A picturesque village in the foothills of the Annamite Mountains, 40km from the Vietnamese border, XEPON is a pleasant rural stopover for those in transit on the route to Vietnam or Savannakhet. The original town of Xepon was destroyed during the war – along with every house of the district’s two hundred villages – and was later rebuilt here 6km west of its original location, on the opposite bank of the Xe Banghiang River. The old city (written as “Tchepone” on some old maps) had been captured by communist forces in 1960 and became an important outpost on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. As such, it was the target of a joint South Vietnamese and American invasion in 1971, aimed at disrupting the flow of troops and supplies headed for communist forces in South Vietnam.