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andycoll

Trip to Son My aka the My lai massacre

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Whilst holidaying in Vietnam last I decided to visit the site of the my lai massacre. The site is just out of the sleepy provincial town of Quang Ngai. As I was in Danang I caught the train there.  Two and a half hours south for about 120,000 dong. At the station I took an xe om to my hotel, the Riverside Villa. Luckily I had memorized the location as the driver didn't have a  clue, also English is not spoken by many people. The accommodation was okay but a bit isolated. On the upside the owner speaks English and drove me to the bus stop the next morning where I caught the number 3 bus. I told the conductor that I was going to Son My, the vietnamese name for the area, he must have understood me enough to only charge me 10,000 dong. Didn't stop to let me off there though. Luckily I saw it on the left as we went sailing by so I got off at the next stop and walked back. Paid the entrance fee and headed into the museum. A very moving experience seeing all the pictures and other exhibits. Here are a few.

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After spending time inside I headed outside to the site of the remains of the village. 

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The actual area of the massacre spreads over a large area but as it was hot and I did not feel like walking through the fields in the sun I decided that enough was enough. So I went back out to the road and sheltered in the shade until the bus came along. I got off the bus a fair distance from my hotel in a vain attempt to find somewhere open to have some lunch but these small provincial  cities pretty much close down for the midday siesta. In the end I had some two minutes noodles back in my room. Later in the early evening I went for a walk along the river promenade to where the restaurants and such open up in the cool of the evening and pigged out  on a large chicken meal and a few beers, all ordered using the managers translation app on his phone. The next day the owner of my hotel gave me a lift to where I  could catch a bus north to Hoi An, a two hour trip. If anybody thinks of going there I would suggest getting a room at one of the hotels by the main bridge as their is a lot more activity around there, also the bus to Son My passes there.

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I was in the War Museum in Saigon/HCMC yesterday and there's several mentions of the massacre there, including your second pic IIRC.  Some real eye opening stuff if you're not familiar with the history.

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@andycoll,

Can I ask you what motivated you to visit that specific site ?

I mean, a lot of the younger people sure dont really know about the story.

Personnally, i deeply regret that during my 18 months in VN I never visited Dien Bien Phu. 

 

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Why did I go to that specific site? The simple answer would be that it was close to where I was in Danang. I find history fascinating, especially, but not only, military history. I have been to Khe San up by the old DMZ but it was a bit disappointing. On the other hand I went to the site of the Battle of The Little Big Horn where Custer and his men died and that was fascinating. Reading about things and seeing pictures and stuff is no replacement for actually seeing the landscape. Later on this year I will be in the US of A and will be hiring a car to visit Tombstone and other sites of the old west. I will also be visiting New Orleans and Las Vegas for fun. So if I can combine a bit of History as well just having fun and seeing new sites on my holidays I do.

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