"Do not seek the truth. Only cease to cherish opinions." - Zen saying
12 days from $2,378 per person
PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A JOIN-IN TOUR
For those with more than a passing interest in the Vietnam War, consider following the timeline of the war across the country. Begin in Da Nang, and trace your way across the land, following some of the most notable battles, sieges and events of the period, all the way to the fall of Saigon.
day 1Arrive into Da Nang Airport, and pass by the former Marble Mountain Air facility on the way to Hoi An.
day 2Cycle across the Vietnamese countryside to Tra Que and meet the local people. Explore the narrow lanes of UNESCO World Heritage listed Hoi An, a well-preserved former trading port, and learn more about its most famous buildings including the Japanese Covered Bridge, Assembly Hall of the Chinese and Tan Ky's House. (B)
day 3Today we visit the sobering memorial to the My Lai massacre, one of the most famous sights of the Vietnam War. Head north to Quang Ngai City and pass by the Chu Lai Airport, originally a Marine Corps base. (B)
day 4Head North, stopping at Nam O Beach (Red Beach), the landing site of the Marine Expeditionary Force in 1965. We reach Dong Ha in the afternoon, by the DMZ and Forward Base of the 3rd Marine Division. (B)
day 5Explore Highway 9 and the Ho Chi Minh Trail, start at Khe Sanh Combat Base, go across Dakrong Bridge and stop at Camp Carrol. (B,)
day 6Explore the DMZ on the 17th Parallel, cross Ben Hai River and see the site of the most ferocious fighting of the Vietnam War. Visit Vinh Moc and explore the tunnels lived in by nearly 60 families. Return to Hue by the late afternoon. (B)
day 7Explore Hue at your leisure today, taking some time to relax from the preceding days. (B)
day 8Head out into the ancient Hue countryside and learn about the Nguyen Dynasty, who ruled from 1802 to 1945. We explore three tombs of major emperors, so you can see the change in architecture from the classical Gia Long Tomb, up to the French-inspired tomb of Khai Dinh, reflecting the influence of the colonial era.
See the most famous monument in Hue, the Forbidden City. This huge complex comprises three circles of ramparts and spreads across 520 hectares. (B)
day 9Fly to Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City and look around the Old Streets and Iconic Buildings. We take a look at Gia Long street, where the famous photograph was taken. Was it the CIA headquarters or USAID?
In the evening we head out by Vespa Motorcycle to eat samplings of the best South Vietnamese street-food. (B, D)
day 10Visit the wartime tunnels of Cu Chi, and continue on to Tay Ninh, home to the Cao Dai Religion. On the way back to Saigon we can stop at Trang Bang Village, the location where the 'Girl in the Picture', was taken by AP Photographer Nick Ut. The picture, showing the effects of Napalm shocked the world, but the girl survived and now lives in Canada. (B)
day 11Today we see the fall of Saigon, travelling in a restored military jeep. We start at Dab Sinh for war memorabilia, before continuing to the War Remnants Museum, the Requiem Gallery and ending at the Reunification Palace, where army tanks crushed the gates and ended the war on 30th April 1975.
Finish off the trip with a cocktail at the rooftop bar of the Rex Hotel, where press reports were delivered. Those in-the-know renamed it as the Five O'Clock Follies. (B)
day 12End your trip to Vietnam with stop at Ben Thanh Market, before you depart for your outbound flight. (B)
Hoi An: La Siesta
Dong Ha: Saigon Morin
Saigon: Liberty Central Saigon Riverside
From: $2,378 per person
Prices are in US dollars and are based on 2 people sharing a room