Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours

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Vietnam Past & Present Tour 2024 with Dave Sabben, MG

Group Tour

Departs 15 August 2024 from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

$ 4999
13 Days
  • PRICE: per person, twin share
  • SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $950
  • DEPOSIT: $1000 per person
A 13-day emotional journey to the former battlefields of Vietnam taking in both South and North Vietnam, including Vietnam war sites and the country’s cultural treasures – escorted by Long Tan veteran, Dave Sabben, MG.

Travel through Vietnam with Long Tan veteran Dave Sabben and commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day 2024 on the ground where this history took place.

Join Vietnam veteran Dave Sabben, who was awarded a Medal for Gallantry for his actions in the Battle of Long Tan, to walk in the footsteps of more than 50,000 Australians who served during the Vietnam War on this emotional journey to the former battlefields. This very special tour takes in all the key Australian sites, plus some American sites as well as allowing you to discover many of Vietnam’s cultural treasures and experiencing its vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine. This provides a rare opportunity (possibly the last opportunity) to visit Vietnam with Dave and walk the ground at Long Tan, exploring Vietnam’s turbulent past and its diverse, rich culture today.

Day 1 > Thursday 15 August 2024 | Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Welcome to this moving tour to the Australian battlefields of Vietnam. On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City we will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. After checking in we will enjoy a group welcome dinner in a local restaurant, an opportunity to get to know our fellow travellers and Historian better. (D)

Day 2 > Friday 16 August 2024 | Saigon City Tour

Today after breakfast we will meet our Historian and a local guide for a short orientation walk of the area around our mid-city hotel. We then visit the former Presidential Palace where we will receive a briefing on the Australian headquarters system and liaison with Vietnamese and American headquarters during the war, and then visit the War Remnants Museum, the Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral. We will also visit Father Tam’s Catholic Church where President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother hid themselves in 1963 before being taken away and executed. We will finish our day at the renowned Ben Thanh Markets, one of Saigon’s most famous landmarks. The Welcome3w dinner tonight is in the former residence of the US Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge. (B, L, D) – Hotel Liberty Central

STAR INCLUSIONS

Reunification Palace  Lunch at a historic local restaurant

War Remnants Museum  Ben Thanh Market  Welcome dinner

Day 3 > Saturday 17 August 2024 | Cu Chi Tunnels

Today we will travel to Cu Chi to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels, where Australians first operated in the Iron Triangle in 1965. A battlefield brief will be given on the bus enroute to Cu Chi and cover 1966’s Operation Crimp that Australians were involved in. After visiting the Ben Duoc Temple at Cu Chi we will enjoy lunch at a nearby floating restaurant (if you wish to enter the temple, please wear long shirts and long trousers). (B, L, D) – Hotel Liberty Central

STAR INCLUSION

★  Cu Chi tunnels  Ben Duoc Temple

Day 4 > Sunday 18 August 2024 | Saigon to Vung Tau

Today after checking out of our hotel we will travel to the seaside resort town of Vung Tau and the former site of the 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG). We will travel via Baria to the former 1ATF base at Nui Dat where our historian will give a brief on the role of the 1st Australian Task Force, how operations were conducted and how the base was developed and protected. The area is still a military reserve in parts and some areas may be restricted to visitors. After lunch at a local restaurant we will then proceed to the iconic Long Tan battle site for a battle brief and a short memorial service that will coincide with the exact time of this major engagement. (B, L, D)  – Hotel Palace Hotel

STAR INCLUSIONS

 Former 1ATF base at Nui Dat   Long Tan battlefield

Day 5 > Monday 19 August 2024 | Vung Tau – Minh Dam

This morning we will explore the sights of Vung Tau, including Back Beach – the former site of an Australian logistics group and the Peter Badcoe Club. The area is now a public beach and houses a massive war memorial to honour its past. Walk up to the top of the VC Memorial and overlook the Badcoe area. We will also visit Front Beach areas, Bao Dai Summer House and the airport area. Many will remember it as the home of ‘Wallaby Airlines’ and our ‘hueys.’ We will also visit Long Hai hill (also called ‘Minh Dam secret zone’), the main base of Viet Minh and VC during the French and American wars. The many caves served as a natural shelter, medical care and head quarter for the troops. We will also visit the VC memorial to commemorate where more than 2,000 soldiers died during the war. After lunch near Long Hai, we will stop at Ap My An and learn about the battle of Bribie. The evening is free to explore Vung Tau. (B, L)

STAR INCLUSIONS

Vung Tau  Bao Dai Summer House  Long Hai hill  Minh Dam Secret Zone  VC Memorial

Day 6 > Tuesday 20 August 2024 | Vung Tau to Saigon

After checking out of our hotel, we will visit the scene of the Battle of Binh Ba. We will travel north to the area of the Courtenay Rubber Plantation and the scene of the Battle of Nui Le, Australia’s last major action of the war. Gary McKay will give a battle site briefing at Nui Le, the action where he was wounded and was awarded the Military Cross. After stopping for lunch we will travel through the Hat Dich area to Saigon, where we will check in before freshening up for a free night. (B,L)

STAR INCLUSIONS

Binh Ba  Memorial of 33 NVA  Nui Le (Le Mountain)

Day 7 > Wednesday 21 August 2024 | Saigon to Phu Bai

After an early breakfast we check out and drive to the airport for our flight to Phu Bai. After checking into our hotel we will take a boat trip on the Perfume River on our way to visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda. After lunch at the Banana Mango cafe we will then travel by bus to the nearby Citadel and undertake a battlefield tour of this historic and ancient city. (B, L, D) – Dinner tonight is at AncIent Hue restaurant.

STAR INCLUSIONS

Hue  Imperial Citadel  Thien Mu Pagoda

Day 8 > Thursday 22 August 2024 | Hue to DMZ

After an early breakfast we drive north to the Hien Luong Bridge, the museum and visit the Vinh Moc tunnels. We drive south to the village of Dong Ha and have lunch in a local café with fascinating memorabilia before driving west to visit the former American bases at Camp Carroll and the Rockpile. We return after a long day on the road to Hue for a free evening. (B, L)

STAR INCLUSIONS

Hien Luong Bridge  Vinh Moc tunnel Camp Carroll Rockpile

Day 9 > Friday 23 August 2024 | Hue to Hoi An

Today we check out of our hotel and drive to Danang via Hai Van Pass and have a look at Red Beach where the USMC landed in 1965. Lunch will be in Lang Co on the lagoon restaurant. We check in to the Historic Hoi An Hotel and have a quick orientation of this historic trading town. Dinner tonight will be in the Old Boat restaurant. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS

1968 Tet Offensive  Former MACV Compound  Tran Cao Van Street

Hue University  Treasury  Public Health Building  Provincial Capital Building

Day 10 > Saturday 24 August 2024 | Hoi An

Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An known then as ‘Faifo’, was a prosperous trading port, attracting Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships amongst others. Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognised for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets and distinctive local cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. Hoi An’s narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour of its many sights including: the old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, first built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its intricate woodcarvings; and the colourful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk.  The afternoon and evening are at leisure to explore. (B)

STAR INCLUSIONS

Hoi An  The 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge  Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation

Day 11 > Sunday 25 August 2024 | Danang to Hanoi

We check out of our hotel and drive north to Danang International airport. Our flight north to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi will take about an hour. We will check in to the Silk Path hotel. A walking tour of the old French Quarter will allow you to see what shopping delights await you the next day. We will enjoy lunch and dinner at local restaurants. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS

Hanoi   Hanoi Old Quarter

Day 12 > Monday 26 August 2024 | Hanoi

After breakfast we will enjoy a highlights tour of Hanoi, which includes the One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s home and the Army Museum. We will enjoy lunch at Brothers Café before continuing our tour visiting the Lake of the Restored Sword. We will also visit the notorious ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison, Hoa Lo. We will later return to our hotel, where we will enjoy a farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS

One Pillar Pagoda  Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum  Presidential Palace

Ngoc Ha village  Truc Bach  Huu Tiep Lakes  Farewell dinner

Day 13 > Tuesday 27 August 2024 | Depart Hanoi

This morning we will transfer to the airport to connect with your international flight back to Australia, arriving early the following morning after a wonderful tour exploring Vietnam. The journey may be over but the memories will last a lifetime. (B)

★  Services of our expert Vietnam Historian
★  All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
★  12 nights’ 3-star to 4-star accommodation
★  Travel by comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
★  Domestic economy airfare Ho Chi Minh City to Hue / Danang to Hanoi with Vietnam Airlines.
★  Return airport transfers
★  Breakfast daily, 10 lunches and 6 dinners
★  Welcome dinner in Ho Chi Minh City and a special farewell dinner in Hanoi
★  All entrance fees as per the itinerary

 

Booking


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Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. In addition, your Historian may alter the sites visited on each day to suit local conditions. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.

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Booking Enquiry

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Ask about our airfare, hotel and car hire deals, which offer great discounts when booked in conjunction with our tours.

Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. In addition, your Historian may alter the sites visited on each day to suit local conditions. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.

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Ask about our airfare, hotel and car hire deals, which offer great discounts when booked in conjunction with our tours.

Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. In addition, your Historian may alter the sites visited on each day to suit local conditions. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.

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