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A Walk back into History in Ky Anh Tunnel en vi

Welcome to Thach Tan village where Ky Anh tunnels are located. If you are listening to this audio guide, you might have stumbled on the glorious name of Ky Anh tunnels somewhere and were intrigued by its fascinating history. Whether you are familiar with the background story of this site, which is the Vietnam – U.S war (or as we call it in Vietnam “the Resistance War against  U.S”), we hope this tour will broaden your understanding and perspective, not to take sides but to know how cruel and destructive wars can be. Above all, we would like you to meet with locals and learn about life then and now, through their stories and through experiencing a traditional handicraft activity, that is mat weaving. 

The residents of Ky Anh tunnels community are very proud of their heritage, and of the role their forefathers played in the American War. A lot was sacrificed and lost by the villagers during this time, but they are very happy and thankful to get to share their stories with visitors so that more people may learn about the bravery and resilience of their ancestors, and the role the tunnels they built played in helping the Northern soldiers and the war effort more generally. They invite you to learn about their history, both before and after the war, experience the tunnels for yourselves, support their local businesses, and engage with local handicraft products and processes, especially mat weaving. They also ask that you respect Ky Anh tunnels; both its people and as a place. While they are very happy to share their home and stories with you, they are also aware of the negatives that can come from bringing more visitors into their community. We ask that you are aware of this at all times, and understand your visit here to be a privilege. Please treat it as such.

You are experiencing this tour in a very unique way: a self-guided audio tour that will allow you to explore the story of this village on your own without any language barrier. The tour is available in English and Vietnamese. Please be noted that the audio automatically runs based on your GPS location, however if you skip one of the destinations, you would have to turn on the description audio of the remaining stops from that point onwards. 

This program was developed and designed by Vietnam Community-based Tourism Network and funded by EXO Travel. For more information about our work, please go to http://vcbt-n.com/. 

The full tour will take about one hour and a half depending on your pace and starts from the Greeting Hall where you are standing now. We will then visit the Gallery House displaying all pictures and artifacts from wartime and trace back to where the tunnels began at the Village’s Temple, go down the first aid chamber and crawl through the narrow tunnel to visit Mr. Tan’s entrance. If you are lucky, while walking around the village you may spot some artisans weaving mats. Some of them are also the “wartime witnesses” who directly partook in the fight and the logistics of tunnel digging. Each witness’s story will be told in a separate chapter and you can choose to listen or to skip. 

For the background information on the Vietnam – U.S war during the period of 1955 – 1975, please go to https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history. You can also check out our summary on the war in the next chapter. Be sure to look out for signs along the way, which will provide directions for this designed route. We thank you for visiting Thach Tan village and Ky Anh Tunnels and hope you have a wonderful experience.

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