Medical Military History in Vietnam & Cambodia

17 Jan - 2 Feb 2019
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Travel through the languid, beautiful lands of the Mekong as you learn about the multi-faceted history and culture of Vietnam and Cambodia, while experiencing the vibrant contemporary culture and medical systems of these neighbouring, yet quite distinctive, countries.

This medical study tour has a well paced itinerary, allowing ample time to relax and explore at leisure as well as providing our usual wide range of medical and cultural visits and talks. With our highly knowledge tour leader, Dr Paul Luckin, at the helm, this tour offers many memorable experiences that give you insight into Vietnam's history, culture and medical system. You will also sample many superb meals reflecting the exquisite cuisine of these countries. Paul Luckin will provide a number of talks throughout.

The tour travels from Hanoi, where you meet with former north Vietnamese army doctors to hear of their experiences in the conflict. Continue to the ancient capital of Hue, a city at the centre of much of the Vietnam War. Cruise the Perfume River, visit the impressive Royal Mausoleum and take a guided tour of Hue Citadel in the company of a military veteran. Continue south to Ho Chi Minh City, take a city tour and drive to the Cu Chi Tunnel complex and visit the poignant War Remnants Museum. 

Board the lovely Mekong Prestige II to cruise along the Mekong to Siem Reap, stopping at villages, workshops and historical sites in Phnom Penh. Arrive in Siem Reap and explore the spectacular temples of Angkor Wat. 

With excellent specialist visits including meeting with former north Vietnamese army doctors to hear of their experiences in the conflict, visiting the War Photographer’s Private Gallery, having a drink at the bar of the historic Continental Hotel (where Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American), and visiting the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, this is a richly rewarding tour. 

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, ​Dr Paul Luckin

​Dr Paul Luckin

Dr Paul Luckin AM MB.BCh.(Rand.), D.A.(S.A.), F.F.A.(S.A.),   M.MED.ANAESTHESIA (Natal), FANZCA is an anaesthetist in Brisbane. He started training in rescue as an ambulance paramedic in Tasmania before studying medicine in South Africa, where he spent 8 years in a Mountain Rescue Team. Paul served on the Tasmanian Ambulance Service Medical Advisory Council, was Director of the Advanced Airway Management Training Program and was President of Royal Life Saving Society Tasmania Branch.

Paul teaches Search and Rescue at the state and national level and is on the directing staff of the National Police Search and Rescue Managers Course. He provides advice on survivability during Search and Rescue operations to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and Police Search and Rescue teams across the nation, in PNG and the Solomon Islands.

As a Captain in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, Paul has served in Bougainville, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, in the Resuscitation and Retrieval Team for the victims of the Bali bombs, in the first medical team into Banda Aceh following the tsunami, and in Afghanistan.  He is Medical Director, Medical Services Branch, St John Ambulance Queensland, and has been invested as a Commander of the Order of St John (CStJ).   For his work in SAR, in 2006 Paul received the Australian National Search & Rescue Award, and in 2015 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia, AM, for significant service to the community through emergency medicine, and as an authority on survivability in search and rescue operations.

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  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • 17 Jan (Thurs) Hanoi: Arrive and transfer to the Movenpick Hotel. Take a walking tour of Hanoi’s ’36 Streets’. Visit the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Hoan Kiem Lake. Welcome dinner at Le Tonkin
  • 18 Jan (Fri) Hanoi: Continue exploring Hanoi, including the Hanoi Opera House, Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), the Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda. Meet with veteran army doctors and learn of their experiences. Talk “Vietnam's Wars” - Paul Luckin (PL). Dinner at Koto
  • 19 Jan (Sat) Hanoi / Hue: Fly to Hue and transfer to the Hotel Saigon Morin. Visit the Duc Son orphanage and the imperial mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc
  • 20 Jan (Sun) Hue:  Guided tour of Hue Citadel accompanied by a veteran of the Tet Offensive.  Visit Thien Mu Pagoda to see a service. Cruise back to the hotel by dragon boat along the Perfume River. Dinner at Y Thao
  • 21 Jan (Mon) Hue / Saigon: Fly to Saigon and transfer to the Sofitel Plaza Hotel. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. 
  • 22 Jan (Tues) Saigon: Visit the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum and see the former CIA building. Visit the War Photographer’s Private Gallery* and meet with the photographer. Have a drink at the historic Continental Hotel.
  • 23 Jan (Wed) Saigon: Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Visit the Fito Museum of traditional Vietnamese Medicine. Dinner at Indochine (Those joining the Cruise & Cambodia portion join the group here). 
  • 24 Jan (Thurs)  Saigon / My Tho: Drive to My Tho via the Cholon Market and a visit to a lacquer factory. Embark on the Mekong Prestige II river cruise. Talk: “Pasteur’s Legacy in Indochina” PL
  • 25 Jan (Fri) Cai Be - Sa Dec: Take a morning junk trip around Cai Be to visit a floating market and see the French Gothic Cathedral. Arrive at Sa Dec for an afternoon walk. See the house museum where the Chinese businessman in Marguerite Duras' 'The Lover' lived. Visit a Caodaist Temple and stroll through the colourful local market
  • 26 Jan (Sat) Tan Chau, border crossing: Transfer onto small boats to visit a fishing farm. Go ashore to visit a local workshop producing woven mats and take a short walk in the village to visit a silk weaving workshop. Take a rickshaw ride round this fascinating town and back to the pier for lunch. In the afternoon cruise in Cambodia. Talk: “Ghosts in the Jungle, Psychological Warfare in Vietnam” PL
  • 27 Jan (Sun) Phnom Penh: Visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda and National Museum, with its outstanding displays of Khmer crafts. Visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide (or at leisure)
  • 28 Jan (Mon) Koh Chong / Phnom Penh: Sail from Phnom Penh to Silk Island. Visit the silk weaving village for a morning walk at leisure and visit to the local silk workshop. Visit a pagoda and a primary school. Cruise back to Phnom Penh. Visit the Pasteur Institute*
  • 29 Jan (Tues) Oudong / Kampong Tralach: Cruise along the Mekong. Talk: “Helicopters and Medical Evacuations” PL. Visit Oudong, the capital city of Cambodia between 1618 and 1866. Visit the Vipassana Dhura Pagoda, located at the foot of a hill. At the top  are numerous stupas from the reign of the last Khmer Kings. Continue to Kampong Tralach to visit Wat Kampong Leu Pagoda and see the beautiful paintings. Return to the ship by ox-drawn carriage
  • 30 Jan (Wed) Kampong Chhnang: Sail along Tonle Sap River. On Tonle Lake board local boats to visit the floating village
  • 31 Jan (Thurs) Tonle / Siem Reap:  Early morning disembark and transfer to the Foreign Correspondent's Club Hotel. Visit the Cambodia Land Mine Museum. Dinner at Viroth
  • 1 Feb (Fri) Siem Reap: Early start to visit the Bayon and Ta Prohm for sunrise. Visit the Angkor Wat complex. Farewell dinner at FCC
  • 2 Feb (Sat) Siem Reap: Depart for the airport

* Visits to the Photography Gallery and the Pasteur Institute are subject to conditions on the day. 

Tour cost

$5,320 per person sharing (excludes international flights and transfers)

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