From Ho Chi Minh’s fictional Diary:

8 February 1941
Pac Bo, Vietnam

How my heart leapt when returning to my homeland after more than thirty years! When we arrived at Milestone 108 on the Vietnamese/Chinese border today, we were warmly welcomed by cadre from Cao Bang Province. They then led us to Pac Bo, which we will make into our base to fight against the Japanese and, if necessary, the French. The conditions here will be difficult but relatively hidden.

This haven is even more beautiful than I remembered in my home area.

Spending mornings beside the brook and evenings in the cave,
Living on maize soup and bamboo shoots,
always on the alert
I work on a wobbly stone desk translating the Soviet Party History,
Oh, what a life of luxury for a revolutionary!

Ho had spent thirty years exploring the world for possible help in freeing Vietnam from French control rule. He found help in the Soviet Union and China, learned many techniques for building a revolution, and recruited ex-patriot Vietnamese in Canton, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Siam, and along the Chinese-Vietnamese border. It was in this later base that most of the overseas revolutionary Vietnamese assembled and maintained contact with their comrades deeper inside Vietnam. Ho had also established friendly relations with Chiang Fa-kwei, military ruler in southwest China, and with Le Chi-sen, the leader of Chiang Kai-shek’s army in that area, both of whom saw in Ho and his cohorts a useful ally against the threat of a Japanese invasion coming up from Vietnam.

This period marked Ho’s first entry into Vietnam since he had sailed off from the south thirty years earlier. After independence, Pac Bo became a famous pilgrimage. It was near this cave at Pac Bo on May 19, 1941 that Ho formed the Vietnam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi (Vietnam Independence League), known to most in the West as the Vietminh.
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