fbpx Vietnam Past & Present Tour - 2020 | Defence Escapes

Vietnam Past & Present Tour - 2020

journey to the former battlefields of Vietnam

Vietnam Past & Present Tour - 2020

journey to the former battlefields of Vietnam
Defence Escapes
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
12 days
From $3,399
Tour code: DE-122

Welcome dinner

Army Museum  

One Pillar Pagoda

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum  

Presidential Palace  

Hanoi Hilton

Imperial Citadel

Thien Mu Pagoda

Former MACV Compound 

Home visit with Tet Offensive veteran

Hoi An walking tour

Cu Chi Tunnels 

Lunch with VC veteran

Reunification Palace

War Remnants Museum

Ben Thanh Market

Sightseeing tour of Vung Tau

Front Beach

Operation Bribie

Long Tan Anniversary Service

Nui Dat

SAS Hill

Luscombe Airfield

Minh Dam secret zone

Memorial of 33 NVA Regiment

Nui Le tour with Military Cross winner

Walk in the footsteps of more than 50,000 Australians and 3000 New Zealanders who served during the Vietnam War on this emotional journey to the former battlefields. Gain insight into the country's turbulent past as well as discover modern Vietnam.

Walk in the footsteps of more than 50,000 Anzacs who served during the Vietnam War. Our tour takes in key Australian, New Zealand and American war sites while introducing you to Vietnam’s historic treasures, vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine. Gary McKay, a platoon leader who won a Military Cross in Vietnam, will be your Historian.

12 Day Tour

Price from $3399 per person twin share

Departure Date: 9th August 2020

Single Supplement: $700

Deposit: 30%

Contact our reservations team on 1300 789 824or click on the enquiry button below and advise your cabin preference and need for pre/post hotels, flights, insurance, etc.

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.


What's included?

  • Services of our expert Australian Historian and a Vietnamese tour escort
  • All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
  • Commemorative Service at the Long Tan Cross Memorial, and opportunities to meet a former VC soldier and a Tet Offensive Veteran
  • 11 nights’ accommodation
  • Flights from Hanoi to Hue, and Danang to Ho Chi Minh City
  • Travel by comfortable air-conditioned coach
  • Breakfast daily, 8 lunches and 6 dinners incl. a welcome dinner at the residence of the former US Ambassador to Saigon
  • All entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • All tipping
  • Copy of Gary McKay's book, 'Australia's Battlefields in Viet Nam'


9 August | Arrive Hanoi

Welcome to Vietnam. Upon arrival into Hanoi, please make your own way to our central hotel. This evening your Historian will meet you in the hotel lobby and the we will head out to enjoy a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise created by an Australian Vietnamese who won an Order of Australia medal for his work supporting disadvantaged youth. (D)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★ Welcome dinner


10 August | Hanoi

Our journey into wartime Vietnam begins today. We will begin at the extensive Army Museum which houses rooms full of war propaganda, photographs and documents from Chinese, French and US wars. We will also visit One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace, then continue to the Hanoi Hilton where American POWs were kept. We will finish at Truc Bach and Huu Tiep Lakes in Ngoc Ha village where many B52 planes were shot down.

This afternoon is free to explore the Old Quarter. (B, L)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★ Army Museum  ★ One Pillar Pagoda  ★ Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum  ★ Presidential Palace  ★ Hanoi Hilton


11 August | Hanoi to Hue

This morning we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Hue. Once the imperial capital of the Nguyen Lords, Hue’s splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of its Citadel contribute to its undeniable royal charm. We will enjoy a short walk (weather permitting) through the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World-Heritage site. We will admire its magnificent architecture and gardens while our guide explains the events and intrigue surrounding the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily during the Vietnam War, there are some incredibly well-preserved sections and others that are being restored. We will then drive to the seven-storey Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★ Imperial Citadel ★ Thien Mu Pagoda


12 August | Hue to Hoi An

Today we will follow the 1968 Tet Offensive, a battle for control of the city, visiting the old Shell Gas Station, the former MACV Compound and Hue University among other key sites. At Dong Ba Gates, we will meet Mr Nguyen Dac Xuan, a culture researcher and survivor of this bloody battle. We will visit his home for a 45-minute talk on his lived experience of the Tet offensive. Later, we will depart for Hoi An over the Hai Van pass. Upon arrival, we will check in to our hotel. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS    Former MACV Compound   Home visit with Tet Offensive veteran

13 August | Hoi An

We will begin the day with a guided walking tour of Hoi An. Today this World-Heritage ancient town is recognised for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets and distinctive local cuisine. We’ll take in its old merchant houses, 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation, and a colourful market brimming with local specialties including silk. We will have the afternoon and evening free to explore. (B)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★ Hoi An walking tour

14 August | Hoi An

Today will be spent at leisure to enjoy the wonderful sights, flavours and sounds of Hoi An. (B)

15 August | Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City

This morning we will transfer to Danang Airport for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Upon arrival, we will transfer to Cu Chi, once the scene of countless battles. We will join a former VC soldier (now a farmer) and his family in their home for lunch and a walk in his garden while he shares stories of life during and after the war. This afternoon we will continue to the Cu Chi tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels used by the VC to hide during combat. Late this afternoon, we will return to Ho Chi Minh City. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS  Cu Chi Tunnels  ★ Lunch with VC veteran

16 August | Ho Chi Minh City

Today will start with a visit to the Reunification Palace, once the headquarters of the South Vietnamese Government. Then wewill explore Ho Chi Minh City’s colourful maze of alleys and discover a secret chamber once used by the VC as a place for hiding and storageduring the War. We will lunch at a small restaurant, where VC Commanders once gathered to plan the 1968 Tet Offensive, then visit the War Remnants Museum and Ben Thanh Market before an evening at leisure.(B, L)

STAR INCLUSIONS  Reunification Palace  War Remnants Museum  Ben Thanh Market


17 August | Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau

This morning we will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Vung Tau, including Back Beach (the former site of an Australian logistics group) and the site of the Peter Badcoe Club, and walk up to the massive VC war memorial overlooking the Badcoe area. We will also visit Front Beach, White Palace and the airport area, and spend time in the bustling town centre and market where the large antenna on ‘Radar Hill’ is still visible. After lunch we will stop at Ap My An to learn about Australian actions during Operation Bribie fought in 1967. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS  Sightseeing tour of Vung Tau  Front Beach  Operation Bribie


18 August | Vung Tau

Today we will visit Long Tan, the site of Australia’s most costly battle of the Vietnam War. Our first stop is the Anzac base of Nui Dat, where we will explore old bunkers, Kangaroo helicopter pad, SAS Hill and Luscombe Airfield. At nearby Long Tan village we’ll see the Long Tan Cross and marvel at the panorama of rubber plantations that flank the battleground. We will also visit the Horseshoe, a former Australian Fire Support Base, and the Long Hai hills (Minh Dam secret zone) – a major VC base during the War. The many caves in the area served as a natural shelter, medical care and headquarters for Vietnamese troops. We will also visit a memorial which commemorates more than 2000 Vietnamese soldiers who were killed in this area, mostly in operations against Anzac troops. (B, L)

Please note: We will hold a discreet service to commemorate the Battle of Long Tan anniversary, subject to local approval

STAR INCLUSIONS  Long Tan Anniversary Service  ★ Nui Dat  ★ SAS Hill  ★ Luscombe Airfield  ★ Minh Dam secret zone


19 August | Vung Tau to Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, we will drive to Binh Ba to visit the memorial of 33 NVA (North Vietnamese Army) Regiment: a large fight took place between Australian soldiers and the NVA here on June 6, 1966. Our last stop will be Nui Le (Le Mountain), site of the final battle for Australian soldiers before they returned home, and where your Historian won his Military Cross. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at a local coffee shop before driving back to Ho Chi Minh City where we will enjoy a farewell dinner at the former residence of the US Ambassador of South Vietnam. (B, L, D)

STAR INCLUSIONS    Memorial of 33 NVA Regiment  ★ Nui Le tour with Military Cross winner

20 August | Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Our tour comes to an end after breakfast. The day is at leisure to meet any onward travel arrangements. (B)

Prices: All rates are specified in Australian dollars and are subject to change without notice.  The expression “from” with respect to price means the lowest price for the travel product we believe is available based on costs and exchange rates as at 8/7/2019. Price Variations: Itineraries and prices in this brochure are accurate at the time of printing and valid until 31/12/2020. Once a passenger has paid in full, the price of the tour is guaranteed, subject to any tax changes or levies imposed by any government, their agencies or any airline or if minimum numbers are not achieved. Defence Escapes and its travel supplier reserves the right to make alterations to itineraries and prices for any reason prior to you booking. Taxes, Charges & Currency Fluctuation: All government taxes and charges imposed by suppliers beyond the control of Defence Escapes and its travel supplier (including ticketing fees and airline fuel surcharges) are payable by you and are subject to change. Prices are also subject to surcharge due to negative currency fluctuations prior to you making payment in full.  Exclusions: The price does not include airfares (unless otherwise stated), passport and visa fees, insurance, laundry, phone calls, beverages, meals not detailed in the itinerary and items of a personal nature, excess baggage, expenses, fees or costs incurred in case of illness, or of refusal of entry to, detention in, or expulsion or repatriation from a country or part of a country. Deposits: A non-refundable deposit of 30% of each tour, is required to secure your place on each tour within 5 days of booking, capped at a maximum of $750 per person, per tour. For tours that include domestic flights or permits, payment in full for these services is required at time of booking and is non-refundable. Some hotels may require pre-payment in peak seasons. You will be advised of this at time of booking. For bookings under the value of $500, full payment is required to secure your place. Final payment: Final payment is due no later than 90 days prior to the departure date of your first tour unless otherwise specified. We are under no obligation to remind you when payments are due. Credit cards: Visa &MasterCard are accepted and attract a merchant fee of 1.1% Cancellations by you: All cancellations must be received in writing and cancellations are subject to the following cancellation fees, which you acknowledge are reasonable to protect the legitimate business interests of Defence Escapes. Any change or substitution of a nominated passenger’s name after the final payment has been made will be deemed a cancellation, and the applicable cancellation fee will apply. The departure date is the date indicated on the Defence Escapes booking confirmation. If a nominated passenger does not join the tour on the departure date the cancellation fee will be 100% of the total booking cost. If a nominated passenger withdraws from the tour after commencement for reasons of illness, the passenger will not be entitled to any refund for unused services. We recommend the passenger obtains a medical certificate in support of any insurance claim which can be submitted independently via the passengers’ travel insurance provider. Defence Escapes and its travel supplier makes no representations or guarantees concerning reimbursement of funds paid by a nominated passenger or paid by a representative of a nominated passenger under any insurance claim. Cancellations by us - Force Majeure: If the tour cannot proceed due to flood, earthquake, war or civil strife, acts of terrorism, hurricane, cyclone, industrial disturbance, strike, fire, lock out, epidemic, pandemic, failure or delays of scheduled transportation facilities, or other Acts of God, or any law, order, decree, rule or regulation of any government authority, or for any reason whether of a similar or dissimilar nature beyond the control of Defence Escapes and its travel supplier (Force Majeure), our contract with you will terminate and there will be no claim for damages by either party against the other, provided that we will refund you any payments made by you that we have not expended (or legally committed to expend) minus an administrative fee of $200 per person. If we provide you with any alternative services or assistance where a tour is cancelled because of force majeure, then you agree the amount to be refunded to you will be reduced by the value of these services and assistance. Cancellations by us - operational reasons:  If we cancel a tour for reasons beyond Force Majeure, then we will refund you all amounts paid at the time of cancellation. Defence Escapes and its travel supplier will not be responsible for any other travel arrangements affected by, or any additional costs incurred as a result of our cancellation. Itinerary variations: Every effort will be made to adhere to the published touring itinerary. Occasionally, circumstances beyond our control will force changes, amendments or modifications to the itinerary and its inclusions. To the fullest extent permitted by law, Defence Escapes and its travel supplier will not be responsible for any omissions or modifications to the itinerary or the inclusions made as a consequence of these circumstances. If you are entitled to any compensation at law for any changes or modifications in these circumstances, then you agree that any compensation you are entitled to will be reduced by the value of any alternative services we provide to you which you accept. Minimum numbers: Unless noted as a ‘Guaranteed Departure’, tours are based on a minimum number of passengers travelling. Special requests: Any special meal requirements will be on a request basis only. Defence Escapes and its travel supplier cannot guarantee special meal requests nor will it assume any responsibility or liability if special meal requests are not able to be fulfilled. Travel documents: Travel documents will be sent to you approximately 21 days prior to departure (providing full payment and all required information has been received). Travel insurance: It is a condition of travel that each passenger is adequately covered by an appropriate travel insurance policy. Please also check the contingencies of your prospective insurance cover and ensure you are aware of its conditions and omissions. We strongly advise travel insurance is purchased at time of booking to provide full cover. You must provide us with the insurance company name, policy number and emergency contact number relating to such a policy within 14 days of final payment being made. Medical Information:  We rely on the information provided in your booking form and as updated as necessary. You warrant that the information you provide is accurate and there are no other medical issues that may impact your ability to participate in the tour without the need for special assistance. We reserve the right to exclude you from a tour if we acting reasonably are of the opinion that you require special assistance for a condition not previously fully disclosed. Baggage: On all tours, passengers are limited to one standard size suitcase and one piece of hand luggage per person. Porterage is not included for any tours. All baggage and personal effects are at all times and in all circumstances the responsibility of the passenger. Baggage insurance is recommended. Please check with your airline for applicable baggage allowances. Single travel: Single Supplements represent a fee passed on to us by hotels and/or operators for sole use of a room and/or any other services included in the tour. Travelling with Minors: We are unable to carry children under the age of 8 years on any group tours. Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult and share their accommodation with an adult. Pre-departure contact: You must provide a telephone number and email address where you can be reached, if necessary, within 24 hours prior to your departure from Australia and whilst travelling. Air travel: Air travel is subject to the conditions and limitations set out in the airline’s conditions of carriage. Airfares are subject to change at any time.

Pricing and Availability from $3,399


Dates Availability Price (A$)
From Date to Date
$Price was $price
Departure Guaranteed

Send me deals

© Copyright 2020 Defence Escapes Website by VA