The last country I visited - Vietnam. I wish I had more time here and I may go back. There are so many things that I was unable to see and do. I learned more visiting here about the Vietnam war than I ever did in History class. I am in the middle of a couple books about it. It is fascinating to me. The way the Northern Vietnamese fought the Americans was amazing. The US had vastly superior weapons and so many of them, yet they couldn't secure the area. The Vietnamese used tunnels and had the desire to keep going. The VC (Viet Cong) could just pop up anywhere and then go back down and crawl around. Being here opened my eyes to the Vietnam War.
I saw all the usual sites in SE Asia like the family motorcycles. I would not want to be on that bike. Too scary for me.
The average number of tires per vehicle in SE Asia is 2.7. After being there, I think that number is too high. I didn't see many cars and it was mostly motorcycles.
Typical Vietnamese building.
I went inside this Church and amazed me. It was incredibly similar to the cathedrals of Europe.
The markets are fun. No foreigners and I often get looked at a little funny walking down the street. I can't figure out why I can't blend in more, I think it might be my shoes.
Or, maybe I need to buy one of the hats....
I went through this town at the wrong time. Twice a month, on the full moon and new moon, they have a lantern festival. The streets are lined with Vietnamese lanterns. But, I was there are the 3/4 moon, which doesn't have much significance to them.
My buddy. As I was waiting for a bus, he came up to me and wanted to hack with him. The feathered thing in his hand is a form of a hacky sack. It's a little harder though. We had fun, but he wasn't too good.
After we were hacking for a little while, I felt really bad for him. An adult came out obviously drunk and stumbled across the street almost getting hit by about four cars. When I looked at the little guy, he was just watching him and looked incredibly sad. His mom, who had been watching us, jumped up and went to pull the guy back to their house. I'm guessing the guy was this guys father. I felt so bad for the kid. I just wanted to take him away and help him, but then his mom came back and made him go home too. He was very sad to leave. I was sad to let him go.
They are everywhere....
And, now the battlefields. Compare the pictures on the left to the mountain. It's the same view 30 years later. On top of the mountain, there was a radio base. It is too steep to climb, so it was helicoptered in. If you look at the surrounding area, you will notice that there is no vegitation in the picture. During the war, most of the vegetation was destroyed.
See anything here?
Well, it was me hiding down in the tunnels. They don't have a lot of room to get in and out of them.
Here is what the inside of this one would look like if the entrance was cut away. About enough room to crawl though, and only then if you are quite skinny. When the Americans started exploring them in the war, there were places where they could fit because they were too big. Vietnamese are, in general, smaller, so they could fit.
There were a lot of other tunnels that were bigger. These were down South, near Saigon, they were about 80-100 centimeters.
They had rooms for living and everything down there. Here is a maternity room. There are 17 reported births that happened in these tunnels. They cooked, went to the bathroom, slept, sang, danced, and even had printing presses down in these tunnels. It was amazing that they could survive down there for years at a time.
In the middle of Vietnam, near the DeMilitarized Zone (DMZ), they had tunnels that were even bigger, I could almost stand up straight in them. Here is the entrance to them.
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