Guidebook Learn jungle war history at the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum


Learn jungle war history at the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum

The Ho Chi Minh Trail stretched from northern Vietnam, along the Laos border, down to Saigon in the south, explains Travelfish. Located about 15km outside Hanoi, this two-storey museum, with its seven galleries, is dedicated to explaining that “system of trails.” The Trail featured “clandestine spurs that slipped into neighbouring Laos and Cambodia” and led to “no end of troubles” for the US because it was prevented from “(legally) following the Viet Cong into those countries.” For the North Vietnamese, the Trail is “a testament to tenacity, engineering and just plain pluck -- in no small way it’s why they won the war.”    

The exhibits show the “ingenuity of the trail blazers” who worked with limited materials, observes Frommers. “These include oil drums wrapped in bamboo strips that functioned as personal bomb shelters, and a rudimentary shrapnel-proof coat worn by commanders that weighs about 60 kilos (130 pounds).” There are also examples of “cigarette bombs and nail bombs that were designed to maim for life.” Alongside the museum are “several trucks that used to trundle along the trail,” as well as a “rather unconvincing reconstruction of an underground command centre.”

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