Day 1 Saigon
Arrival in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Transfer to your selected hotel. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 2 Saigon
Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels. Never discovered by American forces, the Cu Chi Tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Today, you can walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the VC, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists. Sightseeing in Saigon. Saigon is the largest of Vietnamese cities, with the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life visible everywhere. There are street markets, sidewalk cafes and sleek new bars. The city churns and bubbles. Yet within this teeming metropolis are 300 years of timeless traditions and the beauty of an ancient culture. To the west of the city is District 5, the huge Chinese neighborhood called Cholon, which means 'Big Market'. Visit the area of the former US Embassy (may be viewed from the outside only). Visit Military Museum. Military Museum: US, Chinese and Soviet material is on display, including a Cessna A-37 of the South Vietnamese air force and a US-built F-5E Tiger with a 200mm nose gun still loaded. The tank on display is one of the tanks which broke into the grounds of the Reunification Palace on 30 April 1975. Visit the Reunification Palace. Reunification Palace: the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, it was stormed by tanks on 30 April 1975, signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 3 Vung Tau
By hydrofoil from Saigon to Vung Tau. Excursion to Australian War sites around Vung Tau. Explore the sites around Vung Tau which played an important role in the Australian experience of the Vietnam war. Sites visited include the Australian War Memorial, Nui Dat and Long Phuc Tunnels, as well as Long Tan and Long Hai hills and tunnels. Overnight in Vung Tau.
Day 4 Vung Tau
Morning at leisure. By vehicle from Vung Tau to Saigon
Day 5 Danang
Transfer for your flight from Saigon to Danang. Excursion to My Lai. Journey south along the coast, past arid plains dominated by rocky mountains. Stop at My LaiI, the site of an infamous massacre of Vietnamese civilians, an event which turned the tide of popular opinion in America against the war. The Son My Memorial was erected to memorialize the victims, with a museum nearby. Overnight in Danang.
Day 6 Hue
By vehicle from Danang to Hue. Journey north along Highway 1 over the Hai Van Pass and past Phu Loc and Phu Bai. Hai Van Pass: the pass crosses over a spur of the Truong Son Mountain Range that just into the South China Sea. It is an incredible mountainous stretch of highway with spectacular views. Sightseeing in the Old Imperial City. Located in the heart of Hue is the Imperial Citadel, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modelled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit Dien Tho Residence ( Dien Tho palace) is where the Queen mother lived, visit Thai Hoa Palace, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns, among other sites. Visit Dong Ba Market. Dong Ba Market: a local market near the Imperial City. Overnight in Hue.
Day 7 Khe Sanh
By vehicle from Hue to Dong Ha. Excursion to DMZ Zone (Demilitarized Zone). Quang TriI: the town was once an important citadel city. During the war, it was heavily bombed and not many of the original buildings of the time are left. Vinh Moc Tunnels: 2.8km of tunnels built by the villagers of Vinh Moc, who lived in one of the most heavily bombed places. The people began tunneling by hand into the red clay earth and made the tunnels their home. Khe Sanh Combat Base: site of the most famous siege of the American War in Vietnam. Khe Sanh sits on a barren plateau surrounded by vegetation-covered hills, often obscured by mist and fog. Doc Mieu Base: located on a low rise south of the Ben Hai River - part of the former Mc Namara line - this base was once part of an elaborate electronic system intended to prevent infiltration across the DMZ. Today, you can still see the remains of bunkers, craters and shrapnel. Ben Hai River: once the demarcation line between North and South Vietnam. Cua Tung Beach: a long secluded stretch of sand where the last emperor, Bao Dai, used to go on vacation. Truong Son Cemetery: a memorial to tens of thousands of North Vietnamese soldiers from transport and construction who were killed in the Truong Son Mountains along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Con Thien Fire Base: US marine corps base established to stop infiltration across DMZ. In 1967, the North Vietnamese forces crossed the DMZ and besieged the base. Camp Carrol: established in 1966 and named after a US marine corps captain who was killed whilst trying to seize a nearby ridge. Today bits of military hardware and lots of rusty shell casings litter the ground. The Rockpile: named after a large pile of rocks, where there used to be a US marine corps lookout. Dakrong Bridge: built in 1975-6 with assistance from the Cuban government. Lang Vay Special Forces Camp: a camp established in 1962 and attacked and overrun in 1968 by North Vietnamese infantry backed by nine tanks. All that remains are some overgrown remains of numerous concrete bunkers. By vehicle from Dong Ha to Khe Sanh. Overnight in Khe Sanh.
Day 8 A Luoi
Sightseeing around Khe Sanh. Visit Lang Vay base, Khe Sanh base and Ta Con airbase. These old American bases are the sites of one of the most important battles (or diversions) of the Vietnam War. By vehicle from Khe Sanh to A Sao and A Luoi. Overnight in A Luoi.
Day 9 Hue
By vehicle from A Luoi to Hue. Sightseeing in Hue. Hue served as the capital of Vietnam for more than 140 years. It houses ancient temples, imperial buildings and French-style edifices. It was established in the 17th century. Visit the Imperial Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh. Khai Dinh: this was the last monument of the Nguyen dynasty and was constructed between 1920 and 1931. It sits magnificently on the slopes of Chau E Mountain in Chau Chau Village. It has a long staircase flanked by dragons. There are ceiling murals and ceramic frescoes. Excursion by boat to Thien Mu Pagoda and Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang. Thien Mu Pagoda: just outside of Hue, on the bank of the Perfume River, this was a hotbed of anti-government protest during the early 1960s. Behind the main sanctuary of the pagoda is the Austin motorcar which transported the monk Thich Quang Duc to the site of his 1963 self-immolation. Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang: a complex built in 1840 by King Minh Mang, known for its magnificent architecture, military statuaries and elaborate decorations. It is perhaps the most beautiful of Hue's pagodas and tombs. Overnight in Hue.
Day 10 Hanoi
Transfer for your flight from Hue to Hanoi. Discover the old quarter of Hanoi by walking (1 hour). It is also called 36 streets most of which are named after the crafts or merchandise traditionally sold there. Visit the Temple of Literature. Temple of Literature: a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, this momument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnams first university. In one courtyard, giant stone tortoises bear stelae on their backs, listing the accomplishments of graduating scholars. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 11 Hanoi
Sightseeing in Hanoi. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot Thu Du). Chau Mot Cot: built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong and restored in 1922, then burned by the French in 1954 and restored in 1955. The pagoda which is a Buddhist representation of the world in the form of a lotus coming out of the water, contains a statue of Quan An, the Goddess of Mercy. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed Monday and Friday and all October to November). Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: in the tradition of Lenin and Stalin before him and Mao after him, the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh is a glass sarcophagus set deep in the bowels of a monumental edifice that has become a site of pilgrimage. The Mausoleum is open only in the mornings, and is closed on Mondays and Fridays. Every year, it closes in October and November for renovation and maintenance. Visit Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House. Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House: Near the Mausoleum is the two room stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1948 until his final days. Visitors also pass the simple three-room bungalow where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked from 1954-8, which has been preserved in the same condition and may be viewed through the windows. Transfer to airport for your onward flight.