The American War around Da Nang and Hoi An

Central Vietnam was one of the heaviest affected regions of the country during the American War. There is little evidence of fighting at many of the war sites nowadays, but several spots remain fascinating for history buffs.

81 Huyền Trân Công Chúa, Hoà Hải, Ngũ Hành Sơn, Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam
...or take the elevator (seriously!) to experience this network of temples and intricate sculpture. Incense is sold throughout the complex, and people sell all kinds of marble wares on the street level.
Võ Nguyên Giáp, 550000, Vietnam
When American troops were in Vietnam, Danang was one of two in-country destinations for R&R (the other was Vung Tau near Ho Chi Minh City). The stretch of beach near the city (famously known as China Beach), was a favourite of troops. These days the beach closest to Danang is known as My Khe and it remains a great spot for swimming, dining and chilling.
Hồng Hạ, Tx. Hương Trà, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam
This remote highland base is eerily peaceful today, but it witnessed one of the bloodiest battles of the American War when around 500 Americans, 10,000 North Vietnamese troops and uncounted civilian bystanders were killed during the 75-day siege. Today the site is occupied by a museum, which contains some interesting photographs of the war years, plus reconstructed bunkers and captured American aircraft.
Vĩnh Thạch, Vĩnh Linh, Quảng Trị, Vietnam
This labyrinth of tunnels between what were North and South Vietnam during the war is a testimony to the defiance and ingenuity of the Vietnamese resistance. Vinh Moc was a village that the U.S. troops believed to be sympathetic to the Communist North, so when the Americans planned to remove the villagers, the locals dug tunnels to relocate their abodes underground. What resulted is a tight warren of underground paths stretching more than a mile in total, some as deep as 100 feet below the surface. The subterranean village included kitchens, rooms, and wells, and was home to more than 50 families; a number of children were even born in this subterranean hamlet.
Bến Hải River, Quảng Trị Province, Vietnam
This tranquil river was once the border between North and South Vietnam and is now site of a grandiose reunification monument. The northern bank of the river is dominated by a reconstructed flag tower and a small war museum.
Sơn Mỹ Memorial, Tịnh Khê, Quảng Ngãi, Quang Ngai, Vietnam
Close to Hoi An, tranquil Son My (My Lai) was the setting for one of the most horrific crimes of the American War when US troops killed at least 504 villagers in an orgy of violence. The Son My memorial -- a dramatic stone sculpture of an elderly woman holding up her fist in defiance -- is a poignant tribute to the innocents that died.
Da Nang, Hải Châu, Da Nang, Vietnam
Danang has a strong association with the American War. It was here that US troops first landed, it had a major US airbase and it was a designated R&R spot for US troops. It is fitting then that the city is home to one of Vietnam’s more interesting and comprehensive war museums. The museum is split into four sections including an outdoor display of military equipment, a military museum, a reproduction of Ho Chi Minh’s house and a Ho Chi Minh Museum.
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