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Surviving Inside Vietnam’s Cu Chi Tunnels

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This is one of the many entrances to the Cu Chi tunnels, a network of tunnels lived in by thousands of Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War. These tunnels which are located in the area called Cu Chi, near Ho Chi Minh city, belong to even a larger network of tunnels that spread throughout the country.

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As I walked uncomfortably through the tunnels, I was shocked at how the Vietnamese managed to live in such harsh and tight conditions. I could only imagine how dreadful each day must have been not knowing if you would survive yet another bomb thrown by the Americans. The space in the tunnels was extremely small and narrow. There were all kinds of passages and different sections designed for specific purposes. For example, there was a kitchen, an area for delivering babies and treating the ill, and a space for holding group meetings. I was impressed by the Vietnamese’s ability to live and work cooperatively under such stressful conditions. I must admit however, I had very mixed emotions about being in the tunnels. I was extremely curious and excited to see for myself what it was actually like to be inside the tunnels. Yet, the tunnels were a sad reminder that living underground was the only refuge for countless Vietnamese in their own country. As I exited the tunnels, let’s just say I was relieved to see the sunlight and breathe the fresh air.

The Black Hmong Tribe of Sapa

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A small ethnic group, known as the Black Hmong Tribe, lives in the northern mountainous area of Vietnam called Sapa. This was one of the most beautiful places we visited in Vietnam.  The hillsides were breathtaking, the air was fresh, and the atmosphere was peaceful and relaxing. But most importantly, the Hmong tribe members were so kind and helpful.  They guided us through the villages and showed us their homes and culture. It was interesting to note that all the members of the Black Hmong tribe were seen wearing traditional clothes like this mother and child.

Selling Food at Halong Bay

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At Halong Bay, Vietnam, vendors gather at the floating market. It is hard work for the vendors,
since they have to paddle around in the heat encouraging customers to buy their fresh fruits
and vegetables. We ended up buying some fresh pineapple and it was delicious!