This month marks the 55th anniversary of Vietnam’s ‘Ha Giang Loop,’ a 185-kilometer road through the country’s mountainous north responsible for connecting ethnic minority communities with the modern world. The Ha Giang Loop, a rugged stretch of road connecting Ha Giang City with Meo Vac District in the nation’s northernmost province of Ha Giang, is the sole lifeline for many of the northern region’s ethnic minority communities. In the fifty-five years since it was inaugurated in March 1965, thousands of workers, including 14 young volunteers who died building the road, poured blood, sweat, and tears into the construction and maintenance of this vital artery in the rural north. Terraced paddy fields, a common sight along the Ha Giang Loop in Ha Giang Province, Vietnam ‘Happiness Road’ Workers first broke ground on the Ha Giang Loop on September 9, 1959. Two years later, President Ho Chi Minh named it ‘Happiness Road,’ hoping it would live up to the lofty expectations the people of Ha Giang had that the road would bring vast improvements to their lives. Six years later, on March 15, 1965, the road was completed and it was time to turn those expectations into a reality. The Ha Giang Loop in… Read full this story
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