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I-Corps * Emphasis on Northern I-Corps

Tour Reference: VN-10031

14 Days

07 March - 20 March 2010

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday , 07 – 08 March) – Enroute

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

Day 3: (Tuesday, 09 March) – Ha Noi

After a short layover in Taipei, we depart for Vietnam.  Arriving at Ha Noi’s 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.  We visit the Ho Chi Minh House; the One Pillar Pagoda; the John McCain Monument; Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton); and fascinating War Museum.  Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Hong Ngoc

Day 4: (Wednesday, 10 March) – Ha Noi to Hue

Early this morning, we fly from Noi Bai Airfield to Phu Bai Airfield and then drive north on Highway 1 to Hue (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam).  We begin out study the 1968 Tet Offensive battle for Hue by walking the southern battle areas.  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.  After lunch, we visit the Citadel with its ramparts and towers, and walk 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 also visit the Forbidden City, home to the ancient emperors.  After dinner, you can relax by the pool or roam the fascinating shops on Le Loi Street until late at night.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 5: (Thursday, 11 March) – Hue to Dong Ha

This morning we take a relaxing Dragon Boat cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Nguyen Dynasty Tu Duc Tombs.  We then depart for the DMZ, stopping at sites along the way, such as Quang Tri City, Ai Tu Airfield, the Lew Puller School and Cua Viet Base.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huu Nghi

Day 6: (Friday, 12 March) – Dong Ha

Early this morning we depart for Leatherneck Square.  We head west on Route 9.  Turning north from Cam Lo, our first stop will be the Cam Lo Bridge; next is Con Thien (The Hill of Angels), and then Gio Linh FSB Forward (Alpha 2).  We then cross the Peace Bridge over the Song Ben Hai, the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South.  Heading northeast, we brave the Tunnels of Vinh Moc before returning south along the new beach road to Dong Ha.  We will stop along the north side of the Song Bo Dieu for photos of the LCU Ramp.  Our final stop will be the Bridge at Dong Ha (destroyed by John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huu Nghi

Day 7: (Saturday, 13 March) – 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 and 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 Gio Bridge, Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), Ca Lu, the Da Krong Bridge, and the Hairpin.  As we enter Khe Sanh village, we head north to the Khe Sanh Combat Base where we will spend ample time exploring.  Our last stop 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 village of Lao Bao on the Lao border.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Sepon

Day 8: (Sunday, 14 March) – Loa Bao to Hue

After breakfast we will visit a Bru Montagnard village near the Hill 881 South point of launch.
From here, we will split into two groups, those who wish to climb Hill 881S and those who don’t.

Group 1 - For those climbing Hill 881 South, we gear up with plenty of water and provisions.  We take our time, traversing two mountains and streams, before arriving at the summit of Hill 881 South with its spectacular views of Hill 881 North and the surrounding countryside.  Taking ample time for careful exploration, we remember the Marines, Corpsmen, and helicopter crews who braved the extreme dangers of this essential FSB and outpost.  Coming off the mountains, we are met by our motorcoach.  We will reunite with our group in Hue.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Group 2 - For those NOT climbing Hill 881 South, you can experience the Bru village as long as you like.  When you are ready to leave, your guide will take you back to Hue where you will be free to relax or roam more of the shops on Le Loi and adjacent streets.  Tonight we are on our own for dinner.
Meals: B/L/_          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 9: (Monday, 15 March) – Hue to Hoi An

This morning we drive south on Highway 1 towards Da Nang.  We will stop at interesting sites along the way, including Elephant Pass and the Lang Co Bridge, 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).  We pass through Da Nang City on our way to Marble Mountain which we will climb to explore the VC Hospital area located deep within.  We will also visit a Marble shop before finally arriving at our hotel in Hoi An.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific

Day 10: (Tuesday, 16 March) – Hoi An

Today we head west from Hoi An to visit Liberty Bridge (South side), 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.  Then it is on to LZ Ross and a few special request locations.  We then visit Hill 63, Hill 43, Hill 10 and LZ Baldy before returning to Hoi An for the evening.  Tonight we are on our own to sample the local restaurants and night spots offered in the Hoi An area.
Meals: B/L/_          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific

Day 11: (Wednesday, 17 March) – Hoi An

Today, we again divide our tour into two groups.

Group 1 - For those going on the tour, we will be leaving early today and heading south to Hawk Hill and Chu Lai Base.  Backtracking north on Highway 1 to Tam Ky, we turn west and venture deep into the mountains to trek to the 196th LIB’s FSB Mary Ann.  Taking back roads through vast mountain ranges, we come to Highway 14 which we take south to Special Forces Camp Ngoc Tavak and Special Forces Camp Kham Duc.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific

Group 2 - For those not going on the tour, you will have a free day to explore Hoi An.  Lunch and Dinner will be on your own.
Meals: B/_/_          Hotel: Hoi An Pacific

Day 12: (Thursday, 18 March) – Hoi An to Da Nang

After breakfast we will visit a Silk factory on our way to Da Nang.  Once in Da Nang, you have a few hours to relax, shop, or explore on your own before we gather for our very special Farewell Dinner at the famous Kim Do restaurant.
Meals: B/_/D          Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 13: (Friday, 19 March) – Da Nang to Ha Noi

After breakfast, we head to Da Nang Airfield for our early flight to Ha Noi.  After arriving at Noi Bai Airport we will stop and have a buffet lunch before arriving at our hotel.  Later we will visit the JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) Headquarters (mission depending) and receive a briefing on MIA activities.  The balance of the afternoon is preparing for the journey home and last minute shopping.  Before dinner tonight, we have been invited (also mission depending) to the Marine House, home of the Marine Security Guard responsible for the protection and defense of the U. S. Ambassador and the Embassy.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Hong Ngoc

Post Tour: Two clients left group today to spend three full days in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to explore on their own.

Day 14: (Saturday, 20 March) – RETURN to CONUS

After breakfast, we 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 3:05 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

Post Tour: Two clients left group today for week long post tour to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Post Tour: Two clients left group today for a personally scheduled tour of other areas within Vietnam before heading home.

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