Today we went to see the Cu Chi Tunnel System used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. This was the first time we really got to see the actual jungle area of Vietnam. Today felt like the hottest day, probably at least partially caused by the high humidity caused by the tropical forest. There were a lot of weird bugs in the forest that I have never seen before including giant spiders and bugs that had bright green shells, which was kind of weird but cool to see. Out of the four tunnels that we saw during our tour, I only went in the first one, but it was a really interesting experience other than the bat and gigantic centipedes down there. We learned that the tunnels were used by the Viet Cong to get from place to place without being seen or to hide, and that one wrong turn in the tunnel could lead to death. We got to see some of the traps that they used to hide and protect the tunnels including spinning trap doors that were hidden in the grass and if fallen into led to large bamboo spikes. We also saw multiple craters in the ground, most of which resulted from land mines or bombs. In the little video we watched, the US were portrayed as the evil side portraying the saying that “history is written by the victors”. It is the same reason why countries such as Germany and Japan were portrayed as evil after World War II.
After visiting the tunnels, we had lunch at a restaurant in Cu Chi, and had one of my favorite meals here so far. The meal included rice, hot pot, calamari, shrimp spring rolls, and chicken legs with pineapple slices for dessert.
After lunch, we visited the Cu Chi Military Cemetery, where many soldiers from the Vietnam War were buried. It looked like their version of the Arlington National Cemetery, with many graves spread out over the huge piece of land. I also noticed that along with the Vietnam flags, there were Communist Party flags located all over the cemetery.
Overall, the day was a good learning experience and I definitely know a lot more about the war than I did coming in to today.