Khe Sanh is a tiny city in Vietnam’s North Central region. Because of conflicts and a long siege that took place in the area, it is well-known among military history students in the United States. I believe it was adapted into a film.
Apart from a war museum and a massive pagoda, there isn’t much that distinguishes Khe Sanh from the rest of Vietnam’s cities. After my first day of cycling on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, I stayed here for the night.
My route map is a rough estimate. I couldn’t find Khe Sahn anywhere on it. The map is from the 1800s, and the names of many of the towns, cities, and rivers have changed due to emperors, occupations, wars, ideologies, dams, and time.
I left Hue around 9:00 a.m., and once out of town, the roads emptied out, and I spent the majority of the day in extremely minimal traffic.
I came to a big graveyard on the outskirts of Hue.
I didn’t look up who this statue is for and couldn’t discover anything on the internet. I’m curious if Emperor Gia Long was the one who brought Vietnam together.
I stopped for a break after an hour of riding, and these three buffalo were also taking a break.
The route was narrow and had little traffic. I felt like I had the road to myself for the majority of the day.
I’m not sure when I initially rode sections of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but it was on this day that I did. The scenery was breathtaking.
For a drink break, I found a beautiful shady spot in a little village.
The location was somewhat rural, with plenty of open space and few people.
The natives get more covered while riding as the weather gets hotter. I couldn’t understand how everyone could wear so many layers in the heat at first. However, keeping the sun off of you is more vital than staying cool. It was sweltering outside, and I was dressed in my rain jacket and pants. I would occasionally see other tourists cycling across the countryside wearing tank tops, shorts, and flipflops. Not only would it be perilous if they crashed their bikes, but the sun would also have damaged their skin.
On this particular day, I took a lot of photos of houses for some reason. I used to have an idea or a theme for what I wanted to publish on Facebook, and I would try to take images for it. I guess I was planned a house-related post.
Some of the farms appeared to be fantastic.
I spent hours and hours looking at roads like this on the trip, which was just under 200 kilometers. That’s a great way to spend a day!
There were a lot of farms and a wide variety of crops.
It’s difficult to identify whether certain locations are communities, family compounds, or a mix of the two.
I spent some time by a small stream.
There were a few localities with similar dwelling quarters. Some of the structures were clearly temporary housing for construction personnel working on various projects. The level of development that is taking place in Vietnam is astounding. Other structures similar to this housed ordinary families. I’m not sure what these structures are.
The road led me alongside a larger river. It was a beautiful day for cycling.
I noticed a lot of non-Americans sporting American flag clothes, especially in Europe. In Thailand and Cambodia, I also spotted American flags. I hadn’t seen many in Vietnam, so when I saw this gentleman, I had to take a picture of him.
I had only recently arrived in Vietnam and had yet to speak with locals about their feelings toward Americans and the war. Particularly in the north, where almost everyone has a relative who was murdered by American bombs. It’s the kind of suffering that lasts decades, and I wasn’t sure if people would despise me because of my country’s previous activities in this country.
I asked a few people about it over time, and they all responded very much the same thing. “We’re concentrating on the future rather than the past.”
I’m not sure where I read that or whether someone said it to me. However, when asked about their attitudes toward Americans, one Vietnamese individual stated: “The Chinese, Japanese, French, and Americans have all invaded our country. We had to evict them all. You’re not a one-of-a-kind individual.”
I don’t recall ever encountering somebody who was unpleasant to me because of my nationality in my life. Some people were more nice than others, but the vast majority of the people I encountered were either neutral or very pleasant and friendly.
In Khe Sanh, I discovered a motel near to a massive pagoda.
The hotel was quite excellent, and it included a restaurant. I was the only one there to eat when I went to get some food. The dish was quite tasty.