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Middle Tennessee State University

Tour Reference: VN-15053

16 Days

11 May - 26 May 2015

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Monday - Tuesday, 11 - 12 May) – 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: (Wednesday, 13 May) – 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 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 War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Old Post Office.  We finish our day at the US Embassy compound (now the US Consulate) to see the place where the Viet Cong sappers blew a hole in the compound wall and gained access to the Embassy grounds during the 1968 Tet Offensive.  This evening we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Asian Ruby

Day 4: (Thursday, 14 May) – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

This morning we will head northwest to visit sites in and around Tay Ninh Province which will include the Cao Dai Holy See (Temple) for the Noon Ceremony and Nui Ba Den Mountain (Black Virgin Mountain) in the distance.  After lunch in Tay Ninh, we will visit the Cu Chi Tunnels complex.  We pass close to the Iron Triangle and through Hobo Woods on our way back to Saigon.
Today, we stop to remember Robert Ray Boyd, Michael Clarence Vickery, and Joe Raymond Fulghum Jr.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Asian Ruby

Day 5: (Friday, 15 May) – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Today we drive south on Highway 1 to the Cholon District where we will visit the Cha Cham Church where President Diem had fled and disguised himself as a priest during the 1963 coup.  It was from this place that Diem and his brother were captured, taken away, and murdered.  Continuing south we pass through Tan An on our way to visit the town of My Tho in the Mekong Delta.  We will take a boat trip on the Mekong River to visit Thoi Son Island, local houses, and workshops.  We will visit Dong Tam before returning to Saigon for the evening.
Today, we stop to remember to remember Charles Gilbert Tucker.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Asian Ruby

Day 6: (Saturday, 16 May) – HCMC to Qui Nhon to Pleiku

Very early this morning, we return to Tan Son Nhut Airfield for our flight to Phu Cat Airfield in Qui Nhon.  Once in Qui Nhon, we will board our motorcoach and head west on Route 19.  We make stops at An Khe Pass and An Khe.  We also visit Mang Yang Pass, site of the 1954 annihilation of the French Group Mobile 100 armored column.  We will pass by Camp Holloway as we arrive in Pleiku.
Today, we stop to remember George William Burkheart.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Hoang Anh Gia Lai

Day 7: (Sunday, 17 May) – Pleiku to Hoi An

Up again early today we set out for Kon Tum, one of the major objectives of the 3-prong 1972 Easter Offensive attacks by the NVA (DMZ in I-Corps; Kontum in II-Corps; and An Loc in III-Corps).  We continue north on Highway 14 (now called the Ho Chi Minh Trail Highway) to Dak To.  This was the scene of the horrendous 5-day battle to wrest Hill 875 from the NVA in November 1967.  We then settle in for our long drive to Kham Duc and then on to the ancient port city of 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 8: (Monday, 18 May) – Hoi An

Today is a well-deserved free day to explore, shop, or relax.  Lunch and dinner are on our own.
Meals: B/_/_           Hotel: Hoi An Green Heaven

Day 9: (Tuesday, 19 May) – Hoi An to Da Nang

Today we head west to visit Hill 37, Hill 65, and Liberty Bridge (North End).  As we return to Da Nang we stop at Hill 55, the 7th Marine Regimental Hill.  Returning to Highway 1, we head north to Marble Mountain where we visit a marble carving shop and climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located deep within.  Continuing north we drive through the old Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF), stop at China Beach on the South China Sea, and visit Monkey Mountain for a photo op before checking into our hotel on the Han River.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Brilliant

Day 10: (Wednesday, 20 May) – Da Nang to Dong Ha

This morning we head north on Highway 1 passing through Dog Patch and stopping at Red Beach II (where the Marines made their famous amphibious landing 1965).  Crossing Nam O Bridge, we head up the Hai Van with a stop at the Pass to explore old French bunkers and take in a parting view of Da Nang and the bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van, we make stops at Phu Bai and Camp Evans before we enter Hue City where we stop for lunch.  Still traveling north, we stop in Quang Tri City to visit Long Hung Church and Bo De School, both of which depict the intensity and extreme violence suffered by both sides during the 1972 Easter Offensive.  While still in Quang Tri City, we will visit the Ai Tu Airfield.  As we enter Dong Ha, our last stop will be the Lew Puller School.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha Hotel

Day 11: (Thursday, 21 May) – Dong Ha

This morning we walk to the Dong Ha Bridge over the Song Bo Dieu.  The bridge was destroyed by John Ripley in an extraordinary feat of bravery 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 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.  From here we will visit the location where Navy Seal Michael Thornton earned the Medal of Honor.  From here we return south along Highway 1 to the Peace Bridge into South Vietnam.  Our next stop is Gio Linh Forward Outpost which overlooks the DMZ.  Continuing our journey, we head west through Alpha Three Fire Support Base (FSB A-3) and stop at 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 Hotel

Day 12: (Friday, 22 May) – Dong Ha to Khe Sanh

Our first stop this morning is the Project Renew's Mine Action Visitor Center.  Heading west on Route 9 we visit Camp Carroll, the Army & Marine artillery plateau.  Next is the Rockpile and the Razorback.  We will point out other sites that were of military importance during the war, including the Khe Gia Bridge, Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), and Ca Lu.  After lunch in Khe Sanh village, we head north to the Khe Sanh Combat Base where we will 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 village of Khe Sanh in somewhat Spartan accommodations.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Thai Ninh Hotel

Day 13: (Saturday, 23 May) – Khe Sanh to Hue

Early this morning, we head east on Route 9 until we come to the Da Krong Bridge.  From the bridge, we venture south deep into the Da Krong and A Shau valleys on Highway 14 (Ho Chi Minh Trail Highway).  We stop in A Loui and make our way to Hamburger Hill (Dong Ap Bia).  Turning east on old Route 547 takes us to our hotel in Hue City.
Today, we stop to remember Jerry Michael Lovell.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Moonlight Hotel

Day 14: (Sunday, 24 May) – Hue to Ha Noi

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 of the 1968 Tet Offensive battles for Hue, 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.  After dinner, we head to Phu Bai Airfield and catch our late flight to Ha Noi, Vietnam's capital city.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Gondola Hotel

Day 15: (Monday, 25 May) – Ha Noi

Today we explore Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), the Ho Chi Minh House, and the One Pillar Pagoda.  We also make a stop at the John McCain Monument.  There will be time this afternoon to buy some special last-minute gifts.  Tonight we enjoy our Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Gondola Hotel

Day 16: (Tuesday, 26 May) – Departure

After a leisurely morning, we transfer Ha Noi’s Noi Bai Airfield for our 12:10 p.m. 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 3:30 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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