Friday, January 17, 2014

First Day in Vietnam.

Last night we strolled down to the night market. It's not as good as Luang Prabang, but it was fun to look at the street food vendors, and stroll past the other market shops.

Today we left the hotel early and drove way out into the countryside. Our first stop was in an area famous for making rice paper wraps for spring rolls, as well as crispy rice snacks. We watched this woman making thin cakes that had shrimp and sesame seeds in them. Later they will be broken up and fried into crispy snacks. Her method is ancient, probably unchanged for centuries.

Across the street was a rubber plantation, something I've never seen. Vietnam exports huge quantities of rubber, mostly to China. We later drove through miles of these lovely plantations.

Finally we visited the Cu Chi Tunnels, over 130 miles of underground tunnels and rooms used extensively by the Viet Cong throughout the war. This was fascinating. We saw how the access in and out was cleverly hidden, how they built and marked booby traps for US troops, and we crept around in some of the tunnels, that have been widened now to fit the fat American tourists into! We heard a lot of history of this country, especially from their point of view about the war. It inspires me to learn more.

American cluster bombs -here they are again in all their ugliness.

Our guide demonstrated how they hid.

Johna jumped right in and pulled the cover over her head. She was surprised to share the visit with a bat flying around her head in the tunnel

Booby trap, showing iron spikes in the ground.

Kitchen, with smoke holes hidden several yards away.

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Location:Đường Lê Lai,Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam

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