Travel Guide

The anxiety of an American tourist when coming to Vietnam in peacetime


Before Amanda’s Vietnam private tours, many people expressed their anxiety about her safety with many questions, like “It is very risky, isn’t it?” This is the anxiety of an American tourist who comes to Vietnam in the peacetime. The story is about the memory of an American who comes back to Vietnam for the first time after America – Vietnam War. It will remind you of the wartime through relics, historical items, memories, historical stories.

For the first time setting foot on Vietnam in 2014, Amanda shared her very private thoughts in her Vietnam tours as an American citizen, in the traveling story below, posted in the personal blog Dangerous Business. Let’s check out and enjoy the greatest private tours in Vietnam.

Evidence of the war

The tour guide seemed to be so excited when he introduced us about the spike-board placed in front of us. He pointed at each sharpened metal piece which was made form exploded tanks and unexploded bombs. He described every type of traps one by one, he showed us how these traps work, also.

At the end of the tour, he told that the member at his father’s generation in his family also took part in the war against the US Force in the 1960s, 1970s to protect this country. There are many things that the American did that make me disappointed, their chattel slavery system and oppression, or concentration camps in the World War II. And of course, the war in Vietnam is one of these disappointing things.

When I was in high school, Vietnam is one of the main contents of history lessons. We learned about napalm bomb, dioxin, spike-traps, and massacre on innocent victims. We read the books and watched films, but it’s not always easy for us to make out immediately why the USA participated in the war in Vietnam.


Spike-trap in Cu Chi Tunnel

Tourists, who are not the American, in this tour to Cu Chi Tunnel appeared to be very confused by this story. They repeatedly asked: “Why did the war break out?” I felt a little bit uncomfortable, then we changed the topic as there’s no simple answer for it.

It seemed that there would be no simple answer to this question. In fact, our country did invade another country. A lot of innocent people were killed, many cities, towns were destroyed, and chemical weapon left unhealable scars both physically and mentally on survivors.


Cu Chi Tunnel Relics

Now, the life is no longer like what it was in the wartime many decades ago. With many Vietnamese people, it feels like it was just yesterday. Especially, in some places like Cu Chi, the war is reminded every day.

On the next day, we visited the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, where there are many propaganda posters which encourage Vietnamese people to fight against the US forces. We also saw many other heart-breaking pieces of evidence about the guilty of the American. It can be said that the museum is the meaningful destination in top Vietnam private tours.


Documents in War Remnants Museum

This museum is likely to force me to admit my response, as an American, stepping through exhibition rooms, I feel very guilty. It’s really fair because the US government hasn’t apologized for what had happened in Vietnam (or Laos, and Cambodia – in fact, our government hasn’t been ready to admit what they did in these countries).

I’m so glad when there are somewhere like Cu Chi Tunnel or the War Remnants Museum which force me, as an American, to look at the war in Vietnam from another aspect. These tourist sites force me to see the war as a local people, as a tourist who is not an American – many of them even have just learned about this war for the first time when they come to Vietnam.


War Remnants Museum

The crime that many American soldiers committed is undeniable. We learned about the My Lai massacre, read stories, and we could figure clearly the image of Napalm Child in our mind. However, a very small number of Vietnamese people know that many young American people were sent to Vietnam even though they didn’t want to.

At that time, the war was not widely known in the US but there were still many powerful strikes against the government. Four students from Kent State University died in 1970 when they took part in one of these strikes.


Tanks in War Remnants Museum

Many survival soldiers coming back from Vietnam battle have been suffering from unhealable wounds. They are addicted to heroin, mentally wounded, and they also have to suffer from diseases from dioxin. Nowadays, a majority of American agree that the government shouldn’t have participated in that war from the very beginning.

It can’t plead for the inhuman crime of a crew, but it’s worth unveiling to remind us that each issue has two sides, especially when talking about war.

The American in Vietnam

Before the Vietnam private tours, many people expressed their anxiety about her safety with many questions, like “It is very risky, isn’t it?”

In fact, Vietnamese people in many localities still hate American soldiers who invaded their country many decades ago. Many people still talk about the US with bitterness. But there is no one says any bad things as I am an American.


Foreigners visit War Remnants Museum

I feel welcomed and safe here. Vietnamese people understand that not every American people are bad, and they know a tourist like me is different from the ones who sent the army and weapons to their country 40 years ago.

After the war, Vietnam is in the process of changing and positively developing. Leaving wounds and feud, Vietnam has been making friends and welcoming more and more foreigners to our country. Let’s enjoy Vietnam private tours and see how Vietnam has changed, and recall memories of that war.

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