I booked a 14-day tour of the central and southern areas of the country. Having served in Vietnam during the war, I was eager to see if the country has changed. Indeed it has. I was unable to find where I was stationed after a two-day search. My search was complicated by the fact that 60 percent of the population is under the age of 25. It was hard to find someone who remembered back to when I was in Vietnam.
My wife and I booked our tour through Nine Dragons Tours & Ben Thanh Tourist Company. I made sure that two of the 14 days of the trip would include hunting. We flew out of Detroit, Michigan, to Seoul, South Korea, where we stayed overnight and continued onto Vietnam the next day. We flew into Tan Son Nhut Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Wait until you experience the mass of people and traffic there! Keep one hand on your wallet at all times, or carry your money in your front pocket like we did. Wear a cheap Timex watch, not a Rolex.
We subcontracted the hunting part of our trip through a company named Phuong Nam Adventure Tourism, Ltd. in Da-lat. They told us they provided hunting in the Kongpang or Pandung Forest. The trip from Ho Chi Minh City took most of the day, because the Vietnamese were upgrading their infra-structure back then: namely, bridges, roads, culverts, etc. We acquired an air-conditioned VW van with a driver and interpreter for our trip.
When we arrived in Da-lat, we stayed at the Minh Tam Hotel, which used to be the summer villa of the........(continued)