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Seabees Return

Tour Reference: VN-15032

15 Days

8 March - 28 March 2015

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday, 8 - 9 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, 10 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 will have lunch and then visit the John McCain Monument before checking into our hotel.  This evening we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Gondola

Day 4: (Wednesday, 11 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 Hue/Phu Bai Airfield.  After touchdown we will visit the locations of the Phu Bai Combat Base (aka: Camp Hochmuth) and the Gia Le Combat Base (aka: Camp Wilkinson) before heading north on Highway 1 towards Hue.  Once in Hue we will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral before checking into our hotel near 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: Moonlight

Day 5: (Thursday, 12 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, 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 (aka: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church).  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: Moonlight

Day 6: (Friday, 13 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 1 toward Dong Ha, along the way we will stop in Quang Tri City to visit the Catholic Orphanage, Quang Tri Combat Base (aka: Camp Rhodes), the Ai Tu Airfield, and other sites of interest.  We finally arrive in Dong Ha, the former site of the Dong Ha Combat Base where we will spend the evening.  Our hotel is located right behind the Dong Ha LCU Ramp.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 7: (Saturday, 14 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.  In the new town of Cua Viet we will cross over the new bridge to the south side of the river to visit the site of the Cua Viet Port Facility.  Crossing back over the Song Cua Viet, we will take the beach road north and 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 1 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 Con Thien (the Hill of Angels), pass by C-2, C-3, and stop at the Cam Lo Bridge.  We return to Dong Ha and visit the location of Camp Spillman and Camp Barnes.  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, 15 March) Dong Ha to Khe Sanh to Hue

Departing early, we head west on Route 9.  Our first stop will be Camp Carroll, the Marine and Army 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.  After lunch in Khe Sanh village, we head north to the Khe Sanh Combat Base where we will spend ample time exploring.  Leaving Khe Sanh, we return to Hue for the evening. Dinner on our own tonight.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Moonlight

Day 9: (Monday, 16 March) Hue to Da Nang

Departing early this morning we drive south on Highway 1.  We will visit the Camp DeShurley Rock Quarry and other 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, Camp Haskins, Red Beach II, Hill 327 and the sites of the Freedom Hill Exchange, Camp Hoover, and the Happy Valley Rock Quary.  We visit the Cau Do Bridge before checking into our hotel on the Han River.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Brilliant

Day 10: (Tuesday, 17 March) Da Nang to Hoi An

This morning we head to Monkey Mountain and Camp Tien Sha.  Turn south along the beach road; we stop at China Beach on the South China Sea.  Continuing south we drive through the old Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF) and visit Camp Faulker and Camp Adenir.  Further south is Marble Mountain where we visit a marble carving shop and climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located deep within.  From here we continue to the ancient port city Hoi An (formerly known as Faifo) where Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese traders once walked.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoi An Green Heaven

Day 11: (Wednesday, 18 March) Hoi An

Today we will visit the location of the ROK Marine Base before heading south to visit the Chu Lai Airstrip, Rosemary Point (aka: Camp Miller), Camp Shields and Hill 43.  We will have lunch on the beach at Chu Lai and then visit Tam Hai Island before returning to Hoi An for the evening.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoi An Green Heaven

Day 12: (Thursday, 19 March) Hoi An

Today we travel west and parallel to the southern edge of Go Noi Island, until we arrive at Hill 119.  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 Green Heaven

Day 13: (Friday, 20 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: Brilliant

Day 14: (Saturday, 21 March) Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

After breakfast, we head to Da Nang Airfield for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).  As we depart Tan Son Nhut 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).  We will visit the Norte Dame Cathedral and the Post Office.  Afterwards we will check into our hotel before heading out to visit Dong Xoai.  For those not going to Dong Xoai, you will have the afternoon off to explore Saigon on your own.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Asian Ruby

Day 15: (Sumday, 22 March) Departure

After breakfast, we head to Tan Son Nhut Airport for 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 3:10 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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