Lao Bao, Khe Sanh, A Shau Valley, A Luoi, Highway 49 and Hue: 13 March

This is the route we took from Lao Bao to Hue. After driving east on Route 9 for approximately 20 miles, we headed south on the Ho Chi Minh Road through the A Shau Valley. We then travelled east on Highway 49 to Hue.

The A Shau Valley and the mountains surrounding the valley were the scene of numerous battles between the North Vietnamese Army/Viet Cong and the Americans during the Vietnam War. The A Shau Valley was a strategically important route which the North Vietnamese Army used to enter South Vietnam. The Americans needed to block and disrupt the troops and material entering South Vietnam, and many bloody battles took place in and around the A Shau Valley.

Lao Bao,Vietnam is a border crossing point with Laos.

Many Vietnamese women cover themselves so that their skin does not tan.

We left Lao Bao and are now travelling east on Route 9. We are entering the village of Khe Sanh.

Khe Sanh.

The monument on Route 9 celebrating the battle at the American Khe Sanh Combat Base.The road on the left is the route to the site of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The site is approximately one mile from this intersection.

We are now leaving Route 9, as we start to travel south on the Ho Chi Minh Road.

We travelled over this bridge which traverses the Song Thach Han River. The bridge was designed by a Cuban architect.

A monument to the North Vietnamese troops who traveled south towards Saigon, on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Heavily forested hills and mountains surround the A Shau Valley.

Along the Ho Chi Minh Road.

This panoramic photograph is looking East. Scroll to the right to see the complete picture.

This view is looking West. The Lang Ong Nhiem River is visible.

This is the Lang Ong Nhiem River. The view is looking South.

This is the village of A Luoi. The Battle of Hamburger Hill took place approximately 4 miles north west of this village.

A Luoi, looking West.

We left the Ho Chi Minh Road and we are now heading east towards Hue on to Route 49.

Before traveling very far on Route 49, we noticed that the road was in the process of being repaired and upgraded.

Photograph by John H. Dewing.

A tight squeeze.

Photograph by John H. Dewing.

After traversing about 5 miles of road construction, the road became easily navigable as we continued east towards Hue.

After arriving in Hue we checked in to La Residence Hotel; the room overlooked the Perfume River. The room also had a view of the flag flying high above the Citadel.

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Neil Mishalov

Copyright © Neil Mishalov; posted 30 April 2013