VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

History

The early days - 1000 years of chinese domination- Liberation from china - China bites back - Le lo enters the scene - The coming of the europeans - Lording it over the people - Tay son rebrllion - The last of the nguyens - The french takeover - Independence aspiration - WWII breaks out - A false dawn - War with the french - A separate south vietnam - A new north vietnam - The north south war - Enter the cavalry - The turing point - Nixon his doctrine- Other foreign involvement - The fall of the south - Reunification of vietnam - Opening the door - Vietnam today

History

Vietnam has a history as rich and evocative as anywhere on the planet. Sure, the American War in Vietnam captured the attention of the West, but centuries before that Vietnam was scrapping with the Chinese, the Khmers, the Chams and the Mongols. Vietnamese civilisation is as so­phisticated as that of its mighty northern neighbour China, from where it drew many of its influences under a thousand-year occupation. Later came the French and the humbling period of colonialism from which Vietnam was not to emerge until the second half of the 20th century. The Americans were simply the last in a long line of invaders who had come and gone through the centuri es and, no matter what was required or how long it took, they too would be vanquished. If only the planners back in Washington had paid just a little more attention to the history of this very proud nation, then Vietnam might have avoided the trauma and tragedy of a horribly brutal war. Visitors to Vietnam can't help but notice that the same names pop up again and again on the streets of every city and town. These are Vietnam's national heroes who, over the last 2000 year, have led the country in its repeated expulsions of foreign invaders and whose exploits have inspired subsequent generations of patriots.
TRACKING THE AMERICAN WAR:
The American War in Vietnam was the story for a generation. Follow in the footsteps of soldiers, journalists and politicians on all sides with a visit to the sites where the story unfolded.
China Beach: The strip of sand near Danang where US soldiers dropped in for some rest and relaxation.
Cu Chi Tunnels. The Vietnamese dug an incredible and elaborate tunnel network to evade American forces, just 30km from Saigon and right under the noses of a US base.
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) The no-man's land at the 17th Parallel, dividing North and South Vietnam after 1954, became one of the most heav ily militarized zones in the world.
Dien Bien Phu:The ultimate historic battle site , where the French colonial story came to a c lose in May 1954.
Ho Chi Minh Trail: The supply route for the South; the North Vietnamese moved men and munitions down this incredible trai l through the Truong Son Mountains in an almost unparalleled logistical feat.
Hue Citadel: The ancient citadel was razed to the ground in street-to-street f ighting in early 1968 when the Americans retook the city from the communists after a three-week occupation.
Khe Sanh: This was the biggest smokescreen of the war, as the North Vietnamese massed forces around this US base in 1968 to draw attention away from the coming Tet Offensive.
Long Tan Memorial: The Australian contingent who fought in Vietnam, mostly based near Vung Tau in the south, is remembered here.
The Long Tan Memorial: Cross was erected by Austra lian survivors of a fierce 1967 battle. The original is now in Bien Hoa Military Museum. The Vietnamese erected a memorial cross in 2002.
My Lai: The village of My Lai is infamous as the site of one of the worst atrocities in the war, when American GIs massacred hundreds of villagers in March 1968. ' Vinh Moc Tunnels: The real deal, these tunnels haven't been surgically enlarged for tourists and they mark yet another feat of infrastructural ingenuity.