Photo: US tank at Khe Sanh.

Ho Chi Minh Trail and Dakrong Bridge

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The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a vital north-south route for the North Vietnamese to move supplies, troops and munitions to their fighters in the south.

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Photo of Ho Chi Minh Trail and Dakrong Bridge

It was never just one trail, but actually a shifting network of multiple trails over a swath of land hundreds of kilometres wide, often weaving in and out of neighbouring Laos.

The trails were the bete noire of American military strategists, but no matter what they did (like blanketing the land with toxic defoliant like Agent Orange to expose the area), they 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. Methods to carry supplies were as rudimentary as bicycles, while later in the war whole tanks were secretly moved down. It remains a testament to North Vietnamese determination.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail (now highway QL14) intersects Highway 9 on the other side of the Dakrong Bridge. The bridge was the main access point to the trails during the war, and was bombed and rebuilt repeatedly throughout the conflict. The current bridge was built in 1974. 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.


How to get there
To get to the bridge, travel 48 kilometres west from Highway 1 in Dong Ha. At this junction, cross the bridge and head south on QL14 for 90 kilometres to reach A Luoi and the A Shau Valley, home to several significant Vietnam War sites including Hamburger Hill and A Sho Airport.

Location map for Ho Chi Minh Trail and Dakrong Bridge

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Dong Ha.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Read up on where to eat on Dong Ha.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Dong Ha.
 Read up on how to get to Dong Ha, or book your transport online with Baolau.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Dong Ha? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.

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