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174th Attack Helicopter Company

Tour Reference: VN-15022

15 Days

1 February - 15 February 2015

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 01 - 02 February) – Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal by 7:30 p.m. and proceed to ticketing counter.  Depart for Taipei and lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Tuesday, 03 February) – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

After a short layover in Taipei, we depart for Vietnam.  Landing at Tan Son Nhut Airfield (once the busiest airport in the world) we proceed through immigration, retrieve our bags, clear customs, and board our motorcoach.  As we depart the airport, we pass by the old ARVN National Military Headquarters and head into the center of Ho Chi Minh City (still called Saigon by most Vietnamese).  We make a visit to the Independence Palace (Reunification Hall), the Notre Dame Cathedral, the National Post Office, and the site of the old US Embassy.  This evening we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Asian Ruby

Day 4: (Wednesday, 04 February) – Ho Chi Minh City to Qui Nhon

This morning we visit the War Remnants Museum.  After lunch, we transfer to Tan Son Nhut Airfield for our flight to the former Lane Army Airbase at the coastal town of Qui Nhon.  After dinner at the hotel, we are free to roam around or rest up for tomorrow’s trek north.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Qui Nhon

Day 5: (Thursday, 05 February) – Qui Nhon to Quang Ngai

Early this morning we are up and on the road.  First we search for the Leper Colony site south of the airbase.  We then venture onto Highway 1 and travel north to Bong Son Bridge and LZ English.  Continuing farther north, we come to Duc Pho and take time to explore Nui Dang and LZ Bronco.  Tonight we relax at our riverside hotel on the Song Tra Khuc.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Thien An Hotel

Day 6: (Friday, 06 February) – Quang Ngai

Today will be our most challenging day on the tour.  We venture deep into the mountainous jungles west of Duc Pho.  Our first stop is LZ Liz, but our main objective is the top of San Juan Hill.  Exiting Route 515, we get as close as we can to the hill and gear up for the grunt-like, arduous climb to this remote outpost (no helicopters here).  Our return drive takes us north on Route 516 along the Song Ve to Quang Ngai Airfield, LZ 4-11, and The Horseshoe.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Thien An Hotel

Day 7: (Saturday, 07 February) – Quang Ngai to Hoi An

Today we visit Hill 43, Chu Lai Air Base, and Ky Ha Helicopter Base.  After lunch on Crescent Beach, we continue north past Tam Ky.  Our last stop is a silk and wood-carving shop before we arrive in Hoi An.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoi An Green Heaven

Day 8: (Sunday, 08 February) – Hoi An

Today is a well-deserved free day to relax and heal our aching bones from the climb up San Juan Hill two days ago.  Or you may want to 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 some the many restaurants and night spots.
Meals: B/_/_           Hotel: Hoi An Green Heaven

Day 9: (Monday, 09 February) – Hoi An to Hue

This morning we travel the coast road to Marble Mountain where we climb to the top to explore the VC hospital area located deep within.  We will also visit a marble carving shop while in this area.  Next is a drive through the old MMAF (Marble Mountain Air Facility) and a stop at China Beach for a quick photo.  We then proceed to the Laotian Consulate in   to turn in our visa applications.  Our next stop is Red Beach II (where the Marines made their first amphibious landing in March 1965).  Continuing north we make our way up the breathtaking Hai Van Pass (Pass of the "High Clouds"), stopping at the top to explore old French bunkers and to take in a parting view of Da Nang and her Bay.  After lunching in the fishing village of Lang Co, we maintain our northerly drive and stop at Elephant Pass for some photos.  We pass by Dam Cau Hai, one of the largest lagoons in all of Southeast Asia encompassing 112 square kilometers.  Later we pass by Camp Hochmuth, Phu Bai Airfield, and Camp Eagle before entering Hue City (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam) where we check into our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 10: (Tuesday, 10 February) – Hue to Dong Ha

After breakfast, we enjoy a relaxing Dragon Boat cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda.  We then 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 old Shell Gas Station, the former MACV Compound, Tran Cao Van Street, Girl’s High School, Hue University, Treasury, Public Health Building, Provincial Capital Building area, and the Church of the Redemptress.  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.  Next, we enter 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.  Our battle study complete, we take some time to visit the Forbidden City, home to the ancient emperors.  After lunch, we venture farther north.  Our first stop is Camp Evans.  We then continue north to visit Long Hung Church, La Vang Basilica (site of an alleged appearance of the Blessed Virgin), and Bo De School all in the Quang Tri City area.  Those sites provide a shocking and violent reality of the 1972 Easter Offensive battles.  We also stop at Ai Tu Airfield (Quang Tri Airfield).  Our last stop of the day is in Dong Ha at the Lew Puller School.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 11: (Wednesday, 11 February) – Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Early this morning we head north and then east, passing through Mai Xa Chanh and My Loc before we arrive at the north side of Song Cua Viet.  Taking the new beach road north along the Tonkin Gulf, we cross over the mouth of the Song Ben Hai (the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South) to explore the intricate maze of tunnels in the NVA artillery village of Vinh Moc.  We then 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 at the Alpha Two Fire Support Base (FSB A-2).  Continuing our journey, we head west through Alpha Three Fire Support Base (FSB A-3) and turn south at Alpha Four Fire Support Base (FSB A-4), better known as Con Thien (the Hill of Angels) and 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 west on Route 9 and with stops at Camp Carroll, (the artillery plateau), the Rockpile and the Razorback, and the Vandergrift Combat Base airstrip.  At Khe Sanh Village, we head north to Khe Sanh Combat Base where we spend ample time exploring.  We also stop at the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp, overrun in the first ever NVA tank assault.  Co Roc Mountain soars to the heavens just across the Laotian border.  Tonight we stay in the Laotian border town of Lao Bao in somewhat Spartan accommodations.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Sepon

Day 12: (Thursday, 12 February) – Lao Bao to Laos to Dong Ha

Very early today we enter Laos in search of sites important to the battle of Lam Son 719.  These can include LZ Bravo, LZ Alpha, LZ A Loui, Lam Son 719 Museum, LZ Hope, and Tchepone town.  We then re-enter Vietnam and make our way back to our hotel in Dong Ha.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 13: (Friday, 13 February) – Dong Ha to Hue

This morning we walk to the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by Capt. John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).  We then return to our riverside hotel in Hue City.  Your afternoon is devoted to free time to relax, explore, or continue shopping.  Lunch is on our own, but tonight all hands gather for a very special Farewell Dinner.  After dinner, you can roam the fascinating shops on Le Loi Street until late at night.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 14: (Saturday, 14 February) – Hue to Ha Noi

This morning we drive south to Phu Bai Airfield for our short flight to Ha Noi.  We land at Noi Bai Airfield (heavily bombed during the American War), collect our bags, and board our waiting motorcoach.  We then cross the Red River and its dikes to explore the Ha Noi environs.  We visit the Ho Chi Minh House, the One Pillar Pagoda, Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), and the John McCain Monument.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Skylark

Day 15: (Sunday, 15 February) – Departure

After breakfast, we stop at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and then transfer to Noi Bai Airfield where we catch 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 at approximately 4:00 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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