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Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh Trail 7: The Trung Son Range today

described by Khi and Gii

presented by Michael Palomino (2013)



from: The H Ch Minh Trail; Hong Khi and Th Gii Publishers 2008; English translation; first edition 2001; second edition 2008; printed in Vit Nam; VN - TG - 6.149-1
7. The Trung Son Range today

[Restored villages - new Kinh villages with big farms]

<The last war ended over 20 years ago. Life returned to normal and the people were jubilant and animated in the uplifting verdure of the Trung Son Range, all along the length of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The restored villages of the ethnic minorities mingle with the new villages of the Kinh who came here to reclaim land and to establish immense farms of pepper, coffee, and rubber.> (p.97)

[New side industries and resources, crops and infrastructure]

<The silence and the darkness of the mountains and forests have been replaced by the noise of the hand looms in many villages and the clanging of the blacksmith's hammer. Many side industries (like making conical hats, raincoats, paper, sugar) are developing steadily. A new division of labor is taking shape in a region previously still dominated by a tribal regime. The people of Trung Son are taking advantage of their resources (soil, climate, water currents, timber forests, industrial plants, fruit trees, food crops, vegetables, and wild animals) to enrich themselves and the country. The tourist will see here the stable life of different ethnic groups. Regions specializing in the (p.97) cultivation of industrial crops (rubber, tea, coffee), food crops (maize, cassava, vegetable), and fruit trees have been delineated and increasingly developed. Hydro-and thermo power stations have been built on both sides of Trung Son.> (p.98)

[Festivals - 17 written languages - destructive customs are eliminated]

<Many national festivals, which were temporarily forgotten during the anti-US war, are being restored. Seventeen ethnic groups in Trung Son have a written language. Many backward customs and habits, such as the custom of "linking thread", "entrusting wealth" at the birth of a child, or "filing one's teeth and stretching one's cars" have faded away. The taboo associated with illness, labor and childbirth no longer exist.> (p.98)

[General eagerness]

<The younger generations of ethnic minorities in [the mountain range of] Trung Son today are descendants of those who opened the Ho Chi Minh Trail and who defended it while fighting [the Chinese, the French, the French Legion], the Americans [and all their "befriended states"]. They are highly educated and eager to have their native land reach the same level of development as other parts of the country and to create conditions for it to be integrated with the world, both culturally and economically.> (p.98)

[Trung Son motorway for the year 2000]

<After the war, the Vietnamese government projected the construction of the Truong Son Motorway to run from the North to the South of Vit Nam. The two-lane road will be asphalted, wide enough for four vehicles to run abreast, and will lead to economic growth. The parallel roads will have a total length of 5,000 km; they start from Road N 7 in Din Chu District, Ngh An Province and reach the Southernmost part of Nam (p.98) B. It has been planned that the Trung Son Road will be completed in 2000. But because of Storm N 5 that devastated Nam B in 1997, the Vietnamese Government must concentrate its budget on overcoming the consequences of the calamity and the project has been postponed for the time being. (p.99)

Under Resolution 38/20047QH11 dated 3 December 2004 of the National Assembly and the master plan for the Ho Chi Minh Road, its construction is divided into three phases: Phase 1 (2000-2007 was completed; Phase 2 (2007-2010) is going on; and Phase 3 will finish by 2020.> (p.99)

[Asphalted Ho Chi Minh Trail]

<The Ho Chi Minh Trail of yore [of former times] is now composed of many branches and lines which have been raised and asphalted to link populated areas and economic zones, town and district capitals. Driving on them is both practical and pleasant thanks to a beautiful landscape of clouds and mountains, slopes and passes, lakes and ponds, and forests and mountains. It is really picturesque.> (p.99)

[Cemeteries - rolling hills - lakes]

<Visiting the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the ethnic minorities of [the mountain range of] Trung Son at the close of the 20th century, the tourist should not forget to stop at the Trung Son Cemetery, which lies in an area of hills. It bears a historical significance (because it was formerly a battlefield) and will generate an emotional response in any visitor. The rolling hills around the suspension bridge across Bn Tat slope gently and create an atmosphere of wild and majestic greatness that the visitor will find enchanting. In the valley at the foot of the hills, there are lakes for lotus growing and fish rearing (p.99). The winding lanes on the hills are bordered by shady pine trees and gracious willows. (p.100)

The Trung Son Cemetery was built 5 years ago [1996]. It is regularly maintained and repaired and continues to receive the remains of fallen soldiers lying scattered in all the branches of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, on the Trung Son Range, and Laos and Cambodia. Standing in the center of the cemetery is an imposing granite monument to keep alive the memory of the Trung Son combatants. The graves have a calm and gentle appearance; each has its tombstone and is planted with grass and flowers. The tombs of the those who died in the war from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City [former name: Saigon] are arranged on the central hills. Around are the tombs of the fallen soldiers of Ngh An, H Tinh, Thi Bnh, Nam H, Nam Dinh, Ninh Bnh, Vinh Ph, Ph Tho, Bc Ninh, Quang Bnh, Quang Tri, Tha Thin and H Ty. It can be said that almost all parts of the country have soldiers killed in the liberations war buried in this cemetery.

The Trung Son War Martyr Cemetery is situated in Tn Bin District, Ty Ninh Province, about 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City, in the West. The tourist can come here from Ho Chi Minh City by bus or motorcycle.> (p.100)

[All sufferings
-- with changing of genetics by Agent Orange and deformed Agent Orange victims
-- with contamination of forests and hills by Agent Orange
-- with landslides and changed local climate by destroyed jungle
are not mentioned in the book of Koi and Gioi, but other books are well mentionening these sufferings of the local Vietnamese population provoked by Agent Orange and other dioxin pesticides which do not stop until today].

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