De-Militarised Zone (DMZ)

 

The De-Militarised Zone or DMZ, an outcome of the negotiated Geneva agreement, is a 10 kilometres section of land (stretching 5 kilometres north and 5 kilometres south of the Ben Hai river) which demarcated North and South Vietnam during 1954 to 1975. 

 

Most people would recall that North and South Vietnam were separated along the 17th parallel, the position where Ben Hai river is located. It was in this region that some of the most horrific fighting between American troops and Viet Cong army took place. 

 

Many monuments along this area continue to serve as stark reminders of the atrocities of the American War in Vietnam. Travelling north on Highway 1 from Hue to DMZ, you will not fail to see a ruined skeleton of a former church riddled with bullet holes and a school devastated with the constant impact of grenades. 

 

To evade the never-ending stream of bombing from Americanís B-52, the villages of Quang Tri devised an impressive network of underground tunnels where they would spend most part of their waking moments under the earth. Unlike Cu Chi Tunnels in the south which have been modified to cater for tourists, Vinh Moc tunnels exist today just as they had been during the war. Vinh Moc tunnels spans across 1.7 kilometres in length, and comprise 13 exits of which 7 exits leading to the sea and 6 exits opening up into mountains. It was a key military storage base for which these essential items of war were then transported to the nearby Con Co island before they made their way down the Ho Chi Minhís trail to troops in the south. 

 

Hien Luong bridge, built by French troops in 1950, was the main mode for crossing the Ben Hai river.  The 178 metres bridge was divided into half, with 89 metres of it belonging to North and South Vietnam respectively

 

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