Fifty Years After, A Daunting Cleanup of Vietnam’s Toxic Legacy

A Vietnamese soldier next to a hazardous warning sign for dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa air base last October.A Vietnamese soldier next to a hazardous warning sign for dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa air base last October. KHAM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

From 1962 to 1971, the American military sprayed vast areas of Vietnam with Agent Orange, leaving dioxin contamination that has severely affected the health of three generations of Vietnamese. Now, the U.S. and Vietnamese governments have joined together in a massive cleanup project.

In the thriving industrial city of Bien Hoa, about 20 miles east of Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, there is a large air base, just beyond a sweeping bend in the Dong Nai River. During the American war in Vietnam, it was said to be the busiest airport in the world. Since the war ended in 1975, a dense cluster of four residential neighborhoods has grown up around the base. Their total population is perhaps 111,000, while the base itself, now home to advanced long-range fighter-bombers of the Vietnam People’s Air Force, has another 1,200 permanent residents. Continue reading “Fifty Years After, A Daunting Cleanup of Vietnam’s Toxic Legacy”

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The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War

Fifty years after the first US troops came ashore at Da Nang, the Vietnamese are still coping with unexploded bombs and Agent Orange.

On a mild, sunny morning last November, Chuck Searcy and I drove out along a spur of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail to the former Marine base at Khe Sanh, which sits in a bowl of green mountains and coffee plantations in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province, hard on the border with Laos. The seventy-seven-day siege of Khe Sanh in early 1968, coinciding with the Tet Offensive, was the longest battle of what Vietnamese call the American War and a pivotal event in the conflict. By the off-kilter logic of Saigon and Washington, unleashing enough technology and firepower to produce a ten-to-one kill ratio was a metric of success, but the televised carnage of 1968, in which 16,592 Americans died, was too much for audiences back home. After Tet and Khe Sanh, the war was no longer America’s to win, only to avoid losing. Continue reading “The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War”

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Top 9 must-visit destinations in Hue city

Hue Imperial Citadel, Tam Giang lagoon, and Thien Mu pagoda are among the must-visit destinations in the central province of Thua Thien Hue for tourists.

Top 9 must-visit destinations in Hue city
Thien Mu pagoda was originally built in 1601. It is located on Ha Khe hill and can be found about 5km from Hue city with views of the Huong river. Visitors can immerse themselves amid a tranquil atmosphere and clean air. Continue reading “Top 9 must-visit destinations in Hue city”

Ha Long City transformed into Vietnam’s top destination

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While tourists have flocked to Ha Long Bay to admire the heavenly and distinctive karst topography for many years, Ha Long City has always lacked cultural events, modern entertainment and attractive beaches to prolong the duration of their visits.

But that’s finally changing thanks to a major makeover that’s transformed the city’s image.

A natural wonder of the world

When Ha Long Bay was recognized as world nature heritage by UNESCO in 1994, local people in Ha Long city and Quang Ninh province imagined a bright future for their homeland’s tourism industry. Each year, the city started to see millions of tourists from all over the world, but very few actually stayed in Ha Long City. Both domestic and international tourists were coming to see Ha Long Bay, considered to be a ‘natural wonder of the world’, a place where you ‘must see in your lifetime’.

Continue reading “Ha Long City transformed into Vietnam’s top destination”