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Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

Tour Reference: VN-13071

17 Days

30 June - 16 July 2013

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 30 June - 1 July) – Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal by 9:00 p.m. and proceed to ticketing counter.  Depart for Taipei and lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Tuesday, 2 July) – 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 lunch.  We then visit the fascinating War Museum, the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), and the John McCain Monument.  This evening we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Silk Path

Day 4: (Wednesday, 3 July) – Ha Noi to Hoi An

Today we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House and the One Pillar Pagoda.  We then arrive (mission permitting) at JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) for a command briefing on their efforts.  Continuing on to Noi Bai, we catch our flight to Da Nang Airfield.  We motorcoach to the ancient port town of Hoi An (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.  The town abounds with quality restaurants and amazing little shops.  You can catch the hotel shuttle into town and roam the streets and shops of this amazing little city.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoi An Trails

Day 5: (Thursday, 4 July) – Hoi An to Hoi An

This morning we visit a silk factory to how silk is made from worm to finished product.  We then travel south and west into the countryside, to 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.  We’ll be back in time to pick up all your custom-made silk clothing that you ordered yesterday.  Happy Independence Day!
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoi An Trails

Day 6: (Friday, 5 July) – Hoi An to Hue

Starting early today, we drive north and visit Marble Mountain to explore this sanctuary and the VC hospital area located deep within.  After a visit to a marble carving factory, we drive through the old Marble Mountain Air Facility and stop at China Beach.  On our way, we stop at several interesting sites before beginning our drive up to the Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Clouds), such as Dog Patch and Red Beach II where the Marines made their amphibious landing in May 1965.  Atop the Pass, we explore old French bunkers and take in a view of Da Nang and the bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van to sea level, we pass through Lang Co and stop at Elephant Pass.  Entering Phu Bai, we stop at Camp Eagle and then arrive at 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, 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 7: (Saturday, 6 July) – 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.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 8: (Sunday, 7 July) – Hue to Dong Ha

Leaving very early, we head north on Highway 1 to 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 stop at the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).  Next we drive to the Tonkin Gulf and head north on the beach road, crossing 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.  On our return from the North, we walk across the Peace Bridge into South Vietnam.  We turn west to visit Con Thien (The Hill of Angels).  We finish up at Cam Lo to view the crash site of Bat 21.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 9: (Monday, 8 July) – Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Today’s first visit is to the joint services artillery plateau at Camp Carroll.  We continue on to the Rockpile/Razorback for a short hike.  We then re-board our motorcoach and arrive at Vandergrift Combat Base where we walk out to the old airstrip.  At the Da Krong Bridge we visit a Bru Montagnard Tribal village.  Arriving at Khe Sanh Combat Base, we 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 10: (Tuesday, 9 July) – Lao Bao to Tchepone to Hue

Today we enter Laos in search of sites important to the battle of Lam Son 719.  These include the LZ Bravo, LZ Alpha, LZ A Loui, Lam Son 719 Museum, LZ Hope, the Burn, Ta Luang, and Tchepone town.  We then re-enter Vietnam and make our way back to our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River in Hue (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam).
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 11: (Wednesday, 10 July) – Hue to Da Nang to Siem Reap

This morning we drive south, passing through the new 6.3-kilometer tunnel under the Hai Van Pass and enter Da Nang.  After lunch, we transfer to the airfield and catch our flight to Cambodia.  Arriving in Siem Reap, we check into our hotel just in time for dinner.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hotel Angkor Century

Day 12: (Thursday, 11 July) – Siem Reap

This morning takes us to the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th Century); the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk; the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara; and Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most popular and beautiful temples.  Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery.  Next is lunch after which we explore the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat.  The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing.  Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and this 12th Century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hotel Angkor Century

Day 13: (Friday, 12 July) – Siem Reap

Today is a free day in Siem Reap.  Be sure to visit the amazing marketplace.  You can relax on Pub Street with a cool drink while having your feet (if you’re a brave soul) exfoliated by hundreds of little fish.  Today lunch and dinner are on our own.
Meals: B/_/_           Hotel: Hotel Angkor Century

Day 14: (Saturday, 13 July) – Siem Reap to Phnom Penh to Chau Doc

This morning we return to the Siem Reap Airfield and board our short flight to Phnom Penh.  Transferring to our boat we begin our adventure on the Mekong River and re-enter Vietnam cruising toward our landing site in the town of Chau Doc.  At the end of our voyage down the mighty Mekong, we motor to the Chau Doc Military Area and view the Seven Sisters Mountains.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Victoria Chau Doc

Day 15: (Sunday, 14 July) – Chau Doc to Saigon

Today we depart for Vinh Long Airfield and other requested sites in this area.  We pass through Dong Tam and My Tho on our way to Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by most Vietnamese).
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Grand Hotel

Day 16: (Monday, 15 July) – Saigon

This morning we visit the War Remnants Museum, the old Presidential Palace (now called Reunification Hall), and the US Consulate located at the former U.S. Embassy compound.  We also visit Cha Cham Church where President Diem fled during the 1963 coup and was captured, removed, and murdered.  After lunch, our afternoon is free for last-minute shopping.  All hands gather tonight for our special Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Grand Hotel

Day 17: (Tuesday, 16 July) – Departure

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 4:05 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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