Cu Chi Tunnels. No color here   10 comments

The port was Phu My, Vietnam. The excursion took us to the Cu Chi Tunnels. I recommend that you go to this link to get more detail. Cu Chu Tunnels

Seeing and exploring the tunnels left us shaking our heads. There was no way the war could have been won against this connection of tunnels so small only the Vietnamese, smaller than Americans, could easily crawl through them.

Amazingly there were also underground rooms large enough to serve as hospitals, weapons storage, or eating areas.

If you read the link, you’ll see how miserable it was for the warriors who spent days in the tunnel, emerging at night to tend their own land. You’ll also see how miserable it became for the Americans and our allies, as well as for the decimated land.

Great efforts were taken, of course, to hide the tunnels. For example, here’s a fake termite mound that concealed the opening for air to enter the tunnel.

Fake Termite Mound

We tourists were invited to explore a section made somewhat larger so we could go through it. I’m including some photos, taken with my camera, of the experience in the tunnel. I could pretend I took them, but my parents implanted in me much too severe a superego, so I can’t lie. I have to confess that, Doug’s camera being too large to cart along safely, it was  my little one that went into the hole with him. I saw no need to duck walk through a tunnel.

Anyway, here’s part of the series that Doug took, starting with the folks in front of him entering the tunnel.

Entering Tunnel

And going deeper.

Deeper into tunnel

And the folks behind him emerging.

Exiting Tunnel

With the camera back in my hands, I got a very poor quality photo of a guide demonstrating the entrance into the tunnel. Arms up to make himself small enough. Some of the folks in our tour group tried it themselves. (I didn’t.)

On The Way Down

And finally, the entrance concealed.

Tunnel concealed

No, not a colorful day. But after the Cu Chi visit we had lunch at a very pleasant restaurant on the shore of the Saigon river. I was fascinated with the quiet beauty of a row of greenery flowing rapidly downstream. That’s what I chose as the header for this presentation. I’m also including the full photo here.

Greenery on the Saigon

So the excursion ended peacefully, with thoughts lingering of the futility of war.

I promise the next stop I’ll share will be much more colorful.

p.s. I’m quite sure you can increase the size of any photo by clicking on it.

10 responses to “Cu Chi Tunnels. No color here

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  1. I can only imagine.
  2. Wow, Sally. You are quick. And I have managed to correct the link if you want to read more.

  3. That was awesome. I would have hesitated going in there because it was so small and dark but my curiosity may have been so strong I may have overlooked my fears. Those were fascinating photos!! Thanks for sharing with me

  4. I had no idea of such an ingenious strategy for that time, yet a terrible way to live. Thank you for helping to educate all of us who haven’t been to Vietnam.

  5. Mona, the pictures and descriptions of these tunnels take me back to a place I don’t wish to go – a time of anger and frustration with U.S. policy and the futility of war. We Americans don’t learn. Iraq, Afghanistan. Next? Wherever it is, they will build the equivalents of the Cu Chi Tunnels, just as we would if we were invaded by a foreign country.

  6. Of course you know I agree with your comments. They also inspired me to realize the meaning for me of the metaphor of the rapidly flowing greens on the river. Time — our hope …

  7. Camille and I also took a trip to the CuChu tunnels and found them sobering and fascinating. It was about the last special tour we did during a fabulous 14days in Vietnam. I think we flew home the next day, heads spinning.

    We loved Vietnam. We went in 2004 with great group called OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) and it felt as if we saw it at the cusp of change. The kindness and generosity of the people were extraordinary. I went ready to ask for forgiveness for what we had done to them and their environment, and even in the war museum in Hanoi where we stood with Vietnamese looking at the same images of Agent Orange and homes aflame I felt no animosity. We brought back a laquer-ware vase of such simplicity and skill that nothing more than a single sprig is needed to complete it.

    We rank that trip as one of the best we ever went on.

    It has been a delight to see your photos!

    Keep ’em coming –

    love, Babs

    • Babs, for some reason I got the notice of your posting, but it didn’t arrive here, so I posted it in your stead. On our return from Cu Chi, one person asked the guide how they Vietnamese feel about Americans now. His response – “We are a forgiving people.” I’m still ruminating on that response.

      Thanks so much for reading, responding, and sharing. And yes, the Vietnamese were wonderful, as were all the folks we met on our route. I wish everyone could have the experience of meeting these real people. Would it make a difference … ?

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