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I-Corps - Emphasis on Northern I-Corps

Tour Reference: VN-14031

15 Days

9 March - 23 March 2014

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 9 - 10 March) – Enroute

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

Day 3: (Tuesday, 11 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: Gondola

Day 4: (Wednesday, 12 March) – Ha Noi to Hue

Up early this morning we head back to Noi Bai to catch our flight to Phu Bai Airfield.  After a short ride north on Highway 1 we enter Camp Eagle, home to the 101st Airborne.  Continuing north, 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, Joan of Arc 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 the 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, 13 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.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 6: (Friday, 14 March) – Hue to Dong Ha

Today we head north on Highway 1 with our first stop being Camp Evans.  Soon we enter 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 ever-further north, we enter Dong Ha and visit the Lew Puller School.  We then cross the Song Bo Dieu and stop at the villages of My Hoa and Truc Son before arriving at Charlie-One Fire Support Base (FSB C-1).
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 7: (Saturday, 15 March) – Dong Ha

This morning we walk to the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).  Boarding our motorcoach we pass through Mai Xa Chanh and My Loc as we arrive at the north side of Cua Viet.  Taking the new beach road north we pass through Charlie Four Fire Support Base (FSB C-4) before we arrive at Ocean View Outpost.  We then cross the Song Ben Hai (the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South) to explore the tunnel complex in the artillery village of Vinh Moc.  After lunch in a beachside café on the Tonkin Gulf, we head west to Highway 1.  Returning south, we walk across the Peace Bridge into South Vietnam.  Our next stops are Gio Linh Forward Outpost which overlooks the DMZ and Alpha Two Fire Support Base (FSB A-2).  Continuing our journey, we head west through Alpha Three Fire Support Base (FSB A-3) and stop to climb Alpha Four Fire Support Base (FSB A-4), better known as Con Thien (the Hill of Angels).  Next we pass through Charlie Two Fire Support Base (FSB C-2) and Charlie Three Fire Support Base (FSB C-3) before stopping at the Cam Lo Bridge.  At Cam Lo village, we turn east on Route 9 and return to our hotel in Dong Ha.  Today we have traversed the four quadrants of Leatherneck Square: Dong Ha, Gio Linh, Con Thien, and Cam Lo.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 8: (Sunday, 16 March) – Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Returning to Cam Lo village we head south to our first stop, Mai Loc Airfield.  We then return to Route 9 and head west to visit the Camp Carroll Artillery Plateau and the Khe Gia Bridge.  Next stop 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.  We then travel northwest of Khe Sanh to climb Hills 861A and 861.  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, 17 March) – Lao Bao to Hue

This morning our band of intrepid travelers splits into two groups.  One group will make the brutal and arduous climb up Hill 881S.  Before returning to Hue via Route 9 and Highway 1, we cross the Da Krong Bridge to view FSB Shepard just to the south of the Da Krong River.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang

Those who have chosen not to climb will turn south over the Da Krong Bridge and plunge deep into the Da Krong and A Shau valleys stopping in A Loui to view Hamburger Hill in the distance.  Turning east on old Route 547 takes you back to our riverside hotel in Hue City.  Your afternoon is devoted to free time with dinner on your own.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 10: (Tuesday, 18 March) – Hue to Hoi An

Our first stop this morning will be a 3rd Recon ambush site near Thon Mu Kham.  Continuing south on Highway 1 we make several interesting stops along the way to include Elephant Pass and the Truoi River Bridge and Tower.  We then head up the Hai Van with a stop at the Pass of the Clouds to explore old French and Chinese bunkers and take in a view of Da Nang and the bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van to sea level, we visit Nam O Bridge, the III-MAF area, and Red Beach 2 where the Marines made their amphibious landing in May 1965.  We pass through Dog Patch as we enter Da Nang City and make a quick photo stop at China Beach on the South China Sea.  After we drive through the MMAF (Marble Mountain Air Facility) area, we visit a marble carving shop and climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located within.  We complete this day’s travels as we reach our hotel in Hoi An.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoi An Trails

Day 11: (Wednesday, 19 March) – Hoi An

Our first stop today will be a silk factory and wood shop.  Next we travel west and parallel to the southern edge of Go Noi Island.  Our next stops are Liberty Bridge (south), LZ Dixie, Cu Ban, Phu Loc(6), and An Hoa Regimental Combat Base.  We also 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.  On our way back, we arrive at Hill 119 for a hike to the top of this 1st Recon outpost.  Tonight, we are on our own for dinner. 
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Hoi An Trails

Day 12: (Thursday, 20 March) – Hoi An

Today is a well-deserved 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.  There are literally hundreds of amazing little shops in this town.  Lunch and dinner are on our own to sample the many restaurants and night spots.
Meals: B/_/_           Hotel: Hoi An Trails

Day 13: (Friday, 21 March) – Hoi An to Da Nang

This morning we venture northwest into the Arizona Territory.  On our way to Da Nang we stop at Freedom Hill, headquarters of the 1st Marine Division.  The balance of our day is free and devoted to personal exploration or relaxing.  We are on our own for lunch, but all hands are required at our special Farewell Dinner at the most famous restaurant in Da Nang, the Kim Do.
Meals: B/_/D           Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 14: (Saturday, 22 March) – Da Nang to Ha Noi

After an early breakfast, we head to Da Nang Airfield for our flight to Ha Noi.  Our visits today include the fascinating War Museum, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and House, and the One Pillar Pagoda.  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: Gondola

Day 15: (Sumday, 23 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 2:55 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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