Vietnam's underworld - War era tunnel complexes as historical attractions
1965-1973 people from Vinh Linh district in Quang Tri province lived in the Vinh Moc tunnels, shielding soldiers and just surviving. If you asked a tourist to name a network of war era tunnels in Vietnam, no doubt they say Cu Chi. But there were plenty more underground tunnels built. In the DMZ, or Quang Tri province, where the bombing was at its most intense (it was declared a free fire zone by the U.S. Army) numerous underground tunnel complexes were built to help villagers survive. There are over 60 tunnels. The biggest tunnel is called Vinh Moc - Open since 1985 as a historical tourist attraction - and it is also testament to the courage of the local population.
Robert Haldane dies at 83 - His unit discovered the Cu Chi tunnels
Robert Haldane, an Army officer who led the battalion that exposed Cu Chi tunnels during the Vietnam War, died at 83. He was in charge of the American infantry contingent of the 8,000-man U.S.-Australian Operation Crimp. His troops came under fire as soon as they landed and were baffled when the enemy soldiers vanished in open terrain. The battalion found a large trench, and the area was clearly home to a regiment-size force, but few Viet Cong were seen - and yet snipers harassed the Americans. It wasn't until Sgt. Stewart L. Green sat on a nail, attached to a wooden trap door, that a camouflaged tunnel entrance was found.
Laos opens Vietnam War caves - One of the most secret sites from era
The caves at Viengxay, in north-eastern Laos, once hosted the country's communist revolutionaries as they plotted the US defeat in Indochina. Even in peacetime it takes 2 days to drive to Viengxay from the capital of Laos Vientiane. The remoteness of this "hidden valley" was one reason that the communist Pathet Lao chose it as its headquarters. The other was that the valley is full of caves - nearly 500 of them. Onechanh Somany spent 9 years living in the caves during the 1960s and 1970s enduring constant bombardment. "Every day from 7am until 10pm the Americans bombed us."
Laos opens wartime 'cave city' of communist guerrillas
More than 3 decades after the war ended, Laos has opened up to tourism a complex of caves which once sheltered communist guerrilla leaders from the most intense bombing campaign ever unleashed by the US. The more than 480 caves, which once housed 23,000 people, withstood a 9-year bombing campaign as the US tried to destroy the nearby Ho Chi Minh Trail and stem the advance of North Vietnamese troops and their Pathet Lao allies. Over 2 million tons of bombs were dropped on Laos over the 9 years, more than the amount that fell on all of Europe during World War II.