“Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, March 1968: US Navy Hospital Corpsman Theodore Rutkowski of Pittsburgh lies on the ground just outside of Khe Sanh’s outer defenses and uses a stethoscope to listen for signs of Viet Cong tunneling beneath the beleaguered base. Covering him is US Marine Julian Kalama of San Lorenzo, Calif.”

Photographed by John Olson for Stars and Stripes

Did I ever tell you guys about the time my mates got kicked out of a bar for the most Australian reason ever?
So they where out in the middle of Woop Woop in the United States, in the only bar in town, drunk. And they wanted to hear Khe Sanh. Because of course. But naturally the DJ doesn’t know what that is, so they ask and ask and get nothing but no’s. So they wait for DJ to go on break and try to get into the laptop to play some Khe Sanh. Needless to say, the DJ was pissed and they got kicked out of the only bar in town.


Day 8: Caves in Phong Nha and Dong Hoi Market

Aside from managing to get my phone run over by a van, we also spent some time at a couple caves and a local market.

Our tour guide for the cave tours called himself Bamboo (he’s on the left in one of the photos above) and learned English by watching Australian shows and movies. He said he went to a friend’s early Christmas party and drank too much the night before. He struggled through the day, but did a good job hiding his hangover.

The first of the two caves was Phong Nha Cave, which has about 41km of total passage distance and is the second largest cave in the world. Because of the river that ran through the cave, it was the more interesting one in my opinion. According to Bamboo, the river is the longest in the world.

Paradise Cave, the second cave we visited, runs about 31km and is the longer than Phong Nha Cave. There were more impressive stalagmite and stalactite formations here, but by this point I had seen to many to care much.

Before we were dropped off, we stopped at one of the crossroads where the Battle of Khe Sanh happened, 51km from Laos. It was also the road where provisions to the North Vietnamese Army were brought into Vietnam from Laos.

Before dinner we walked around the market back in Dong Hoi to buy some tropical fruits. Lots of live crabs, fish and shrimp and neatly stacked fruit to chose from. Ended up with guava, dragonfruit, some kind of apple looking thing that you had to scoop out to eat and a coconut.