Quang Ngai

22

Nov
2021

Quang Ngai

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This sleepy provincial capital is a hidden gem, with ancient archaeological finds within a short driving distance.

Environs

Son My was the site of the appalling My Lai Massacre of 1968 and a chilling Memorial  Park has been set up in the sub- hamlet of Tu Cung. A dark, granite  museum documents the events in horrific detail. On display are the photographs of the atrocity that shocked the world and contributed sub stantially to American disillu sionment with the war. Motorbike taxis in Quang Ngai make the 9­mile (15­km) trip east to Son My.

Five miles (8 km) northeast of Quang Ngai, the 1,200­ year­old Chau Sa citadel is evidence that the Cham once controlled the area. Closer to the western mountains, an ancient wall stretches some 79 miles (127 km). It was apparently built in 1819 by the Vietnamese for security and trade regulation between the Hre minority and the Viets.

My Lai massacre

During the Vietnam War, the area around Quang Ngai was considered sympathetic to the Vietcong. On March 16, 1968, a strong force of US infantry moved into the area seeking revenge for the deaths of several colleagues in the district. Over the next 4 hours, in the worst documented US war crime of the Vietnam War, about 500 Vietnamese civilians were systematically murdered, half of them women and children, as the US soldiers ran out of control. Lieutenant William Calley, who organized the massacre, was convicted of murder but was released a few years later pending appeal on the orders of President Nixon. No others were ever convicted.

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