During the war where how was it possible to cross the DMZ partition from south to north in order to visit family?

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A friend of mine from new zealand says he flew into saigon from BAngkok and took a bus all the way tup  north to the border with china to visit friends. He is 96 years old now and his memory is failing him so i thought i would try to find out is this was really possible or not. He cant remember the exact year but says it was between late 50's early 60s. He also claims that to return to saigon he first of all cycled along an american built road throught the jungle that ran past where his friends lived until he reached an american camp ( perhaps a couple of days cycling ). then from the camp (he cant remember the name ) he caught a bus to saigon.. If this all took place south of the DMZ it seems to fit but he is adamant he was up by the chinese border. Any help would be appreciated
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From china border (Lang Son, Ha Giang...) to DMZ is more than 700km

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He say he all cycled, that was not easy and it sure took 15 - 30 days.

Anyway, that was possible.

As you see, The Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone ran along the Ben Hai River for much of its length, So to cross the river was not easy.

But i think that was possible for individual.

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