Just back from another trip to Vietnam and more exploring of old sites. It was a very interesting trip overall. I managed to squeeze in two days on the road due to an otherwise busy schedule. The first day on the road I rode with a friend who has long asked to join me on these trips. We rented motorbikes from Saigon Scooter Centre and drove north along QL13 a.k.a. Thunder Road. Our plan was to drive north up to An Loc, from there turn east and then back south towards Dong Xoai, passing Phuoc Vinh on our way back to Saigon. All in all, we did just over 300 kilometers that day, finishing the day in the rush hour traffic of Saigon.
So how about the sites we visited? Well, I had three main objectives for the day: Lai Khe, Quan Loi and Phuoc Vinh. I got to all three of them which I am very happy for. I have already updated the Lai Khe Base Camp page with a new video and new and better pictures. Also, I have published the page for Quan Loi Base Camp with both pictures and video as well. Phuoc Vinh will be up within a couple of weeks.
We also had secondary objectives for the day: Ben Cat SF Camp, Phu Loi and FSPB Coral that were all on the way. In Ben Cat we turned west towards the old SF Camp which was located inside the Iron Triangle. On the site they are now building a large shopping mall, so a bit of a disappointment there. On the way back to Saigon we had hoped to go to FSPB Coral, the old Australian base were a fierce battle was fought in March 1968. Unfortunately we were running out of daylight so we had to skip that this time. Visiting Phu Loi also fell victim to the time constraint. We look forward to come back and visit both next time though. At Phu Loi the old runway still seems to be around and possible to drive down so I can’t wait to get back. A place we did visit though was the old blown bridge over the Song Be river. It is just next to the highway and we brought back some nice pictures and video from the site. This will also be published within a few weeks.
The second day was also very interesting. I went together with a Vietnamese friend and as we had anticipated rain we decided to go by car. We drove west from Saigon through the Plain of Reeds where so many operations and battles took place during the war. There we visited a 1959 battlefield at Go Quang Cung. We will of course write up information about this and publish in due time. That day we also visited Cao Lanh and Sa Dec which are two lovely little towns in the Mekong Delta. During the war, there was a lot of activity here. Both towns had airfields, Naval Patrol bases and MACV compounds and we managed to find a few of them. All in all a very good day that too.
When it comes to developing the website, we are also working hard, as always, with updating and cleaning up already existing pages in order to make the website even more informative and interesting. We have also started to migrate all the picture in to a new Gallery function that will help the pictures load faster and make it easier to navigate. Overall we hope this will make your visit to the website even more enjoyable and informative.
Next trip and tours
Plans are to go back in a few months again to explore more of III Corps and IV Corps. Later this year we hope to make a longer trip in I Corps again. There is still much to discover there. Next trip to II Corps is in the plans for 2019.
We have started to get more and more questions about doing tours. We are currently not thinking about doing that for many reasons. Mainly, we are not a travel operator with a license in Vietnam. Also, our mission here is to travel ourselves and provide material for you and inspire you to also travel and discover these historic sites. Having said that, we are thinking of putting together tour suggestions that would be easy to follow. We will do some thinking about that and possibly add a page with that type of information and possibly recommend people we trust that can rent you motorbikes and hire guides with relevant knowledge. We will come back on this subject.
So with that we want to thank all of you readers that come to our site. We are very grateful as the work we do is for you. Remember to send us an email on [email protected] if you have any questions or suggestions.