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Tour Reference: VN-08041

14 Days

07 April - 20 April 2008

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Monday - Tuesday , 07 08 April) Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal.  Depart Los Angeles on our flight to Hong Kong.  We lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Wednesday, 09 April) Ha Noi

After a short layover in Hong Kong, we depart for Vietnam. Arriving at Ha Nois Noi Bai Airfield (heavily bombed during the war) we proceed through immigration, retrieve our bags, clear customs, board our motorcoach, and cross the Red River and its dikes to explore the Ha Noi environs. After lunch, we attend a command briefing at JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) Headquarters, better known as the MIA House.  Our next stops are the John McCain Monument and the fascinating War Museum.  Afterward, we enjoy our Welcome Dinner and a relaxing evening.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Thang Long Opera

Day 4: (Thursday, 10 April) Ha Noi to Hue

This morning we stop at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.  While in the mausoleum area, we also visit the Ho Chi Minh House and the One Pillar Pagoda.  We then proceed to the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton).  After lunch, we travel northeast of the city to the A6A-Intruder crash site of Patrick P. Murray and Hobart M. Wallace, Jr. At 19:30, we board Vietnam Airlines flight #VN-247 from Noi Bai to Phu Bai Airfield.  We then transfer to our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River in Hue City (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam) and check in for the evening .
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 5: (Friday, 11 April) 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, Girl's High School, the ARVN BOQ, Hue University, Treasury, Provincial Capital Building, and the Church of the Redemptress.  We then cross the Perfume River to the Royal 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.  We then explore the Forbidden City, home to the ancient emperors.  The rest of our day is free for personal exploration or relaxing.  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: Huong Giang

Day 6: (Saturday, 12 April) Hue to Dong Ha

This morning we take a relaxing Dragon Boat cruise from the LCU ramp, up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Nguyen Dynasty Tu Duc Tombs.  After lunch, we board our motorcoach for the journey north on Highway 1, stopping at Quang Tri City, Ai Tu Airfield, and the Lew Puller School.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hieu Giang

Day 7: (Sunday, 13 April) Dong Ha

Today, we explore Leatherneck Square, including the Cam Lo Bridge, Con Thien (The Hill of Angels), Gio Linh FSB Forward (Alpha 2), and the Bridge at Dong Ha.  We will also visit the Peace Bridge over the Song Ben Hai, the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hieu Giang

Day 8: (Monday, 14 April) Dong Ha to Lao Bao

After breakfast we head west on Route 9.  Our first stop is Camp Carroll, the Marine artillery plateau.  We continue on to the Rockpile for a short 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, the Khe Gia Bridge, Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), Ca Lu, the Da Krong Bridge, and the Hairpin.  After stopping for lunch in the village of Khe Sanh, we head north to the Khe Sanh Combat Base.  Afterward, we continue west and stop at the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp, overrun in the first-ever NVA tank assault.  Co Roc Mountain soars to the heavens just inside Laos.  Finally, after coming to the Laotian border town of Lao Bao, we check into our hotel for dinner and rest.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Sepon

Day 9: (Tuesday, 15 April) Lao Bao to Hue

Today is the day set aside for the arduous climb of Hill 861 Alpha.  From our launch point, we gear up with plenty of water and provisions.  We take our time, traversing mountain and stream, before arriving at the summit with its spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.  Taking ample time for careful exploration, we remember the Marines, Corpsmen, and air crews who braved the extreme dangers of this essential outpost.  Coming off the mountain, we are met by our motorcoach and returned to the hedonistic pleasures of our riverside hotel in cosmopolitan Hue City.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 10: (Wednesday, 16 April) Hue to Da Nang

Departing very early this morning we drive south on Highway 1.  We stop at interesting sites along the way, including Elephant Pass and the town of Phu Loc, before heading up and over the Hai Van (Sea Clouds) Pass with a stop at the top to explore old French bunkers and take in a view of Da Nang Bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van, we visit Nam O Bridge and Red Beach 2 (where the Marines first landed in 1965).  Finally, we pass through Dog Patch as we enter Da Nang City.  After checking into our hotel and lunch, we visit a marble carving shop and climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located deep within.  Afterwards, we pass through the old Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF) and China Beach on the South China Sea.  Tonight we are on our own to sample the local restaurants and night spots offered in the Da Nang area.
Meals: B/L/_          Hotel: Bamboo Green Harborside

Day 11: (Thursday, 17 April) Da Nang

Another early morning departure brings us to FSB Six-Shooter, Hill 10, Hill 55, and Liberty Bridge (north) at Dai Loc, we then turn east along Thunder Road (Route 4) to Highway 1 and cross to the south side of the Song Tu Bon.  We follow parallel to the southern edge of Go Noi Island seeking two knolls of significant importance and continue west, until we arrive at Liberty Bridge (south).  Next is An Hoa Regimental Combat Base and then 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.  Again, we are on our own for dinner.
Meals: B/L/_          Hotel: Bamboo Green Harborside

Day 12: (Friday, 18 April) Da Nang

Today is a free day for personal exploration, shopping, or just plain relaxing.  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: Bamboo Green Harborside

Day 13: (Saturday, 19 April) Da Nang to Ha Noi

After breakfast, we btransfer to Da Nang Airfield for our flight to Ha Noi.  Transfer to lunch and hotel.  Early this evening, we enjoy a visit to the Marine House, home of the U.S. Marine Corps Security Guard responsible for the protection and defense of the U.S. Ambassador and the American Embassy, after which is dinner.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Thang Long Opera

Day 14: (Sunday, 20 April) RETURN to CONUS

After breakfast, we transfer to Noi Bai Airfield for our short flight to Hong Kong.  We depart from Hong Kong, re-cross the International Dateline, and land in Los Angeles this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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