Khe Sanh Review

The trip to Khe Sanh had been a struggle. Over 12 hours and I was still with the local mechanic who was trying to figure out what was wrong with my Motorbike.

When it became clear Jonny would be staying over night at the mechanics I decided to go for a stroll up the main road in the search of somewhere to stay.

I didn’t get far before the now traditional “Ello…!” ringed out from across the road.

Now after such a tiring day the last thing I felt like was small talk but it was becoming increasingly clear that the further North I traveled English speakers were increasingly scarce. In this case my new friend, incredibly, was the district English teacher who absolutely insisted that I not only had dinner at his house but also stay the night.

Right. Guess it’s time to man up, put today’s dramas behind me and accept this gracious request.

Next minute I find myself holding my host’s one year old daughter (his other two daughters feature in the above image) whilst the extended family are making cakes on the lounge floor for a dinner that is being prepared in my honor.

Hieu's Family

I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll mention it again – the willingness of the Vietnamese people, especially in these high country towns, to go out of their way for a foreign visitor has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life to date. Especially when you consider that as the district English teacher my host is on a reasonably good wage of 100USD a month. A wage that has to support his wife and three daughters.

So needless to say I purchased the beverages for the evening and it wasn’t long before the majority of the neighbors and even my mechanic who had just finished working on Jonny at 9 in the evening turned up for a drink.

Eventually I physically hit the wall and had to retire to the couch as the following day I was committed to putting the final remote leg of the trip behind me on the way to my next stop in Phong Nha National Park.

Before I set off my host took me out for breakfast and a few more outstanding Vietnamese coffees where we talked about everything from the American Conflict, to his family life and the school system in Vietnam. It really is fascinating the insights you get when you take the time to speak to one of the locals.

Khe Sanh Town Centre

As for Khe Sanh well the town is steeped in history and is littered with conflict related places to see if that’s your thing but at the end of the day it was the time I spent with my host, Hieu, and his family that I won’t forget.

8/10

Related Links:

Da Nang to Khe Sanh – Leg 7
Khe Sanh to Phong Nha – Leg 8

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