Morbid tourism

Last weekend I went over to Saigon, mainly to meet Bhavna, who was in some important international meeting there. We took off on a tour of the Cu Chi tunnels, to absorb some of the morbid history that Vietnam is most famous for. I was mentally preparing myself for some painful sights, and was sufficiently satisfied by the display.

Now you see him...

... now you don't!

Booby traps, torture weapons, shooting gallery, the place had it all!

Looks like an ordinary grassy patch ...

...which transforms into a spiky grave for unsuspecting soldiers

We were just brave enough to venture into the shortest 40m tunnel – and could hardly wait to get out. Couldn’t take any pictures inside because we were advised not to stop for anything! Didn’t want to, anyway. And this is after the exhibit tunnels have been expanded to let in large sized tourists!

After all the sights, it was almost a relief to come across a mundane live activity – rice paper making – that made such a pretty picture, drying out in the sun.

Rice paper shadows

They could have done a better job of the final film, or at least updated the style to make it more relevant for today, but all in all, the place makes you think deeply about the futility of war.

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