Vietnam war Tour From Defeat at Dien Bien Phu to the Fall of Saigon

Appealing to history and culture enthusiasts alike, this tour combines the key locations of the Vietnam war, with the stunning highlights of that country. Vietnam offers a rich culture and history, combined with delicious local cuisine with a French twist. Hanoi, with its leafy tree-lined avenues, plays host to fascinating, thought-provoking museums and military sites. Further north we explore the battlefield of Dien Bien Phu, which signaled the end of French colonial rule and savor the breathtaking vistas of Ha Long Bay. We continue our journey south to the former DMZ, visiting the Citadel in Hue where some of the fiercest fightings took place during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Enjoy some ‘R&R’ at China beach, cruise the Mekong Delta in the wake of the U.S. Brown Water Navy and explore the incredible Cu Chi tunnels, all in the company of our expert historian. Finally, relax with a drink in the rooftop bar at the Rex Hotel in Saigon, a famous hangout of war correspondents and senior US military officials.


Arrive Hanoi

On arrival transfer to your hotel for early check-in and breakfast. This afternoon we visit the fascinating Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum dedicated to the system of trails, displaying American weaponry and thought-provoking photographic displays.

Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu

Transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight to Dien Bien Phu. Visit the Victory Monument for an orientation of the battlefield and visit the battlefield museum which houses an eclectic collection commemorating the 1954 battle, including photographs, weaponry, the bathtub of General de Castries, and a bicycle that could carry 330kg of ordnance. Our exploration ends at the Viet Minh cemetery from where we watch the sunset. Check in to our hotel for 2 nights.

Dien Bien Phu – Hanoi

We see the site of the French surrender at General de Castries bunker, visit the French cemetery, cross the extant French-laid Bailey Bridge and climb up the Anne-Marie defensive position. We return to the hotel for lunch before transferring to the airport for our return flight to Hanoi.

Ha Long Bay – Fly Hue

Enjoy the morning cruising through the bay and explore an island. After lunch disembarks and transfer back to Hanoi Airport for your flight to the old imperial city of Hue, check in to our hotel for a 2-night stay.

The Battle for Hue 1968

This morning we explore Hue Citadel, focusing on the fighting that took place here during the 1968 Tet Offensive. 11 battalions of the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam (ARVN), 4 US Army battalions, and 3 US Marine Corps battalions fought a vicious house to house battle with 10 battalions of the People’s Army of Vietnam and Viet Cong. In the afternoon we drive via Red Beach 2, where the US Marines first landed, to China Beach on the outskirts of Danang where we check-in to our hotel for one night and enjoy some R&R in the same vicinity of the US troops.

Mekong Delta – My Tho and Ap Bac

This morning we drive to the little changed battlefield of Ap Bac, a pivotal battle of the Vietnam War and a potent for the eventual failure in South Vietnam. Thence to My Tho, a center of operations for US and Australian troops, to explore the Mekong Delta by boat to learn more about the US Brown Water Navy. This evening we enjoy dinner and drinks at the famous Rex Hotel, Saigon!



Today we begin with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, comprising the imposing marble Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s wooden stilt house, and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda. After lunch we continue to the Vietnam Military History Museum, housing an interesting collection documenting the period between 1954 and 1975, including aircraft along with French, American, Chinese, and Soviet military equipment. We visit the small museum at Hỏa Lò Prison, better known as the Hanoi Hilton, before exploring the bunker of the General Command Headquarters.

The Battle of Dien Bien Phu 1954

Enjoy a full day exploring the well-preserved battle site of Dien Bien Phu, starting at the Muong Phang tunnels and bunker system of the Viet Minh commander General Vo Nguyen Giap. This afternoon we visit the amazing and extensive recreated French trench and bunker systems atop the three hills of the Beatrice position and climb Hill A1 (Eliane 2) to witness the last stand of the French and the huge mine crater thereon.

Hanoi – Ha Long Bay

After breakfast we drive to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site recognized for its biodiversity and geology. The stunning scenic rock formations of 1,969 limestone islands, set in emerald water, jutting imposingly skywards, are a must-do when visiting Vietnam. Join our traditionally styled luxury junk for an overnight cruise. Once onboard, enjoy lunch while you set sail into the myriad of islands, visit Thien Canh Son cave, go kayaking or simply relax on board and enjoy the constantly changing scenery. Dinner and overnight onboard

The Demilitarized Zone

An early start for a full-day tour of the DMZ. We drive to Quang Tri Province and visit the former Marine base at Khe San, where one of the longest and deadliest battles of the Vietnam War was fought. Traveling on Road 9, originally part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail linking the DMZ to neighboring Laos, we see historic war sites such as The Rockpile and Ta Con Airfield. We cross from ‘South’ Vietnam to the ‘North’ walking over the Hien Luong Bridge. A visit to the Vinh Moc tunnel complex offers an authentic insight into the life of the Viet Cong, and villagers of Vinh Linh.

The Cu Chi Tunnels

Fly Danang to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and then drive to the incredible Cu Chi Tunnel complex north of Saigon, an immense network of connecting tunnels used by Viet Cong troops. As well as being used in combat, they also served as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapons caches, and living quarters. Explore inside the tunnels and imagine the conditions faced by both sides; tunnels were often booby-trapped and examples of traps used are on display.

The Fall of Saigon

Discover the history of the Reunification Palace where, in 1975, a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through the main gates, effectively ending the Vietnam war. We make a stop at the site of the US Embassy and visit the War Remnants Museum, containing exhibits from the French Indo-China War and the Vietnam war. Lunch will be followed by time to explore the Ben Than market in central Saigon. Built-in 1870, it is the largest market in the city and the most authentic. Evening transfer to the airport for our return overnight flight to London.