Peace Works Travel Blog

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Polytechnic School: Vietnam/Cambodia Discovery 2019

Cu Chi Tunnels – June 2019

We began the day at 8:00am with a two hour bus ride to Kim Phuc’s family restaurant. Kim Phuc is the famous little girl in the napalm bombing picture; during the Vietnam War, the U.S. dropped napalm bombs that destroyed Kim’s village and many others. Before the picture went viral, many US citizens were in support of the Vietnam War. However, the picture with Kim in it, changed many people’s views on the war. In her restaurant, we watched a documentary about her life after she was featured in her famous photo. When she was first hit by the napalm, she was told that she would not survive another day, but after receiving seventeen surgeries, she miraculously survived her many third degree burns.
After we finished the documentary, we visited the temple next to her restaurant and continued to learn about religion in Vietnam. According to Hau, our tour guide, most temples in Vietnam are built similarly in their style. Kim Phuc’s village is very different from Saigon. We got an opportunity to see the differences between urban and suburban areas in Vietnam.
Then, we drove fifty minutes to the Cu Chi tunnels which was a system of tunnels used by Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War. We got to see many gorilla warfare strategies that were used in this area. Such their traps and fighting tactics. They had many traps which used bamboo spikes to kill American soldiers. Everybody in our group had an experience when we tried to enter one of the secret entrances to the tunnels. Also, on our journey we saw many millipedes. Colin Matthews was deathly afraid of these millipedes. When we entered the tunnels, many of us were impressed and also claustrophobic. They were small dark tunnels that ran to various entrances hidden among the trees. We had never seen anything like it; we were amazed by the intricacy of the tunnels.
We then finished the rest of our day in the hotel. We all were exhausted from a long day in the sun, so many of us took naps until we ate dinner in our hotel. Today was a great day to finish off our stay in Ho Chi Minh City. Farewell, Vietnam!

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