The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a vital north-south supply route for the North Vietnamese during the war with America.
It was never just one trail: there was actually a shifting network of multiple trails over a swath of land hundreds of kilometres wide, reaching deep into neighbouring Laos. The trails were the bete noire of American military strategists, but no matter what they did, troops and artillery were never able to completely cut off this supply route, and the North Vietnamese continued to use it, to good advantage, right up to the end of the war. It remains a testament to Vietnamese determination and ingenuity -- that is, what little of it remains. The ‘trail’ tourists are shown has been paved since the war and converted into the Ho Chi Minh Highway, on the other side Dakrong Bridge. The bridge was the main access point to all the trails during the war, and was bombed and rebuilt repeatedly throughout the conflict. The current bridge was built in 1975. There's nothing interesting to look at, but like the Rockpile, it's on the way to the Khe Sanh Marine base, so everyone stops here to look anyway. Located about 41 kilometres from Dong Ha along Route 9 at the junction with Route 14 which leads 90km south to A Luoi.
Last updated on 30th January, 2008.