Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Friday 2 July: The ancient capital city of Hue, pronounced 'whey', is the centre for touring the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) which divided North and South Vietnam from 1954 to 1975. Ironically, this is where the fiercest fighting took place during the American war - The Rockpile, Khe Sanh, Hamburger Hill.
Not much remains today but at Khe Sanh Combat Base a small museum tells the story of the bloody seige
where, on 21 January 1968, up to 6,000 US troops resisted sustained Viet Cong (VC) for 75-days until a relief column broke through. The attacks were a decoy for the successful Tet offensive to the south, the base was later abandoned.
Local Bru tribe peoples suffered as much as any during the war - today the children are happy to pose for photographs. The only positive result of the war is that there are now many more duck ponds in the area - all circular.
North of the DMZ, in what was North Vietnam, Vinh Moc Tunnels sheltered 90 families from US air and naval bombardment helping keep one leg of a network of supply routes known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, via Con Co Island, open. In the tunnel hospital 17 babies were born during this five-year period. Back in Hue I enjoy dinner with Liza and Eric who are moving on tomorrow.
Saturday 3: The old city of Hue is dominated by The Citadel and it's iconic flag pole. Inside the moated Royal Palaces, much damaged by US bombing, give a glimpse of their former splendor.
Photos in and around Hue.

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