Demilitarized Zone (DMZ Tour)
From 1954 to 1975, the Ben Hai river (near the 17th parallel) served as the demarcation line between the North and the South Vietnam. DMZ means “Demilitarized Zone” which consisted of an area 5km to either side of the demarcation line. During the American War, this area was the scene of some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict.
You can visit DMZ by booking a tour in Hue city or Dong Ha town. The one-day DMZ tour from Hue City costs about US$7-10.
The trip is like this:
Hue (6am) - visit the church destroyed by American bomb on the way to Dong Ha - breakfast in Dong Ha town - travel along Highway #9 - see Rock Pile mountain (American base camp but nothing left) - Ho Chi Minh trail - Dakrong bridge - Van Kieu Bru minority village - Khe Sanh battle field (Ta Kon airport) - back to Dong Ha town for lunch - Vinh Moc tunnels - Ben Hai river - Hien Luong bridge - back to Hue (6pm).
Vinh Moc tunnels and Cu Chi tunnels
Here is copy of a post made by a TTer. Sorry I didn't take note the name of author. I too visited both places and enjoyed my trips, however, let's read what a foreign visitor said about these sites:
I've just recently done both tunnels. We decided to do the DMZ tour not knowing very much about it, but it was definately an informative day out with the highlight being the Vinh Moc tunnels. It is a very different experience to walk through these tunnels thinking about how people and whole families managed to live in there during the war. When you emerge from the long tunnel walk you come out near the beach and it's all so peaceful and beautiful. It's highlights the durability of the Vietnamese people in the face of adversity. The tour runs from 6am to 6pm, so it's a big day, but you get to see Ke Sanh military base & museum as well as learning much about the DMZ history.
Touring the Cu Chi tunnels is a lesson in warfare in the Saigon region. The tour is well run with a video display, then demonstrations of the holes people hide in, types of traps the VC laid for the American soldiers, uniforms worn by soldiers, bunkers for manufacturing weapons and various things, and then you do a very short (and claustrophobic!!) 30m tunnel walk through tunnels already widened for fat tourists. Scary! At Cu Chi you can fire various guns at the rifle range. My partner had a go at a Colt45 and an AK47. You can do just Cu-Chi tunnels in a half-day trip which drops you at the War Museum afterwards. It's a big day of history but good to check out.
For both tours we had Vietnamese guides who had lived through the war and were extremely knowledgeable. Either trip is a good day out, definitely do one, but the Vinh Moc experience gives you a longer tunnel walk.
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