi An.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoi An Trails Resort

Day 10: (Tuesday, 2 April) Hoi An

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

Day 11: (Wednesday, 3 April) Hoi An to Qui Nhon

Early morning departure for Chu Lai, Than Tra 1, Quang Ngai and Duc Pho with stops along the way for areas of interest.  Visit Cham Ruins near Qui Nhon.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Qui Nhon Saigon

Day 12: (Thursday, 4 April) Qui Nhon to Ho Chi Minh City

This morning depart Qui Nhon for our morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City.  We will land at Tan Son Nhut Airfield and as we leave the airport, we will pass by the old MACV HQ, the U.S. Army's 3rd Field Hospital and head into the center of the city (still called Saigon by most Vietnamese) to begin our short tour of the city to include the Reunification Hall (Old Presidential Palace); Norte Dame and the former US Embassy which now houses the new US Consulate.  We may also have a chance to visit a Lacquerware factory to see how this art form is created.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Caravelle Hotel

Day 13: (Friday, 5 April) Ho Chi Minh City

Today is a free day in Saigon for shopping, personal exploration or just relaxing.  Lunch and Dinner is on our own.
Meals: B/_/_           Hotel: Caravelle Hotel

Day 14: (Saturday, 6 April) Ho Chi Minh City

We rise early and head to Tay Ninh Province to visit the great Cao Dai Holy See Temple and observe the noon ceremony.  After lunch, we head to the Cu Chi Tunnel complex for a visit.  We then pass through the Hobo Woods area on our way back to Saigon where we will spend the evening.  Tonight we gather for our Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Caravelle Hotel

Day 15: (Sumday, 7 April) Departure

After breakfast, we transfer to Tan Son Nhut Airport 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 3:45 p.m. this same day
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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