War History in Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

 › entry 32 of 44 › view all entries
Yesterday I spent the day walking around central HCMC.  The war museum was by far the best.  It was mostly photos of the American War with detailed captions of the stories behind each photo.  What I found most compelling though was how much respect was given to the photojournalists behind the photos.  There were background stories posted of the photographers who took most of the photos at the museum.  Most of those people died doing their jobs during the war.  And the museum covered photographers from all over the world, not just Vietnam.  There was even a woman photojournalist, an American named Dicky Chapelle, who died in the war.  It was awe inspiring to read about what these dedicated photographer went through to get those shots.  The museum also covered the massacres and tortures carried out by the Americans as well as the affects of Agent Orange.  Some of the photos were just sickening and so sad.  And to think that all this happened so recently and that so many still suffer today.

I also visited the Cu Chi tunnels where the villagers of Cu Chi spent 20 years building an underground tunnel system where they lived and based their resistance.  We were able to crawl through some of the tunnels themselves.  I can't imagine what it would have been like to live in those tunnels.  Just spending a few minutes in them got me feeling claustrophic and slightly panicky.   The sight also demonstrated some examples of the forest traps the Vietnamese used.  Very gruesome and ingenious all at the same time.  They were a very clever people. 
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