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The DMZ lay at the 17th parallel and was created by an agreement known as the Geneva Agreement. In reality, the DMZ extended 10 km on either side of the Ben Hai River and ran west to east from the Laotian border to the South China Sea. The DMZ was breached by the North Vietnamese Army when they constructed the Ho Chi Minh Trail that allowed for the transport of troops and supplies to the National Liberation Front in the south. The U.S, in an attempt to stop the flow of troops and supplies, built a series of fire bases including Camp Carroll, Fuller, The Rockpile, Con Tien, Vandergrift, Khe Sanh Combat Base, Lang Vei Special Forces Camp…. along Route 9, about six miles south of and parallel to the DMZ. That series of bases became known as the “McNamara Line,” so named for Robert S. McNamara”, then U.S. secretary of defence. Some of the war’s fiercest fighting and bloodiest battles occurred along that line. Such areas as Khe Sanh, Con Tien, Hambuger Hill… are forever etched into the minds of the soldiers who fought there and survived.
Pick-up in Hue, head north on Highway One toward Dong Ha, stop at sites along the way, such as Highway of Horror, Quang Tri Citadel, the Ai Tu Airfield. Continue to Dong Ha, the former headquaters of the elements of the U.S Marines, head west on Route 9. The first stop is the Rockpile, a look-out of the U.S Marine Corps, visit Van Kieu ethnic minorities people in the Central of Vietnam. Continue to Khe Sanh village, visit Khe Sanh Combat Base. Lunch in Dong Ha. After lunch, head north to visit the Hien Luong Bridge over the Ben Hai river at the middle of the DMZ ( Demilitarized Zone ), the river that was the only true physical demarcation between North and South Vietnam . Continue to Vinh Moc tunnels, the refuge of some 400 north Vietnamese inhabitants during the bombing operation “ Rolling Thunder “. Back to Hue. End of the trip.
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