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Old 06-03-2008, 06:22 AM   #2
Josh69 OP
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The Ho Chi Minh Trail

Hi and thanks for taking the time to open up my trip report.

From 9 until 17 May 2008, I completed a 2,700km trip from Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, via the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Now, the HCMT was a network of roads which was used during the Vietnam War to bring troops and supplies from North Vietnam to the South.

Here's what Wiki says about the HCMT:

The Ho Chi Minh trail was a logistical system that ran from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) to the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) through the neighboring kingdoms of Laos and Cambodia. The system provided support in the form of manpower and materiel, to the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF or derogatively, Viet Cong) and the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) during the Vietnam War (1960-1975).

The trail was not a single route, but rather a complex network of truck routes, paths for foot and bicycle traffic, and river transportation systems. The name, taken from North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh, is of American origin. Within North Vietnam, it was called the Truong Son Road, after the mountain range in central Vietnam through which it passed.

Parts of what became the Ho Chi Minh trail had existed for centuries as primitive foot paths that facilitated trade in the region. The area through which the system meandered was among the most rugged in Southeast Asia: a sparsely-populated region of rugged mountains (1,500-8,000 feet), triple-canopy jungle and dense primeval rainforests. During the First Indochina War the Viet Minh maintained north/south communication utilizing this system of trails and paths.

When armed conflict heated up between the NLF and the southern regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1959, Hanoi dispatched the newly-established 559th Transportation Group, under the command of Colonel (later General) Vo Bam, south in order to improve and maintain the system in its bid for a unified Vietnam.[2] Originally, the North Vietnamese effort concentrated on infiltration across and immediately below the Demilitarized Zone that separated the two Vietnams.

You can read more about it here:

Note to the above, while the name Ho Chi Minh Trail was coined by the Americans, that is now the Vietnamese name too. In Vietnamese it is called "Duong Ho Chi Minh".

Josh69 screwed with this post 06-03-2008 at 07:02 AM
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