Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More exploring in Quang Tri

Our last few days in Vietnam were really memorable. We left Dong Ha for Lao Bao – a town on the border of Vietnam and Laos. On the way, we made a quick stop at the Rock Pile and learned a bit of history about the battles fought there. All the foliage that had been destroyed during the war has grown back so we could not climb the Rock Pile itself, but we took a couple of pictures and learned some interesting facts about the war. The Rock Pile presented an obstacle for both sides in the war, and especially for the US Army because they were unfamiliar with the terrain. Next, we spent some time at the Van Kieu minority village. We treated the kids to some candies and learned about their lifestyles. Because they don’t speak Vietnamese, it was difficult for us to communicate with them but we found that a smile can be as good as words. The villagers’ livelihood consists of various agricultural practices, and because their parents work all day in the fields, the older children are responsible for taking care of their siblings.

From the village, we walked down to the Ho Chi Minh trail. In the war, it was crucial transportation route for soldiers and supplies between North and South Vietnam and Laos. Then we went to the museum in Khe Sanh. The mountains surrounding the museum were beautiful but in the past there was so much bloodshed there. Next, we continued on to Lao Bao and spent the afternoon exploring the town. We spent a mellow night in Lao Bao.

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