Ho Chi Minh Trail Vietnam, anyone got maps?

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  • Ho Chi Minh Trail Vietnam, anyone got maps?
  • NZCol
    Member

    A plan is emerging to go and have an explore via MTB on the HCMT in Vietnam. I’m trying to pull together some detailed mapping and online it’s a bit sketchy – so in true STW style I thought I would ask here if anyone has any good info/

    Premier Icon RichT
    Subscriber

    Have a look at
    Crazyguyonabike.com
    Lots of touring info from all over the place. Not easy to navigate but a search for Hi Chi Minh throws up quite a lot

    Premier Icon stewartc
    Subscriber

    Riding with a guy tomorrow who toured Vietnam, on an incumbent, a few years ago, will see if he can help and if yes PM you his details.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    on an incumbent

    *likes*

    mrlebowski
    Member

    The biggest problem I see with trying to ride the HCM will be the amount of unexploded ordnance on it.

    When I visited Vietnam in ‘97 it was definitely still an issue – I was warned time & time again by the guides I took not to step off the trail.

    Still, nice idea though not sure it’s feasible..

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    The HCM trail as it was isn’t a trail either, it’s more of a vague direction through the jungle the VC used to ferry men and equipment North to South, it was by necessity vauge, mobile and largely inaccessible.

    Sounds like a great idea but I think you’ll struggle to find a map per se.

    Edit (and don’t forget you’ll be crossing into Cambodia and Laos for at least as much as is in Vietnam if you’re doing it “right”)

    another edit (and a lot of it remained hidden by virtue of being classed as impassable by the US and the South Vietnamese. That they got people across, let alone field guns, mortars and vehicles is on par with the Berlin airlift for man made miracle. It might not be so good with a bike!)

    …plus is it not mostly in Laos/Cambodia anyway? (according to my holiday reading, red wine may have blurred my memory of that chapter…)

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’m with dangeourbrain – there may be ‘preserved’ sections but the whole point of it was that it was clandestine.

    It’s like trying to find a map of the underground railroad that ‘escaped’ slaves used – it wasn’t supposed to be widely known.

    shermer75
    Member

    As above, the trail was in Cambodia and Laos, and the amount of unexploded ordnance in Laos is genuinely horrifying!

    shermer75
    Member

    equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years

    Secret War in Laos

    NZCol
    Member

    Thanks all, yes I know that it’s not as simple however there are a few tales of rough routes being pulled together and ridden hence my question. I’ve got a bit of mapping from Danang N that I rode offroad in 2002 when I was last there. Noted on the amount of ordanance, i wasn’t anticipating going off piste it was more is there a rough route that picks up elements of the HCMT N-S/S-N.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    Good luck pulling this all together op. That would be an incredible adventure!

    alric
    Member

    I can put you in touch with Don Duvall, the guide/advisor for Rebecca Reusch’s film
    He has mapped it all and most of Laos
    He also does tours of it I believe

    Its probably like the old Death Highway in Laos, but worse- the track split to go around puddles, then did it again and again, until theres no real side to the road, and you can never really tell which way you are heading

    alric
    Member

    I mean Death Highway in Cambodia, up to Banlung

    alric
    Member

    It looks like I have all Laos military topographical maps from 1960s, 50000-1 Series L7015
    if you know which ones you want

    littlerob
    Member

    Love the idea. We visited Vietnam last year and loved it. I spent some time trying to get to grips with the language and it was, in my opinion, time well spent.

    +1 for Blood Road.

    mariner
    Member

    Wont it just be the track defined by dead vegetation or has it all grown back now?

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    Wont it just be the track defined by dead vegetation or has it all grown back now?

    Agent orange cleanup is ongoing and will be for a very long time yet. Given the high incidence of leukemia, lymphoma and numerous other nasties in exposed persons I can’t say following the deforested bits would be a good idea.

    Though I’d be tempted to try it on the horse tail in my allotment at this point.

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