Viet Nam Tours -
The Long Tan Trek Tour Report - 2012
This page records the October 2012 Long Tan Trek Tour.
(Last updated 30 November 2012)

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[
All photos used in this
Report were taken by
the 2012 Tour members - thanks Graeme, Heather, Brad, Mike, Terry, Barry, Michelle, Di and others.
]

 

 

 

The Majestic Hotel is centrally located, riverside and retains its elegant charm and quiet luxury - a perfect place to start the Tour, as Rod finds out...

 

 

 

 

 



 

 



The War Remnants Museum

was on the visiting list...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...and we ended up at the
Ben Thanh markets...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Balmoral battle site is now a rubber plantation. The lighter area beyond the old rubber used to be the clearing in front of D Coy.

There are efforts under way to locate the crater in which many of the NVA dead were buried. The Aussies are working with the VN Government. Trek member John N spoke of the search efforts.
 


Huge B-52 bomb craters
still pock-mark a rubber plantation near the site of Balmoral (remember, this crater is now 40 years old). They still dwarf the sightseer and are still very impressive!

Bill W tries one on for size...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We paid our respects at the Shrine and the memorial plinth which were - fortunately - both on the higher ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather appeared a little nervous when seated in the role of front bumper bar...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Vung Tau is a fishing and resort area and the step-off point for the many oil rigs off shore.

 

The Grand Hotel in Vung Tau was used by the Australians during the Viet Nam War as an officers quarters.

 

 

 

 

There were several Powerpoint presentations thru the Tour, each on a decisive battle we'd cover the following day

 

One of the map/diagrams of the battle of Long Tan...

 

 

 

 

The 'Pearly Gates' - the entrance to 1ATF after the public road had been diverted (after 1967).
 

On an old helipad half-way up Nui Dat ('SAS Hill'), Dave, Norm and others briefed the Tour on the layout of the 1ATF base.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warren competes with the cattle for attention as he describes the 1ATF layout of his day...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trek route took us from the Nui Dat base to the Long Tan rubber plantation.  through grasslands, plantations, crops and even through the backyards of homes built since the war...

 

 

 


Lunch at the tunnels - entrance shown.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The opening shots of the battle were fired by 11 Pl Sgt Bob Buick as he crossed this road in the plantation at this spot...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Tour members remarked on how small the actual battlefield was - just some 500 yards square.
 

 

 

 

 

A wreath was laid on behalf of the Tour Group, National Network Travel and the AVVRG.
 

 

There were three ex-6RAR boys on the Trek:
Max, Mike & Dave
 

 

...and four from OTU, the NS officer training unit (Scheyville):
Barry, Graeme, Dave & Bill
 

 

 

and 15 Vets in all
David E, Rod, Norm,
 Max Be, Peter, Mike, Terry, Dave S, Barry,
 Max Ba, John, Phil, Bill, Warren and Brad.

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Ms Huong stands on what was the minefield, now a road. The rim of the Horseshoe is in the background.

 


Dave gives the group the basic facts of the incident...

...but hands over to Mike who was with 6RAR Battalion HQ at the time of the incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the caves require a trek through the hills...

...but once there, they're worth the visit..

...many being really only the dirt excavated from between huge boulders.

 

 

 

 

 


Almost all meals were included: set-menu with buy-your-own drinks.

 

 

 

 

The boat ride gives the Tour a feel for riverine ops conducted by the Aussies in the mangrove swamps.  But don't worry - it's smooth sailing - and no one shoots at us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The entertainment was Vietnamese music provided by a band that calls itself "The Old VC Band"...

 

...and after the entertainment, everyone wanted to
'get in on the act'...
 - here, Clair and David make beautiful music together...

 




Hydrofoil jetty at Vung Tau.

The Hydrofoil is a 90 minute trip up (or down) the Saigon River, between Saigon and Vung Tau on the Cap St Jacques Peninsula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The slimmer and fitter of us tried the VC 'spiderholes' - (actually, only two takers)...

 

...but when it came to the tunnels, Michelle showed how it's done in style.

 

 

 

...once a soldier...


David E and Barry H front up to the butts...
...but not like the old days -  this time they were being charged $2 per round!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marble Mountain - with caves used as secret wartime VC hospitals - now serves as a Buddhist sanctuary area.

The mountains are surrounded by marble carving factories and merchants, but the marble is now all imported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

A cyclo ride is the best way to see the old town and get your bearings.

 

The silk factory shows how silk is processed and turned into paintings, table linen etc, then for some lunch...


...& Aussies are welcomed.

 

 

 

 

 


At China Beach, resorts have now crowded out the war-time memories and the whole beach is buzzing.

There's nothing left at Red Beach II, where the Marines waded ashore in 1965, except the beach.  That's Da Nang in the distance.

 

 

 

 

French fortifications in the Hai Van Pass
north of Da Nang...

 

...and the old (destroyed) bridge at Lang Co.

 


Tu Duc Tombs.

 


We stayed at the
Hotel Saigon Morin

 


Tran Cao Van (Street) as it was in 1968 & in Oct 2012.

 


Lunch was found by driving up a road that was hardly wider than a footpath...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Long Hung Catholic Church - damaged in the Tet '72 fighting and left by Quang Tri city as a war monument.

 

The Quang Tri citadel was heavily fought over in 1972.

 

 

 


A small museum briefs visitors to the tunnels...


...before they venture underground (the flash makes it look bright but in fact it's very dim)

Bill and Dave hog the entrance (exit?) for a few moments...

 

 

 

Andrew and Dad, Bill, were pretty pleased to come back to daylight after being underground for 20 minutes!l

 

Lunch time!

 

 

 

 

 

'Freedom Bridge' is the old Bailey Bridge spanning the Son Ben Hai (river) which was the actual demarcation between North and South Vietnam.  It was closed for repairs... ...that's bamboo safety scaffolding hanging under the bridge.....

 

 

 

Rod and Brad hold up the old French fortification, but others decided to test its strength by standing on it.

 

The old Russian monument at the Camp Carroll had been a ruin in 2011 but had been restored in 2012.  We all asked "Was it worth the effort?"

 

 

 

The "Rockpile", with "Razor-back" visible to right rear.  Rockpile was owned by the US, Razorback by the NVA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khe Sanh has a great indoor and outdoor museum ( seen in the background behind the aircraft).  They're assembling more displays at Khe Sanh - maybe to become a major tourist site?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Da Krong Bridge saw heavy fighting during the 60s and 70s but this is a new bridge to replace the one destroyed several times during the War

 

Both Da Krong and A Shau valleys offered spectacular views of rivers between huge mountain ranges.

 

 

 

Locals pan for gold on the Da Krong River. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The streets of the Old Quarter were always crowded and busy.

 

But most streets have merchandise 'themes', so it's fairly easy to find whatever you're looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum isn't open to the public in October or November...

 

The visit to the War Museum was interesting and included an animated diorama on Dien Bien Phu - good preparation for the trip there tomorrow...

 

 

 

...and the visit to the infamous 'Hanoi Hilton' capped off the day's activities.

 

 

 

 

 

A briefing on the current state of POW-MIA searches was given to the Tour group by the US Marine "JPAC Detachment 2" office in Hanoi.

 

 

 


The airstrip at Dien Bien Phu sits in the valley floor, still overlooked by the hills which once held the Viet Minh artillery.

The Him Lam Resort lies in a lovely green setting...


"...with a lot of refurbishment and new construction going on.

Terraced rice paddies belie the history of the area, which is more appropriate to the huge victory sculpture we pass on the way.

 

 

 

The large Viet Minh cemetery is well tended and offers visitors a view of the human price of the First Indo-China War - thousands of names are recorded by home Province and most of the grave stones are un-named.

A slightly-used tank on Hill A1.

 

 

 

The French memorial at DBP is the only other foreign war memorial on Vietnamese soil - the other one being the ANZAC memorial cross at Long Tan.

 

 

Andrew and Bill at De Castre's bunker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What a way to end the Tour - a day on the water in Ha Long Bay

Spectacular and peaceful - Ha Long Bay well deserves its World Heritage listing.

Only the huge limestone caves could entice us off the boats and onto dry land...

...because even the shopping was on the water !

 

 

 

 

 



But then it was time
to say "goodbye"...

Photo: Bob (2010 tour)

Our thanks to:
Graeme, Heather, Brad, Mike, Terry, Barry, Michelle and Di and their cameras for their photos.

And as we get other
photos we'll add and acknowledge them too.

Finally, a big vote of thanks (again!) to National Network Travel's
Judi Gifford,
 who you've all talked to but most haven't met:

"
Thanks, Judi - it wouldn't have happened without you!"

All the best...
Dave & Di Sabben

 -------------- LONG TAN TREK TOUR 2012  --------------

Di and Dave's fourth Long Tan Trek Tour departed Australia 10 October with 37 passengers, including 14 Viet Vets and 9 ladies, and with ages ranging from the 20s to the 70s.

                           
    The Flyer for the                    The Itinerary for the       
     2012 Tour                          2012 Tour
(18 pages)

==============================================

The 2012 Tour flew Singapore Airlines from several State capitals to Singapore, where the Tour Group assembled.  From there, a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC, but we'll call it 'Saigon').  We booked in to the Majestic Hotel - the tour uses 4-star hotels where available:
 
The first day took in a tour of Saigon, including city buildings like...

...the Notre Dame Cathedral... ...the Reunification Palace...

...the Peoples Committee Hall and the famous Post Office building.  From the steps of the PO, looking left, you can still see the building from which the last US evacuations from Saigon flew in 1975:

The city tour ended at the Ben Thanh markets, with the afternoon...

...free to shop or acclimatise - or maybe enjoy a drink at 'The Rex'...

The day ended with a slide presentation on Coral/Balmoral in preparation for tomorrow's outing.  This was followed by a 'welcome dinner' and then a fairly early night for most.  Next day, it was a bus north from Saigon to the area of the large battles of Balmoral...

...where Bill R, who was at that battle, provided an account...

We then moved on to the site of FSB Coral. It had rained heavily the few days prior, so we had floods to contend with...

Then it was on to lunch.  We normally would have called in to the Dong Nai Museum along the way because it usually hosts the original Long Tan Cross.  However, at the time of the Tour, the Cross had been loaned back to Australia and was at that time on display in the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra.

After lunch, we bussed down Route 15 to Vung Tau.  There's nothing of note remaining of the 1ALSG site.  We spent an hour or two in the Worldwide Arms Museum, then enjoyed a dusk cyclo ride to the Grand.

After an evening briefing on the Australian presence in Viet Nam generally and on the Long Tan battle in particular...

...we bussed through the old 'Pearly Gates' to Nui Dat, where Dave and others explained the base layout and the NVA's intentions for a huge attack on the base set for the night of the 18th of August 1966.



Next stop was a visit to the Nui Dat Kindy.  It was a Saturday, but the children had been enticed ("bribed") to attend with the promise of toys and long-life milk in exchange for a song or two...


After the Kindy, we started the Trek...

and all went well until...

...but everyone seemed to enjoy that: "added to the reality", they said!
Lunch would have been out in the open but a wet-weather plan saw us lunch at the Long Phuoc tunnels (see side pic).
 

After lunch, with the rain stopped but still threatening, it was on with the battlefield Trek...

As usual, the comments were that it was the highlight of the Tour - the Long Tan battlefield looks VERY similar to the way it looked in 1966. The walk was timed to be as long as the actual battle took - some 3.5 hours.  We walked to all the places where the D/6 soldiers experienced significant events during the battle - the initial contact, the first and final Company positions, the left hook by 10 Platoon, the right hook by 12 Platoon, the place the Company took the ammo resupply and, of course, the place of the heroic stand by 11 Platoon.
 

Along the way, Dave described what was happening in "real time" "sitreps" - that is, since the Trek took the same time as the battle, those on the tour "experienced" the timings of the events, the delays and the sequences in detail - what took ten minutes in the Battle took ten minutes for the Tour. And those on the tour were able to ask questions and get details along the way.

At 600 and 1000 metres from the main battlefield, Dave also pointed out the places where the APC reinforcement column with A/6 aboard contacted the enemy on their way towards D/6.

Very little of the topography has changed in 44 years, tho' the slight rise that D/6 used for its final redoubt is now a slight depression.

The Tour ended the Trek at the Cross - the site of the gallant 11 Platoon action - at 5:00pm, in time for a short ceremony and photos:



There's a full group photo taken at the Cross towards the end of this page. *

Then back to Vung Tau and the Grand.  On the next day, the Tour visited an AVVRG-supported dental clinic at Long Tan to see further Australian charity at work, and were addressed by the staff...
 

We then visited the Horseshoe and stood on what was formerly the infamous minefield - now rice paddy...

...before venturing into the Light Green to the vicinity of the mine incident on Operation Mundingburra (on day 3 - 21 July 1969) which gave rise to the song "I Was Only 19".

After this, it was a visit to the Minh Dam temple in the Long Hai's.

Unfortunately, due to the rain, it was considered too risky to enter the caves, but some of the more venturous souls at least went to where they were...

Then it was on to lunch - and a birthday party...

...and then to Ba Ria for a short boat ride to Cat Lo and the Grand...

...where we had a special BBQ dinner on the top floor of the Vung Tau Rex Hotel with a city-lights backdrop:


Next morning it was goodbye Vung Tau and hello hydrofoil to Saigon...

...where some elected to do more sightseeing and shopping in Saigon while most opted for the visit (after another lunch!) to Cu Chi...


 

After another 'Farewell Dinner' in Saigon, at which we handed a Trek plaque to each 'Trekker', we had a final night at the Majestic.

Next day, for those not on the "Decisive Battlefields" extension tour, it was RTA (Return to Australia).

 

----------------- DECISIVE BATTLEFIELDS TOUR 2012 -----------------

From Saigon, the "Decisive Battlefields Tour" flew to Da Nang airport.  A quick transfer to lunch, and then to the Marble Mountains.

A short trip south took us to world heritage listed Hoi An for two nights.  On arrival, we took a cyclo tour of the old town, including a silk factory...

...ending up at the old Japanese bridge... and a little retail therapy - like linen (a good purchase in Hoi An)...

The next day was  a 'day off' - to recover from the hectic first week and prepare for the hectic week to come.  A little relax and a little sightseeing, and we were ready for more.

We returned to Da Nang, one of the largest bases during the War.  First, a visit to China Beach (a Wartime R&C Centre) and then to Red Beach II, where the first US combat troops (Marines) landed in 1965.


Then it was up over the Hai Van Pass, past Lang Co (another huge Marines' base).  While there, we looked at what's left of the original bridge and the fortifications which protected it during the War:

Then it was on to Hue, taking in a visit to the historic Tu Duc Tombs and a relaxing Dragon Boat cruise up the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda...
 
The next morning we walked the area of heaviest fighting south of the Perfume River - concentrating on Tran Cao Van (Street), where we laid a floral memorial for the marines who died while re-taking the city....

Parts of the city still show the scars of war in walls, buildings and (as below) in the huge brass urns within the Citadel.

In the afternoon we moved north of the River, to the Citadel, where the main Tet 1968 resistance was experienced.  There's a lot of restoration work in progress in the Citadel...

The next day we bussed north to the DMZ.  On the way we stopped off at the Long Hung Catholic church, Quang Tri Citadel, Dong Ha (the logistics centre for the DMZ), Cua Viet (the river-mouth sea port)...

 ...and on to the tunnels at Vinh Moc, where a whole village went underground for the war years.
 

We then visited several key locations of the long DMZ campaign including 'Freedom Bridge, Gio Linh, Cam Lo Bridge, Con Thien, Camp Carroll, Rockpile,  and on to Khe Sanh.


That night, we stayed in a hotel in Khe Sanh village.  First thing in the morning, we drove to the Laos border, viewing the monument built to celebrate the NVA victory over the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp...
 
...and taking a quick visit to the town of Lao Bao on the Vietnam-Laos border.  We then returned to Khe Sanh and the old airfield base - scene of the 77-day siege in 1968.

Driving back from Khe Sanh, we called in at an old scrap metal yard, but, unlike the last visit, there was little of value this time - just helmets, mortar fins and lots of wrecked equipment.  Interesting, tho'.

We then drove up the Da Krong valley, past Tiger Mountain and down the A Shau valley - both valleys were scenes of major US and ARVN operations during the War.

At A Luoi, we tried for a view of "Hamburger Hill" - scene of a major US action that, with the 1968 Tet Offensive and Khe Sanh, triggered the change of US policy that ultimately ended the War. Weather conditions in the valley rarely permit a good view of this mountain massif... (see the 2011 Tour Report for a view).

On return from the A Shau valley, we overnighted in Hue and next day bussed south to Phu Bai, Hue's airport and a huge base and Intelligence collecting facility during the war.  A short flight to Hanoi gave us enough time to explore the Old Quarter, where we stayed.

The next day we toured some of the city's sites including the Ho Chi Mausoleum, the Army Museum (which displays the tank that breached the Saigon Palace Gates in 1975 - which begged for a group photo), the 'Hanoi Hilton' and lots more.




Next day, we flew to Dien Bien Phu for a day and a night, staying at the historic Him Lam Resort, built on the old French position "Beatrice"...

That afternoon we drove into the hills to see General Giap's bunker complex, from which he commanded the DBP battle.

 

Next morning we visited the Viet Minh cemetery, Hill A1 (Part of "Elaine" defences), the French memorial, De Castre's bunker...


 and what must be the oldest still-functioning bailey Bridge in the world...

At the end of another hectic week plus, we flew back to Hanoi and next day, drove directly to Ha Long Bay for a spot of R&R.

The World Heritage site features sheer limestone cliffs plunging into calm green waters.  A relaxing day on a boat wrapped up what had been for all on the Tour an energetic, yet informative 9 days:

 

From Ha Long to Hanoi and flights home.  All of the hotels were either 4/5 star or the best available in the more remote areas.  Most meals and all gratuities had been included, so hands only went into pockets for personal purchases or personal tipping and drinks.

Along the way, documentaries, presentations and discussions covered most of the significant events or places to be visited or seen.  The Tour included some "surprises" not listed in the itinerary - but each of which were very much appreciated by the Tour members.

The Tour was well accepted by those on it.  A selection of passenger comments follow - more may be added as they are collated:

*

Dave,  I would like to thank you and your wonderful wife Di
for organising and leading a great trip back to Vietnam.....
The children at the Kindie were an absolute joy.....
The Trek itself was first class and I would not have missed it for quids.....
Until walking the ground I did not appreciate how small an area
was occupied by D company and its platoons, nor the slope
of the ground and its affect on small arms fire.....
Your narrative was first class and it was not too difficult to see the men of
Delta Six and their opponents through the rubber and failing light.....
I thought organising the rain to thoroughly drench us
at the start of the trek was quite inspired
As to the rest, accommodation, meals, transport
and general organisation was all first class.
Thank you and Di again for a trip I never wanted to take
but now that I have, was glad I did.
ps - Judi at NNT was outstanding in her support...before the trip.
Terry S

*
Hi Di and Dave, Thanks for everything.
It was a pleasure to meet you both and I had such a great time!
Cheers,
Michelle W

*
I thoroughly enjoyed the Long Tan trek and the entire Vietnam experience,
it has certainly created a desire to return.

...your travel connections were fantastic...
Thank you for arranging such an interesting tour
at a very competitive price and
for you both being such excellent hosts and guides.
It was a trip of a lifetime!!!
Iíll certainly be an advocate to encourage others to join you on future tours.

Barry H


*
Thanks again to all for making the trip to Vietnam truly memorable. In particular to the Vets, I hope you all got what you wanted / needed from the journey back to Vietnam - whether it was your 1st or your 31st time.

Greg W


*
I would like to thank you both (Dave & Di) for
a most wonderful tour of the Battlefields in Vietnam.
Norm and I appreciated your guidance and input very much.

(To the other travellers:) I hope you are all settling back home again after our
wonderful time together in Vietnam.

Sue A

*
Once again really enjoyed my second tour with the both of you,
and it was a great group of people.
You run a very good tour and will be,
 and have been, promoting it to others.
Mike R

*
He (another Tour person) has already rung most of our 10th intake (NS)
as he doesnít have internet, and told them they should all do the trip...
...you do a great Job organising everything, love the choice of Hotels,
Mike R (on behalf of another Trekker)

*
It was one of the best things I have ever done, so much so
I am thinking of going again to do Phase II (north) with you next year.
As for the trip I am happy to give you a testimonial
or act as a referee if you want.

(take two)

*
It was a pleasure to meet you and Di, and
to walk the Battle Field with you was something special to me.
I will always remember the event.
Thank you for sharing your experience with myself and the others.
THANK YOU.
Glad that the rest of the tour is going well and only wish I was on it.

John N

 *
Thanks Dave and Di for an amazing tour.
I learned so much more from your on site discussions
that filled the gaps from the many books I have read on the subject.
An exceptionally well organised tour.
Great people to go with and I thoroughly enjoyed
the experience of a lifetime.
Thanks folks.

Peter T

*
Many thanks for a great tour;
it was an honour and privilege to meet you both.
You were wonderfully friendly, efficient and knowledgeable tour leaders.
I enjoyed the experience thoroughly, learnt much and
cannot fault anything of the tour arrangements.
 Among all the  wonderful experiences of the tour,
the Long Tan trek day and your guidance David through the hours of the battle
was a unique and moving experience.
You are an outstanding  leader and teacher.....
 I will re-read all my articles on Long Tan with a much better appreciation
of the battlefield and the un-written circumstances around it.
Iím in the process too of pulling out my books on Dien Bien Phu
with a much better understanding of how the place actually looked.
A wonderful tour, my sincere thanks for the experience you offered.
Bill W

*
Once again a huge thank you to every one of you for making
my first trip to Vietnam such a fun, memorable and
educational experience, I enjoyed every minute!

Especially thank you to Dave and all you other guys
for sharing your personal experiences,
I feel privileged to have been a part of this tour with you.

M W


*
Just a quick note to thank you and Di for a successful trip
for both tours and for looking after us while over there.
I have met some wonderful people and
saw some awesome places, memories for life.

Kevin B

*
Thank you for organising a wonderful tour
and sharing your experiences with us
Andrew R


*
Thanks once again for a fantastic experience!!!
Barry H

 

*
Thank you both once again for having me on your Vietnam tour,

it was an unforgettable experience.
I feel very privileged to have walked alongside you at Long Tan
and I learned so much as you shared your
intimate knowledge and experiences with us all.

M W

*

(Sent to National Network Travel)
Hi Judi,
Just want to let you know that I had a wonderful time on the Long Tan Trek.
Dave was wonderful and I learnt a lot from him.
I would recommend this tour anyone.
I am sorry that I could not do the whole tour as I have (
prior commitments).
Anyway, it was a fabulous
short tour.
Regards

John N

*
Di and I would like to thank all the folks who took the time
to contact Judi or us and pass great compliments on their
experience of the Tours.  Thanks to All - Dave and Di

*

The 2013 Tours - the Long Tan Trek and the Decisive Battlefields Tour - have been planned with very much the same content and sequence as the 2012 Tours.  In the south, we've added an extra night in Vung Tau giving a free day to revisit old haunts, and retained the Cu Chi visit.  And in the north, we includes a two-night stay at Hoi An and two nights in Ha Long Bay - BOTH World Heritage listed locations.
Please visit the 2013 Tours webpage:
VN Long Tan Trek Tour 2013.html
to download a Flyer and/or an Itinerary.
 

(...keep going - there's more below...)

x

 **********************************************************************

***   The Group Photo taken at the Saigon Opera House, Oct, 2012...   ***

**********************************************************************

***   The Group Photo taken at the Reunification Palace, Saigon, Oct, 2012...   ***



**********************************************************************

***   The Group Photo taken at the Long Tan Cross, Oct, 2012...   ***

**********************************************************************

***   The Group Photo taken at the War Museum, Hanoi, Oct, 2012...   ***

**********************************************************************

***   The Group Photo taken at The Marines JPAC Det 2 Office, Hanoi, Oct, 2012...   ***

**********************************************************************

***   The Group Photo taken at General Giap's HQ, Dien Bien Phu , Oct, 2012...   ***

(who has a photo of the group at Giap's HQ?)

**********************************************************************

----- =====THE OUT-TAKES ===== -----

 

 

Mike wasn't impressed with the AK47
the Q store issued back in 2010,
but was very glad they'd
updated their stores by 2012.


 

 





The front door stairs sure discouraged the door-to-door salesmen.

 

FAIL, Max -
you can't hide behind a lamp post like you used to 40 years ago.
 

 

The Occupational Health and Safety officer jumped ship when he saw the hydrofoil's method of luggage stacking.

 

 

 


It was with some regret that we informed Michelle she'd failed the camouflage course.


Mr Ha shows us how big
the canons were inside.



 

 



The doormen at the Majestic were happy to see the big tippers
from Australia arriving.




Fortunately for Bill, the ladies from the Temperance League signed him up AFTER he'd finished his beer.


 

 




When cool Dave ordered a manicure, the others laughed, but guess who got the date?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



It wasn't too hard to spot the dummy in the room.


Doctor Who returned to his Tardis to find a stone lion in residence.


 


One typhoon too many...?


It didn't take much persuasion
to get Terry to do his
Yasser Arafat impression


 

 


After lunch, they posted a lookout
to warn if Dave returned,
then took to the recliners...



When Liberty Duster came to town,
the chooks would run and hide...

 

 

 

 


Tour Guide "Wombat" demonstrates
the old VC tactic of sneaking up behind a soldier in the jungle
and goofing off.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



When they said "Ya gotta pay for anything from the fridge", they were prepared to follow through...

 



Mike's banjo skills
failed to impress the band leader.












Young Dave proves that
life imitates art.






 

 

 

 

 

 





Scaffolding, Vietnamese style...

 

We all saw the sign
but nobody wanted to go there.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite it being called a "Trek Tour", John, Max and "Wombat" called up Transport Platoon in Support Company for assistance.

 

 







Got a pic and a caption?  There's room for more - your photo next..?


----- =====DI's FAVOURITE PIX ===== -----

 

Di's favourite shots:















 

next..?