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Wednesday 2 Apr 2003
Hue, Vietnam

DMZ and CHEAP Internet!

Today I went to the DMZ... but before I talk about it I want to point out an amazing deal I found in Hue:

Yesterday I went on the internet in a cafe and had to sit through the usual slow service which Ive become accustomed to in SEA (takes about 10 mins just to bring up an email) for 6000 dong (about 50 cents for one hour)...

Today though I did a little exploring and just around the corner from that net cafe I found a tiny alleyway with two net cafes full of Vietnamese kids hacking away on Yahoo messenger (as they do) for 2000 dong per hour (13 cents per hour!) and BLAZING fast access (mails come up in 5 seconds!!)... plus they have a CDRW (for free) and scanner (for 1000 dong per scan which is normal) so Im going to try to upload a few more pics while Im here and burn a few cds of Viet music on mp3 (Im listening to some right now on headphones!)... make sure you check this place out for cheap net access in Hue! I dont have an address.. its near Le Loi street though

Anywaaaaay... went on the DMZ tour today (got it for 9 dollars, but I was told after I could have got it for 6.. doh!) and saw the famous sights of the nam war including The Rockpile (where Oliver North among others spent many a night doing lookouts), Khe Sanh Combat Base, The Ho Chi Minh Trail and crawled through the Vinh Moc Tunnels (a little easier than Cu Chi, but not reinforced with concrete as was done in Cu Chi meaning that the walls were made of moist clay that came off in your nails).

The tunnels went down for 15 metres below the ground and were full of little "rooms" about 2x1 metres big that housed entire families for sometimes up to 5 years! There was even a maternity room. The tunnel opened onto a beautiful hidden beach.

Khe San was the other highlight of the trip and this was the sight of fierce fighting between VC and the US and South Vietnamese (ARVN) and the area was littered with destroyed tanks and guns and bunkers. Another thing you can do here is purchase "memorabilia" such as dead soldiers dogtags (from both sides). Niamh bought me a dog tag when she was last here, so I got a VC medal commemorating the "liberation" of Khe San from the US (when the VC took over Khe San for 21 days)

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