The trip started off with a visit to the Museum of Vietnamese History, which was fascinating. It was great to see how Vietnam has developed through the different periods of history.
On the Friday, we travelled out of the city to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels. We had a general tour of the tunnels and got to see what life was like for the people that lived and fought in the area during the American war. The people came up with many ingenious ways of trying to survive in such harsh conditions. A particular favourite were the special sandals that they made from recycled tyres that left footprints that went in both directions! The students travelled through a short stretch of tunnels and were really shocked at how small the tunnels were and at how hot it was down there. They were even more shocked when they discovered that these tunnels had been enlarged especially for the larger-sized tourists! The following day we went to look at the war museum that contained some shocking pictures of key events of the war especially the effects of Agent Orange.
On the Sunday we were very lucky to be able to visit a local orphanage which is run by Buddhist monks. Many of the children in this orphanage have very severe disabilities, some as a result of Agent Orange. It was heartbreaking to see these children and really made our own students reflect on their own lives and how lucky they are to have loving families and stable lives. We finished the tour by looking around iconic buildings in HCMC such as the Reunification Palace, Cathedral, Opera House and the Post Office. The trip was hugely successful and gave the students a taste of recent history.
The students were a real pleasure to accompany. The tour manager, Paul from North Star, even took the time to write to the Principal in praise of the behavior, interest and sense of maturity and fun observable in our students. They are a real credit to you and to the school.
Mr Philip Stanier - Geography and History Teacher