Today, we got to visit another important site that pertained to the Vietnam war, the Cu Chi tunnels. This tunnel system was integral to the Viet-Cong’s guerrilla style of warfare. They would be able to pop out of the ground, shoot at US troops, and then disappear back into the tunnels. This led the US troops to nickname these guerrillas as the “ghost army” as it was if they were fighting ghosts. The tunnels themselves were also extremely strategically located. They were close enough to Saigon that the Viet-Cong could raid and attack it, but also close enough to Cambodia that their troops could run and hide there. This allowed for the perfect guerrilla tactics that were used against the US troops. The Cu Chi area also provided many natural defenses to the tunnel systems. Chief among these is the jungle. It was almost impossible to see the entrances to the tunnel systems among the foliage of the jungle. Thus, it was the perfect location for these tunnels to exist.
Going through the tunnels was an adventure in and of itself. There were practically cities in these tunnels. Anything from medical facilities to dining halls were there. All with narrow tunnels connecting them together. I was able to crawl through all of the tunnels but they were definitely narrow and not comfortable.
It was also interesting to see the Vietnamese government take on the war. There were many signs and videos of the war there. All described to the US as devils and villains who committed all of the atrocities of the war. It failed to mention the faults of the Viet-Cong. Showing that history is indeed written by the victors. Our guide lived through the Vietnam war and provided invaluable input regarding the war. He described the atrocities of both sides. In short, no side was with out fault. War is hell. There is no place for peace and friendship, the only goal is killing. This was the general message that our guide repeated. Nobody is without fault both sides did terrible things in the name of their causes. An interesting fact he told was in fact that not many of the Viet-Cong realized that they were fighting for communism. They fought only for the liberation of Vietnam and many felt betrayed when at the end of the war Vietnam went red. This trip was extremely educational and gave myself a new perspective on what the war must have been like.