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I-Corps   -   Emphasis on Northern I-Corps

Tour Reference: VN-11031

15 Days

13 March - 27 March 2011

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Sunday - Monday , 13 – 14 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, 15 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 Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton); the John McCain Monument; and the fascinating War Museum.  Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: May De Ville

Day 4: (Wednesday, 16 March) – Ha Noi to Da Nang

Today we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House, the One Pillar Pagoda, and mission permitting, we head to JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) for a command briefing on their efforts.  Continuing on to Noi Bai Airfield, we catch our flight to Da Nang Airfield.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 5: (Thursday, 17 March) – Da Nang

Early this morning we venture southwest of the city.  Our first stops are Hill 55 and Liberty Bridge (north side).  We then follow Thunder Road (Route 4) east and turn south on Highway One, crossing the Song Thu Bon.  Turning west, we parallel Goi Noi Island and stop at Liberty Bridge (south side).  Next is An Hoa Combat Base after which we 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.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 6: (Friday, 18 March) – Da Nang

Crossing the Han River, we travel north to Monkey Mountain for a photo stop.  Turning south, we stop at China Beach on the South China Sea and drive through the old Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF).  We then visit a marble carving shop and climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located deep within.  The balance of the day is free.  Tonight we are on our own to sample the many restaurants and night spots located in the city.
Meals: B/L/_          Hotel: Green Plaza

Day 7: (Saturday, 19 March) – Da Nang to Hue

Departing early this morning, we pass through Dog Patch as we depart Da Nang City.  We make visits to Red Beach II and Nam O Bridge, before heading 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 several interesting stops along the way north before reaching Phu Bai and Camp Eagle.  Soon thereafter, we enter Hue (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam) and 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 former MACV Compound, Tran Cao Van Street, Girl's High School, ARVN BOQ, Hue University, Treasury, Public Health Building, Provincial Capital Building area, and the Church of the Redemptress.  We then arrive at our hotel on the southern bank of the Perfume River for a relaxing evening.  After dinner, you can roam the fascinating shops on Le Loi Street until late at night.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 8: (Sunday, 20 March) – Hue

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, 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.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 9: (Monday, 21 March) – Hue to Dong Ha

Heading north on Highway One, we come to the village of Hai Lang.  Here we turn east to the Tonkin Gulf for a visit to Utah Beach (also know as Wunder Beach).  Our next stops are LZ Sharon and La Vang Cathedral.  In Quang Tri City, we visit Sac Tu Pagoda, Bo De School, and the Citadel.  Continuing north, we cross the Thach Han River and stop at Quang Tri’s Ai Tu Airfield.  As we enter Dong Ha, our last stop of the day is the Lew Puller School.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huu Nghi Pacific

Day 10: (Tuesday, 22 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 are the villages of Mai Xa Chanh and My Loc.  Continuing east, we come to the mouth of the Cua Viet River where Camp Kistler and the lighthouse sit at its southern bank.  Next we visit C-4 Base and Ha Loi Tay village, before crossing 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 artillery village of Vinh Moc.  On our return from the North, we cross the Peace Bridge and make a stop at Gio Linh FSB Forward (Alpha 2) located on the forward edge of the DMZ on the south.  Next we visit Hill 31 and then make our final stop at special coordinates requested for a NDF (night defensive position).
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huu Nghi

Day 11: (Wednesday, 23 March) – Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Departing very early, we head west on Route 9.  Turning north from Cam Lo, our first stop will be the Cam Lo Bridge.  We then visit Con Thien (the Hill of Angels).  The four quadrants of Leatherneck Square are Gio Linh, Dong Ha, Cam Lo, and Con Thien.  Next we venture south to Mai Loc SF Camp, before returning to Route 9 and 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 Khe Gia Bridge, Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), Ca Lu, and the Hairpin.  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.  Our final hike will be to LZ Butcher, before finally arriving at the Laotian border town of Lao Bao where we spend the evening in somewhat Spartan accommodations.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Sepon

Day 12: (Thursday, 24 March) – Lao Bao to Hue

Our first stops today will be the 1st CAV’s LZ Tom, LZ Wharton, and LZ Snapper.  Crossing the Da Krong Bridge, we plunge into the Da Krong Valley and later the A Shau Valley.  Arriving at the village of A Loui, we turn east towards Hue and the comfort of our riverside hotel.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 13: (Friday, 25 March) – Hue

Today is a free day devoted to shopping, exploring on your own, or for relaxing.  Be sure to enjoy the hotel pool.  You are your own for lunch, but all hands are required at our special Farewell Dinner.
Meals: B/_/D          Hotel: Huong Giang

Day 14: (Saturday, 26 March) – Hue to Ha Noi

This morning, we head to Phu Bai Airfield for our early flight to Ha Noi.  Arriving at Noi Bai Airfield we return to the city.  Lunch is on our own as we prepare for the journey home and more last-minute shopping.  This evening we enjoy a visit (mission permitting) to the Marine House, home of the U.S. Marine Corps Security Guard responsible for the protection of the U.S. Ambassador and the American Embassy.
Meals: B/_/D          Hotel: May De Ville

Day 15: (Sunday, 27 March) – RETURN to CONUS

For those opting for one of our fabulous post tours, your day begins as we bid our new friends a happy journey home.  After breakfast, those heading home 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 1:25 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

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