Hue-Ashau Valley-Hamburger Hill: Fullday (L)
At 7.30 you will be met our guide at the lobby and drive to Aluoi Town. We will drive along Route 49 about 60km west of Hue. It is pretty beautiful drive. Then we turn left into Ho Chi Minh Trails or Route 14 to Ashau Valley. The A Shau Valley was one of the strategic focal points of the war in Vietnam. The mile-wide, 25-mile-long bottomland running north-south along the Laotian border was a conduit for the Ho Chi Minh Trails as it bypassed the Demilitarized Zone. Containing an estimated 20,000 NVA troops by 1967 and a massive store of war supplies, A Shau was a painful thorn in the side of South Vietnam. The NVA used the steep mountainous terrain surrounding the valley to launch battles against every major allied position in the south during the 1968 Tet Offensive.
One of the first significant actions in the A Shau Valley was the 1966 battle for the Special Forces camp at the south end of the valley just five miles from the border with Laos. This outpost stood astride the invasion route to Hué and Danang and was a stumbling block to the NVA offensive strategy. The NVA struck the camp in March 1966. The defending U.S. Special Forces and Vietnamese irregular soldiers were supported by U.S. airpower and put up a heroic two-day defense. Bad weather limited the effectiveness of air support, and the numerically superiority NVA forces eventually overran the camp. The action resulted in the award of the Medal of Honor to Air Force A-1 pilot Major Bernie Fisher for the rescue of his wing man, Major Jump Myers, from the runway at A Shau.
The Ashau Special Force Base is now almost gone but you still the runway with dozens of bom creators left. Spend your time to explore the base by your selves before we head to Hamburger Hill.
Hamburger Hill or Đồi A Bia or Ap Bia Mountain or Hill 937 is a mountain on the Laotian border of South Vietnam in Thừa Thiên–Huế Province. Rising from the floor of the western A Shau Valley, it is a looming, solitary massif, unconnected to the ridges of the surrounding Annamite range. It dominates the northern valley, towering some 937 metres above sea level. Snaking down from its highest peak are a series of ridges and fingers, one of the largest extending southeast to a height of 900 metres, another reaching south to a 916-metre peak. The entire mountain is a rugged, uninviting wilderness blanketed in double- and triple-canopy jungle, dense thickets of bamboo, and waist-high elephant grass. Local Montagnard tribesmen call Ap Bia “the mountain of the crouching beast.”
We will step up about 700 steps to the top of the hill. Along the way we still see the vestiges of bunker, tunnel and LZs.
The hill is now covered with bushes and elephant grass.
A war memorial on the top to commemorate the KIA of both sides.
Spend your time to explore the hill.
Back to Hue late afternoon.