Cu Chi tunnels, which were more than 250 km long and three levels
deep, were important for the Viet Cong victory over the Americans
as they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area around
Sai Gon. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist
attraction giving the visitor a unique experience of what underground
life in the American war was like.
The district of Cu Chi was the most bombed shelled,
gassed, defoliated, and generally devastated area in the history
of warfare. It was declared a "free fire zone" which meant that
artillery fire fell on it at night, and that bomber pilots were
encouraged to drop unused explosives and napalm on the area before
returning to base. In essence, anything that moved was considered
a target and blown away.
While U.S. forces relied on artillery support from
fixed "Fire Bases," the Vietnamese used their tunnel system to move
their artillery around, making it difficult for the U.S. troops
to locate them. In one tunnel complex in Cu Chi the U.S. found two
105 field pieces in perfect working condition. They would be stripped
down outside, taken into the tunnels and assembled during the day
for maintenance, stripped again, and then taken back through the
tunnels to be reassembled in a new location outside and used the
These are only a few of the stories of the tunnels
of Cu Chi. Today the tunnels still stand, proof that the determination
of the people - and not technology - can determine who wins a war.
The Mekong Delta is the southernmost region of
Viet Nam. Mekong delta is not only the biggest rice basket but also
the biggest fruit gardens of Viet Nam. Food here tastes different
from other places. Beside the common food, the local dishes also
comprise snakes, tortoises, bats, eels, etc.
Because the plains are periodically flooded by
the rising Mekong River, traditional transportation is by boat along
a vast network of canals. A cruise along these canals with their
floating markets always proves to be a fascinating experience for
all visitors. The city of Can Tho is a capital of the Mekong Delta.
Other provinces are included: My Tho, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Dong Thap,
Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang with
Ha Tien & Phu Quoc.
Just walk idly in My Tho or Vinh Long or Can Tho
and discover the daily life of the Vietnamese on the river and arroyos,
taste the sweet and fresh coconut juice and smell the particular
fragrance of the rice paddies. Further down to Soc Trang, the mysterious
Khmer culture is hidden behind the gates of Hinayana temples. The
Mekong River with its intertwining branches will lead you from one
surprise to another. The hospitality of the people is the most impressing.
They welcome you like relatives coming home.
Visit the Mekong Delta to understand why it is
called the rice stock of Viet Nam, why a sampan tied to a coconut
tree can evoke nostalgia. There you will find the simplest people,
who would not care much about the luxury life of the city.