Friday August 3, 2007
By Bruce Stanley
The Wall Street Journal
Ho Chi Minh Highway, VietnamThe tangle of pathways and dirt roads known collectively as the Ho Chi Minh Trail was a logistical jugular vein for Communist forces during the Vietnam War. Saturation bombings and chemical defoliants failed to sever the legendary supply line, which meandered southward from Communist North Vietnam, fanned out into neighboring Laos and Cambodia and penetrated deep into the pro-American South.
Now, an initial investment of $800 million and the sweat of 30,000 laborers is transforming the low-tech trail into Vietnam’s best highway. More than a generation after the war ended in a Communist victory, the road — named for the country’s revolutionary hero, Bac “Uncle” Ho — is opening up the remote highlands in central Vietnam to road trippers.