DMZ – Demilitarized Zone or Death Zone

When arrived to Hue we rapidly arranged a private guide specialized in the Vietnam war. The guide introduced himself as ”Die” saying – I am Die, but I don’t want to die:)

In our leather suited car with a private driver we reached the first stop on the way, a hundreds of years old ”Pagoda” called Chua Thien Mu belonging to Buddists.

A fantastic but heart breaking story about one of the munks, the venerable Thich Quang Duc went from his home in a car and reached Saigon June 11, 1963. As soon as he got out of the car he sat down in the lotus position and burnt himself to death to protest against the Ngo Dinh Diem regime’s policies of discriminating against Buddhists and violating religiuous freedom.

Hue Battle Zone

During the Vietnam war there was a big battle in Hue during the Teth offensive. The NVA (North Vietnamies Army) together with Vietcong the freedom fighters in South Korea attacked their oppressers in the ancient city. At the now Unesco classified forttress Kinh Than Hue they barricade their forces. Unfortunately the Americans had to attack with bombs and bullets resulting in destroying big parts of the historic site.

Visiting the Demilitarized Zone

To experience the Vietnam war on site we enthusiasticly stepped back in time with a history tour lead by the local guide Dam. The historical sites tour on the bus priced 550 000 Dong. Vietnams Demilitarized Zone or DMZ is the area around the former border between North and South Vietnam. Historically it was a narrow band of terrain extending from Laos border to the coast, five kilometers on either side of the Ben Hai river.

Vinh Moc Tunnels

Vinh Moc Tunnel were built to shelter people from the intense bombing Vinh Linh country of Quang Tri province in the DMZ. We walked in long, dark and narrow tunnels crouching our backs passing a meeting room, toilet, a well and even a bomb shelter deep down in the system. When exiting the tunnel system we were surprised to see the ocean because the entering was in a forest. On the surface there were big craters were the bombs from the B52 stroke. To live and survive like this shows how determined the Vietnamese people were to endure, survive and fight for their cause as well as for their land.

Khe Sanh Combat Base

This was a big military base hosting 6000 american soldiers close to the boarder of Laos. A major attack from the NVA pressured the americans to use all military force they had. While the americans were sorrounded by the NVA using the mountains to take cover the strength of artillery and bomb planes.