Virginia Morris


Author, EXPLORER and ACADEMIC researcher

A History of the Ho Chi Minh Trail

The Road to Freedom

A rare insight into the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Lao PDR and Vietnam. With highly detailed maps and a large number of photographs, you can either use the book to travel the route if you have an adventurous spirit or enjoy following the Trail from your armchair.

Virginia Morris and Clive Hills were the first Westerners to traverse the length of the Ho Chi Minh Trail since the end of the Vietnam War. This included walking 500 miles in Lao across one of the worlds most heavily bombed mountain ranges. They traced the footsteps of the hundreds of thousands who designed, built, used and fought along it.

The Trail was a decisive factor in the defeat of American forces in the Vietnam War. At the peak of its 16 years' operation, the Trail ran through North and South Vietnam, Lao and Cambodia. Despite an estimated 4 million tons of US bombs, efforts to stop the transport of essential goods to the communist army in the South over the Trail failed, and by the end of the war over a million tons of supplies had been transported and 2 million troops had traversed the Trail.



Jim Nance, who is a sculptor and artist, was commissioned to do a bronze map of Southeast Asia to be installed in the Air Force Vietnam Memorial at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado, United States. This is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. The bronze shows amongst other things the route of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and Jim used the maps from A History of the Ho Chi Minh Trail to help design the road system on the Memorial.

A History of the Ho Chi Minh Trail was published as a special addition for the 90th birthday of Lieutenant General Dong Si Nguyen, who was the commander of the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War. The project was led by his son who is now the Chairman of Vietnam Airways.