The mystery of Route 327

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by beddhist, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. beddhist

    beddhist Ol'Timer

    Here is a riddle for you: last year I found this old milestone. Now I remembered to take pictures of it, before it disappears into history. I think it's still in its original position.

    [​IMG]

    The inscription reads:

    327
    DONGHA
    327 km

    Route 327, anyone?

    Cheers,
    Peter.
     
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  3. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Peter,

    A quick Google shows a "Dong Ha" in Vietnam and also references to "hill 327" named so during the Vietnamese war i assume. Am I close?

    Cheers,

    Pikey.
     
  4. mat.ward

    mat.ward Ol'Timer

    Where was it? Maybe it refers to Dong Ha at the Vietnamese end of highway 9?
     
  5. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    Depends on where it was. I would guess it is on Hwy 9 somewhere around Seno or near Savanakhet. The markers are all the same, even the older ones you see outside Xam Nua.

    317 km to Dong Ha and I've seen markers in the north with the KM above and below the town name. Looking on the older maps of Laos, the route numbers in the south are low digits, under 100 so I'd have to guess 327 is a km redundant mark.
     
  6. mactbkk

    mactbkk Ol'Timer

  7. beddhist

    beddhist Ol'Timer

    I don't think any prizes can be awarded for locating Dong Ha in Vietnam, but yes, Savannakhet is close. In fact, the reverse side reads:

    327
    Savannakhet
    1 km

    My hunch is that this is a French milestone and that the French had a Route (or is that Route National?) 327 going between these two places.

    Cheers,
    Peter.
     
  8. mat.ward

    mat.ward Ol'Timer

    I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that sometimes in Vietnam the markers along a route give a distance to the terminal city/town of the route, as well as info on distance to various towns along the way (ie one marker may have "town X 60km" and the next might have "town Y 80km" but in addition to this there is always the km to the terminal city). I think I remember km to Hanoi was displayed on both sides of the markers for hundreds of kms in addition to various km distances to other towns. Jim would be able to say whether this is a figment of my imagination or not. I thought that the road east of Savannakhet into Vietnam has been called Highway 9 for a long time (originally named by the French?), but I don't really know. The explanation that there was once a 327 route is the simplest, and may be correct, but if so it seems a coincidence that the road name and distance to Dong Ha is the same.
     

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