The Ho Chi Minh Trail – finally on Laos’ tourist map (and in our film).
Above Photo: An airstrike goes in on the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War (Fred Thompson 174ahc.org).
Laos’ tourist industry is booming. It is the fastest growing ‘industry’ in the country, with steadily increasing numbers of tourist arrivals each year. Yet I believe they are missing out on what the Vietnamese have discovered to be a niche tourist market – in war remains and war sites, although perhaps they Laotians are finally waking up to it – slowly.
Even the Ho Chi Minh Trail has finally made its way onto tourism signposts, and there is a section of the Trail that has been protected, which is what the above sign is directing tourists to visit, down a dusty potholed road.
We drove down this road, which used to be a main artery on the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War, and discovered some more original Trail cobblestones just over a Russian-built bridge near the town of Ban Dong. The stones were put down after the US stopped bombing trail traffic in Laos when they pulled out of Vietnam.
Just across the bridge, recent rains had washed away a layer of dirt from the road and uncovered more cobblestones.
Tourism in Laos features in our recent film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil, where travellers go into the war-torn jungle in southern Laos looking for gold, only to find something else entirely.
It must be the first English-language film ever shot using the Ho Chi Minh Trail as a location in the film.
Our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil.
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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