News Flash! HCMT Ride Dates Set

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There has been a schedule shift and the dates are now set for the Great Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride. We will hit the road in Laos on 30 March. We will leave from Vientiane and spend 14 days exploring. Our last day of riding will be 12 April and we will end up in Paske. We will depart from Paske on the morning of 13 April. Check out the map of our route. Continue reading

Places To Go – Alternate

No… this isn’t an alternate place to go. This is a place that was most often called “Alternate” by Americans “visiting” there…. Lima Site 20a.

“Alternate” was the epicenter of the Royalist war against the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese Army in Northern Laos. “Epicenter” hardly describes the place at the height of the war. It was the heart and soul of the Hmong armed forces. Their leader, Vang Pao (often just VP), and all his senior officers lived at “Alternate.” VP and the officers had their houses along the runway. There are stories of children playing right by the runway.

Seems the Laotians now spell it “LONGCHENG.” Photo courtesy of Don Duval

Long Tieng, with a variety of other spellings including Long Cheng, was the town that grew up around “Alternate.” At least 50,000 civilians and refugees lived there. Families of the Hmong army and air force also lived in Long Tieng. By 1968 VP had recruited 40,000 Hmong infantry. At one time, Continue reading