Cong came to pick me up at 7:30.  It took about 1 1/2 hours to get to Chu Chi.  I am always amazed at how quickly the urban congestion turns into quiet narrow roads with cows grazing and sometimes crossing.  When we got to the tunnels there was hardly anyone there.  It was fascinating and reinforced my belief that there is an enormous strength and resiliance in the Vietnamese people.  I took lots of photos of the various devices that they made to torture and trap the US soldiers.  They were extremely clever and motivated to keep their land.

 

I actually went down into the tunnel.  You may know that the real tunnels were too small for the average American.  There were soldiers in the army called tunnel rats who would scout the tunnels.  Not a job I would be applying for.  Anyway, it was extremely interesting and, by the time we left, the parking lot was full of buses bringing tourists from many countries speaking many different languages.

We then drove another 1 1/2 hours to the Cao Dai noon service.  This is another experience that pictures will do greater justice to than the description with words. They followers are all dressed in white with the exception of several men in gold, blue and red who clearly are senior in some way.  This group has 2 million followers.  Apparently they combine Buddism, Taoism and Confusious  principles.  Sounds complicated to me.  The service was very beautiful.  There was a chorus of women singing.  They were accompanied by a group of musicians playing instruments I was unfamiliar with.

By the time we left and stopped for lunch it was 2pm and we had a three hour drive back to Saigon.  If the roads were better and the traffic was not so congested it would probably take half that time.  I have become accustomed to the time it takes to travel and I hope that makes me more patient when I return to NY.

   

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