The Cu Chi tunnels are about 39 km from Saigon. At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The US could not gain control of the area because of the efficiency of the underground system. Families lived underground, made weapons, schooled their children, etc.
When I first went into a tunnel, I felt a tinge of claustrophobia but then thought if this was a matter of life or death- you’d have no choice. The tunnels were hot- they built ventilation systems into them that actually went through termite mounds to throw off any human smells dogs might pick up on. When they would cook, they would run their smoke up through a tunnel system that would slowly release the smoke out of a pile of leaves. Unless you were standing directly next to the pile of leaves- the smoke would go unnoticed. They had underground dining halls, a meeting room and a hospital.
At one point, the tunnels were so well hidden/unknown to the American forces that they built a base right on top of a section of it.
These human traps are horrific. Hidden by twigs and leaves, anyone stepping on a trap would be bludgeoned to death. They made ankle traps, armpit traps, door traps, etc. Poisoned spikes coming at you from every direction. If, for some reason, you survived- you would eventually bleed to death at the bottom of the hole or get shot by a Vietcong. Honestly, the thought of making these things is bone chilling.
The Vietcong did not want the US in Vietnam. Men, women and children were fighting to keep their homes. The south Vietnamese had made the villages move so they could have more control over supplies getting to and from the Vietcong. They wanted to cut off the tunnel system, but it was too elaborate (over 200km in length.)
I assume a lot of the US soldiers didn’t know exactly what they were doing there and what they were fighting for. When you’re at these war sites, you just feel overwhelmingly sad. Maddux said, “this is depressing!”
During the ride to the next museum, we all talked about things in life that are unfair. That war was a prime example of unfair- in so many different ways.
This photo was taken in Mui Ne next to the beach. There are flowers that look similar to this one but look more like jellyfish. This one was pretty, though, so we took a picture for Y!
Maddux was dying to get on a jet ski, so we decided to go for it! Everyone loved it. Lennon was excited about a small whirlpool they made by going in really fast circles in the ‘middle of the ocean.’ Emerson said that images and the theme song from the movie Jaws kept running through her head. I have to admit, I think that sometimes, too, when I’m in the ocean. I’ll envision a shark watching my legs slowly going back and forth underwater. That movie continues to scare the crap out of people. Whoops! Just went off on a tangent. Anyways, Maddux absolutely loved the jet ski. He wanted to stay on it longer and go faster! Maybe he’ll be the next Evil Knievel!