Virginia Morris


Author, EXPLORER and ACADEMIC researcher


A History of the Ho Chi Minh Trail

The Road to Freedom

As the first westerners to travel the trail, the author and her husband have laid bare some of its greatest secrets.
General Sir John Reith KCB CBE, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Colonel Commandant, The Parachute Regiment. See full forward

Your book was awesome and fascinating, spellbinding and I wish I had had the guts to spend the same amount of time as you did doing such a tome.
Tim Page, Award-winning photojournalist and Vietnam War photographer

All books on Vietnam should have maps like The Road to Freedom.
General Vo Nguyen Giap, Supreme Commander of the Vietnamese People’s Army

I wish I had had this information in 1969.
An American Special Forces veteran who operated along the Trail

The Road to Freedom is a remarkable achievement, a meticulous inquiry into one of warfare's most compelling stories, how the North Vietnamese Army kept the Ho Chi Minh trail operating in the face of everything the Americans could throw at them.
Mark Urban, Diplomatic Editor, Newsnight BBC

Who said there were no new adventures out there? Author Morris and husband Hills, a former Para-turned-photographer, traced the 20,000km Ho Chi Minh Trail - the first westerners to do so - to unravel the story of an extraordinary military achievement and soldiers behind it. Their words, images and maps shed light on the mythical supply route which defied every attempt by the world's most powerful military nation to bomb it out of existence.

Soldier - Magazine of the British Army June 2007

Today's war, it seems, is often tomorrow's tourist attraction. Even Vietnam is now turning its unhappy history to profit. The Ho Chi Minh Trail has not quite been recast as a signposted Long Distance Footpath, but surely it can't be far off. A History of the Ho Chi Minh Trail: The Road to Freedom is an account by Dr Virginia Morris of her journey along the trail - making her the first Westerner to traverse its whole length.

Mail on Sunday 13th August 2006 Travel Book of the Week

A thoughtful, informative and personal account of one woman's burning ambition to complete the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Well worth a read if you're curious about this part of history and want to learn more. It made me want to experience the journey for myself.

Women Writers Network, UK

The Road to Freedom is actually several books in one. It provides an interesting history of the origins, development, and operation of the famed Ho Chi Minh Trail, which sustained the flow of supplies to North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam. The author conducted numerous interviews with veterans of the war, from citizens and private soldiers to General Vo Nguyen Giap. In addition to the historical treatment of the trail, the author looks at the impact of the war on the people who worked or lived along it and she provides an excellent travelogue of the trail, with numerous illustrations, many in colour. The author manages to braid these three somewhat disparate threads together rather nicely, making for a readable, interesting work. The Road to Freedom will be useful to anyone interested in the Vietnam War.

The NYMAS REVIEW, No. 39, Fall 2006

Publication of the New York Military Affairs Symposium

The book is the outcome of the author’s year-long journey along the tortuous Ho Chi Minh Trail, which runs through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, although she spent much of her time travelling in Laos. It is a well-balanced travelogue intertwined with history and weaves a clever dialogue between the past and the present. One of the main purposes of the book is to give Laos a place in the history of the Vietnam War, or, as the author rightly refers to it, the Indochina War, because ‘Laos was written out of its history’ (p.26). See full review

Sud Chonchirdsin - Journal of the Siam Society, Volume 96, 2008.