Having studied the Vietnam War at school and being a couple of geeks in general, we were extremely excited to see the Vietcong tunnels – though having been so disturbed by the Killing Fields in Cambodia, we were slightly more hesitant than we might otherwise have been to learn more about the aftermaths of war and the impact on the countries involved.
As the Vietcong were living in their enemy’s territory, they had to live underground and built an entire and extensive underground community – some people living down there for as long as 27 years. There were kitchens, bedrooms and even maternity wards.
Our tour guide (nicknamed ‘Jackie Chan’ years ago by the Americans) had been a translator for the Americans and so after the war, the opposing side winning with the Fall of Saigon, he was arrested and spent two years in prison, where he had to collect up and dispose of mines which the Americans had dropped but which had failed to detonate. Apparently Vietnam won’t be clear of all the mines for 100 years after the war ended.