When Viet Cong pushed down to South Vietnam during the war, the tunnels played a significant role in eventually capturing Saigon to end the war. These tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots, storages, meeting areas, hospitals, and so on. When I actually got to walk down the tunnel, I was surprised by how well-built the system was. This confusing tunnel system is meant to confuse strangers, which were U.S. soldiers during the war, and to lead them to wrong ways or different kinds of traps. Even though the U.S. officials recognized the advantages that Viet Cong had with the tunnels and launched several campaigns to destroy the tunnel system, it went unsuccessful as it was very difficult to track down the whole system. Through this visit I was able to feel how desperate Vietnam was in seeking freedom and reunification of the country.
After the Cu Chi tunnels, we got to visit the workshop where war victims made various arts and crafts. Those victims were mostly impacted by the long-term effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants that were used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Even though some of the workers had noticeable disabilities, the products were incredibly well-made and well-designed. Though these innocent victims were harmed by the U.S., they were very welcoming and proud to show us the final products. I didn’t plan on purchasing anything, but once I entered the showroom, I wanted to buy a number of items for my parents and myself. I was very glad that I was able to purchase very artistic souvenirs at the same time I was supporting the victims from the war.