Day 36: Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple

Day 36: Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple

Today we took a bus ride to Cu chi. A sight of American and Vietnam fighting. The special thing about Cu chi was it’s vast tunnel system that spans hundreds of kilometers with several layers and rooms. It was very interesting going and watching a movie about the cu chi people before the war. It was interesting because the video made it seem like life was amazing and these people were almost happy to go to war with the Americans. Even our guide was telling us that the cu chi people did not want to kill Americans but only do psychological damage to them. But it was hard to take his word for it when you are looking at a trap which was a hole filled with spiked bamboo sticks. Some of us went into the tunnel system and traveled through them.
Later in the day we went to a cao dai worship service. I thought that it was a beautiful temple building with great architecture. The service itself I did not understand nor try to because this religion seemed too complex for me. Cao dai is the native religion to Vietnam with over half a million followers world wide, but mostly in Vietnam.
Today was difficult seeing the areas that were filled with war and makes you think about the other wars going on. For example, will the war in Syria be turned into a tourist attraction at some point in time? And will we be taught that they wanted to go to war? These are questions that have come up on this trip for me.

A Vietnamese, Chinese and French ‘saint’ (Victor Hugo) spell out the tenets of Cao Daiism

Study Abroad

Toby Bartlett

China/Vietnam 2019