January 12, 2006
Our travels today focused primarily on the Vietnam War, as we visited the Demilitarized Zone. We got an early start, leaving from Hue at 7:00 a.m. It took almost three hours to get to the DMZ and we picked up a wonderfully informative guide in Dong Ha, who spent the day with us.
Our first major stop was at the Vinh Moc tunnels. The tunnels were dug and used by the local villagers during sieges. After Vinh Moc was essentially destroyed, the tunnels were used
by the Viet Cong. We were able to go through a section of the
tunnels, which I found particularly fun, although some of claustrophobic peers would disagree. While fun, the tunnels were also a reminder of the conditions of war. By putting myself in the place of former Vinh Moc villagers, it became difficult to imagine that people had to live down there in the dampness and darkness for extended periods of time.
For lunch, we enjoyed a set menu meal back in Dong Ha, which consisted of rice, spring rolls, soup, beef with vegetables, fish, and mixed vegetables. What I ate was delicious and the rest of the group seemed equally pleased.