The mystery of Route 327

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_7270.jpg


The inscription reads:

327
DONGHA
327 km

Route 327, anyone?

Cheers,
Peter.
 

jimoi

Ol'Timer
Nov 17, 2004
311
0
0
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.
 
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.
 

mat.ward

Ol'Timer
May 29, 2006
72
1
0
www.matward.com
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.