Vietnam is an Asian country located east of the Indochinese peninsula. It covers an area of 330,967 km². In 2019, this country has approximately 96.2 million inhabitants. It became a socialist after long battles and was thus named the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
It was during the “Tet”, the Vietnamese equivalent of the lunar new year. A huge, Chinese-influenced festival takes place to celebrate the New Year. I traveled Vietnam from South to North, mostly on a Yamaha 125cc rental motorcycle. From the economic capital of Ho Chi Minh to the administrative capital of Hanoi, via Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Phan Rang, Ninh Bình …
Many things have marked me in this country, especially the Vietnam War.
Highlights from VIETNAM
- At its narrowest point, Vietnam is only 40.23 km wide;
- The country has 392 rivers and rice cultivation is abundant;
- The Vietnamese flag is red and consists of a 5-pointed gold star. The red background pays homage to the bloodshed during wars and the 5 branches of the star each represent farmers, soldiers, workers, youth and intellectuals;
- The number of scooters is staggering. According to 2013 statistics (just for illustration …), there were 37 million registered scooters compared to 2 million cars;
- The Vietnam War was one of the longest in history from 1954 to 1975. This war is full of significant events. Below, a paragraph dedicated to this theme.
Indeed, the Vietnam War marked me so much. She made me omit so many tastings, exotic fruits, seafood and iced coffees … So she became the theme of my trip. A theme point planned!
I saw the terror of history before my eyes. At the war museums located in the two great capitals of the country, I touched the weapons, the bombs and the machines of American massacres. In fact, there are still some American bombs that have just exploded today. Worse still, unexploded ordnance continues to claim victims. A colossal budget is spent on bomb clearance in Vietnam and giant hero rats are trained in the role of deminers …
Similarly, America’s atrocities of bacteriological wars abound. Agricultural scientists scour the mountainous villages in search of soil and groundwater contaminated to this day by American biological crimes. This is how researchers inform farmers about the health hazard of farming in certain areas.
CU CHI tunnels
The Ho Chi Minh Trail, an ingenious network of secret roads and tunnels carved out of the jungle, was an unusual tour to explore in the village of Cu Chi, 40 km from Ho Chi Minh (about 1 hour by motorbike). People lived in these narrow tunnels for decades to survive the American killing spree. These tunnels could house up to 16,000 people and many were born in them, dug wells, cooked on the foggy nights and breathed through the ventilation stacks disguised as termite mounds. From now on, the image of these tunnels as places of life became a legend glorifying the Vietnamese national communist defense movement.
Without thinking it, only one language dominated my text, the language of unjust war, of the undeserved criminal, of uncultivated thought, of tyrannical ignorance …