Friday, October 8, 2010

Vinh Moc Tunnels, DMZ

The most extraordinary thing about the Vinh Moc tunnels are the escape routes that lead right out onto the beach. Hidden by dense vegetation, the escape routes led from the living quarters and emerge just a few metres from the shore.
Vinh Moc tunnels were hand built between 1954 and 1972 and were occupied by around 1000 people while the US bombarded the area by dropping 5000 tons of explosives.

The tunnels, just north of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) were constructed on three levels, ranging in depth from 12 to 23 metres. We descended with torchlights into the snaking multi-levelled tunnels. This is a much more authentic experience than the more famous tunnels at Cu Chi because you spend more time underground in the darknesss and the sense of subterranean living is greater. There’s also a small museum with pictures; one of the most interesting is the Vinh Moc nursery photograph. Seventeen children were born underground during the families’ hidden existence.

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