Cu Chi tunnels

The network of tunnels near Cu Chi was a grim reminder of how difficult it must have been fighting a war where one of the enemy’s best strategies was concealment.  The tunnels were originally dug by the Vietnamese as a defence against the French, but were then used as a key part of the guerilla warfare waged by the Viet Cong against US troops.  The network extended for over 200 km and included living spaces, storerooms, kitchens, wells and medical clinics.  They also had lethal booby traps, often using sharp spikes intended to impale the ‘tunnel rats’ of the US whose job it was to enter the tunnels and drive out the enemy.  I had no desire to go down into the tunnels, as it was an extremely tight fit and I feared I would get stuck down there.  I cannot imagine what it was like to live down there throughout a war.  During our visit, there was the constant sound of rifle fire from the shooting range that gave visitors the opportunity to use real weapons and ammunition to fire at targets.  Heading back to Ho Chi Minh City, we passed a number of war cemeteries in the fields along the road.

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