DMZ Information Vietnam
Established during the First Indochina War (1946 - 1954)
Location: 70 km north of Hue
Follows the Ben Hai river
Historical significance, easily accessable from Hue, trekking and ethnic homestay tours, Truong Son trails, Truong Son National cementary, Vinh Moc tunnels, Khe Sanh combate base.
Quang Tri is located in the central Vietnam near the crossways between North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Several different minorities populate this province including the Kinh and Bru-Van Kieu.From 1954 until the defeat of the Americans in 1975, Ben Hai river marked the division of North and South Vietnam
Five kilometers on either side of the Ben Hai river was declared a DMZ - a stark contrast to what really took place in this region. In fact, the surrounding region experienced some of the heaviest fighting during the Vietnam War. Some areas, such as Vinh Moc were termed Free Fire Zones, allowing a virtual free for all without fear of future repercussions and everything was designated a target. As a result of this heavy fighting, there is still many live ordnance in the area. There have been some casualties as unexploded bombs have exploded during farming activities.
Khe Sanh, in particular, was immortalized during and after the conflict. When you catch the train or bus from anywhere South of Dong Hoi to the DMZ, bomb damage and craters are still evident in paddies, near the railway tracks and beside the roads and bridges. As you near Dong Ha you will notice huge eucalyptus groves, themselves a legacy of the war. These areas were completely devastated either by relentless shelling or defoliation during the war and were eventually replanted with eucalyptus trees, chosen for their durability and speedy maturity.
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