Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Jun 7, 2012


Early n the morning we left for the Cu Chi area, about 40 miles northwest from Ho hi Minh City.

Roads ere congested with hordes of people on motorcycles eading to their jobs. Some people wore masks, pparently to protect themselves from pollution.

Tunnels in the Cu Chi area were used by the iet Cong in their 1960-1975 resistance against the Americans. The tunnels extended o as far places as Cambodia, and allowed the Viet Cong to carry on activities unseeb, ven in the government and U.S. controlled areas.

We isited the Ben Dinh Tunnel Complex hich is one of the areas being preserved as the historic national relic.

For their protection, they built several types of traps against the enemy intruders and scouts.

Also tunnels had camouflaged entrances and exits.

To conceal their location, they had devised ingenious ways to channel fresh air into the tunnels and smoke out, in far-off places.

The complex consisted of underground meeting rooms, hospitals, kitchen facilities, and weaponmaking sites.

Next we went to Tay Nih to visit the Cao Dai Holy See Temple, about15 miles away, for their noon prayer assembly. It is the holy seat of Cao Dai religion, which was founded by Ngo Van Chieu, in Vietnam in 1926. The practitioners are pacifists. They pray four times a day, and consume vegetarian food, 10 days a month.

It is a syncretistic faith based on teachings of Christianity, Islam, Taoism, and Buddhism. The followers of each religious origin are identified by robes of different colors

The Temple’s interior has brightly carved pillars, and colorful murals.

They have adopted nontraditional saints namely, Louis Pasteur, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Victor Hugo.

After lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant, we proceeded to our hotel to enjoy a restful afternoon.

We ended the day with a Dosa dinner at a Saigon, a South Indian restaurant.

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