DMZ – Demilitarized zone was located in Quang Tri, Vietnam, where Vietnam was divided into two parts at the parallel 17th: The North and the South from 1954 to 1975.
The parallel was considered as the temporary boundary for two years until the general election would be carried out in June 1956. According to this Agreement, the DMZ was established along the Ben Hai River, 5 km away from the riverbanks. The DMZ line was identified by white painting milestones and signs written in both Vietnamese and French:
Provisional military demarcation line
(Ligne de de’cramation militaire provisoire)
At the DMZ, both sides were not allowed to allocated military forces except the police for guard and security at the boundary.
In fact, the reality was quite different from this regulation. The Ben Hai River at DMZ became a painful symbol of the national division instead of the temporary boundary for the Vietnamese during 20 years.
There were many moving and painful stories at this dividing area. A child who was saved and taken to the North bank of the River often went to the river and called “Mum” who was kept in the South River bank. The mother cried each time when hearing the call of the child but did not know what to do.
It is only dozen meters away but people at the riverbanks were unable to meet each other for dozen of years. They just contacted each other through signals.
Nowadays, at the DMZ there are many relics which the people can visit to learn about the painful history of the war to live with better and meaningful life. This is good change to show everyone that no one wins with the wars.
Here are the main sites at and near the DMZ for visiting now when the travelers to this area:
The Ben Hai River and Hien Luong Bridge which was considered as the border line from 1954 to 1975 was located at km 753 of highway 1.
Vinh Moc Tunnels at Quang Tri province, Vietnam
Vinh Moc tunnels where thousands of the local people of Vinh Moc village lived under the ground during the war. Coming here, the travelers will learn how hard to live during the war. Vinh Moc tunnel village is 14 km from highway 1 passing Ho Xa Township 14km in the eastern direction, belonging with Vinh Thach commune, Vinh Linh district.
This is a great work of strong mind, determination and creativeness; it is a symbol of heroic revolutions. It can be considered as “an ancient palace underground”.
Ta Con airport relic is 3.5km from Khe Sanh township in the northern direction, belonging to Tan Hop commune of Huong Hoa district.
Ta Con was a complex of strongholds with many solid fortifications, artillery battlefield and a rather big scale airstrip. Ta Con strongholds were seen as a fortress in the strategic defensive system along highway 9 – Khe Sanh. In Mau Than spring campaign in 1968, after 170 days, we had forced the enemy to abandon Khai Sanh- Huong Hoa on July 9th, 1968.
Today, Ta Con airport relic is one of attractive place of DMZ tour in Quang Tri province. (Center of Relic and Landscape Preservation of Quang Tri)
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