I started out in Ho Chi Minh almost a month ago, where I ate and drank my way through the city, had so much vietnamese coffee I’m surprised I can sleep, visited the Vietnam War Remanants Museum and the Cu Chi tunnels and mostly wore myself out.
I wrote a post about this part of my trip several weeks ago, but lost it, which is no big deal, because I have to say that visiting that museum as an America was difficult and left me feeling incredibly guilty, which is maybe a bit impractical, as I wasn’t even alive then and I’m a first generation American, so my family wasn’t even here then, but hey, emotions aren’t logical. I did some reading before I went, and many visitors criticized the exhibits for their “obvious anti-American propaganda”. Anti-American, yes, was it propaganda? I have no idea. It was certainly enough to make you pretty darn emotional about a topic that up until now, you were fairly ignorant of. Obviously a Vietnamese museum, whose people still feel so wronged by what many call a pointless war is not going to present the most balanced views of history, just as any other country would also share their perspective. There were legions of pictures of the millions of Vietnamese affected by the spraying of Agent Orange, and how that is still affecting people today. I personally had no idea that generations after the people who were exposed to the spray are still being affected. Like kids born in THIS decade. It’s horrifying and really sad.
Anyway, the Cu Chi tunnels were also a really cool day trip that I did from HCMC, they are these underground tunnels that were actually quite massive and served as the Viet Cong’s base during the Tet Offensive and a hiding place during combat. You weren’t allowed to go down into the tunnels if you had asthma, and I can’t say I was really disappointed-they are very, very small and narrow and that is AFTER as our guide so eloquently told us, they have been “greatly enlarged for you western people”. Awkward laughs all around! Here are some photos:
Next up, Cambodia!