50 Years On, as we approach the anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, whatever your thoughts, whatever your beliefs, whichever side you supported, there is no denying the grit, determination and resourcefulness of the Viet Cong in this tragic war.
In order to combat better-supplied American and South Vietnamese forces, Communist guerrilla troops known as Viet Cong (VC) dug tens of thousands of miles of tunnels, including an extensive network running underneath the Cu Chi district northwest of Saigon.
Soldiers used these underground routes to house troops, transport communications and supplies, lay booby traps and mount surprise attacks, after which they could disappear underground to safety. To combat these guerrilla tactics, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces trained soldiers known as “tunnel rats” to navigate the tunnels in order to detect booby traps and enemy troop presence.
During a recent educational visit to Ho Chi Minh City we visited the Cu Chi tunnels and were amazed (and horrified too!) at the size of the tunnels they squeezed themselves into and the blood curdling booby traps they set.
It’s now history, which will be remembered at the end of April 2015. The Cu Chi tunnels are part of a Vietnam War memorial park in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), a popular tourist attraction and a great incentive destination.
Vietnam is now a peaceful country with beautiful scenery, wonderful food and a welcoming culture that has put the war behind them. It’s testament to the Vietnamese that in 50 years and with the help of tourism they have managed to turn the country around.