Sightseeing in the DMZ
Hue Travel Blog› entry 17 of 35 › view all entries
Set off to tour the Demilitarized Zone at 6.00 am - a long 12 hour day ahead. The DMZ was a stretch 5km either side of the Ben Hai River which formed the border between North and South Vietnam. The US set up bases running virtually parallel to the southern side of the DMZ. This area saw some of the heaviest fighting during the war.
The first stop was at the city of Dong Ha where we had breakfast and picked up our guide for the tour. From here we set off on Highway 9 which goes through to the Laos border, less than 100km to the west.
We stopped to take photos of The Rockpile - this was a US observation post and artillery base. It was only accessable by helicopter. Agent orange was used to clear vegetation below to enable the enemy to be seen.
From here we travelled through an area that is occupied by one of the ethnic minority groups of Vietnam. The houses appear very basic compared to the houses I`d seen elsewhere but many of them had satellite dishes to receive TV signal.
Our next stop was at Dakrong bridge. In this area are a number of signs indicating crossings of the Ho Chi Minh trail. I was able to get a photo of one of the houses with the satellite dish on here. There was also this woman who was drying rice [I think] smoking what seemed to be a large wad of rolled tobacco leaves.
We continued on to the site of the Khe Sahn base - a museum has been establised on the site. The area is surrounded by coffee plantations. The scenery in the area is rather spectacular. After spending about an hour here we returned back to Dong Ha for lunch.
After lunch we travelled north on Highway 1. We stopped at a large monument on the way before crossing the Ben Hai River. We then went to the Vinh Moc tunnels. This area was bombed heavily by the US so to stop the casualties and better protect the citizens. About 60 families lived in the tunnels and 17 children were born in them - there was a maternity area. We ventured into one of the entrances - due to being tall I had to bend a bit to avoid hitting the head but the tunnels were a reasonable size. We came out of an exit at the beach. We then went back into the tunnels at another point on the beach before coming back out near where we had originally entered. From here we made the long trip back to Hue.