Unusual Facts About Vietnam

Here are some unusual facts that you may find hard to find:

  • Vietnam has one the longest free flowing subterranean river in the world at Phong Nha – Ke Bang. The river flows through a huge cave or “grotto.” It is not known how far back the grotto goes (easily a couple miles) or how deep the water is in the grotto. This was also one of the largest North Vietnamese military bases during the Vietnam War and the major starting point of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The grotto is so big that you can literally fit a small city in side it.
  • Hoan Kiem District of Hanoi has their business district designated with streets specializing in one kind of product or service. i.e. You buy shoes on the “Shoe Street”, Shirts on “Shirt Street”, etc. This has been so for hundreds of years.
  • Halong Bay contains 1,969 limestone islands, and many have grottos in them. It is not known how many grottos there are in the islands of Halong bay or in all of Vietnam. It’s argued that Vietnam has more grottos than any place in the world. It is not known how deep most of these grottos go, due to the lack of technology to find out and the sheer number of them.
  • What you will not read in the tour brochure of the famous Cu Chi Tunnels are the hundreds of bomb craters that ravage the area. Twenty foot wide by six to teen feet deep bomb craters are found everywhere in and around the Cu Chi area. Cu Chi was a major Viet Cong stronghold but is now within the city limits of Ho Chi Minh City. You can take a city bus to visit it.
  • Vietnam repelled three Mongol invasions and was one of the few Asian societies not influenced by the Mongolians (the Japanese were another one). China was conquered by the Mongols during the same time. This is one of many reasons why the Vietnamese are distinctly different from the Chinese.
  • Hanoi is protected from the Red River by a levee. The levee has been in place for hundreds of years. Most of Hanoi would be under 10′-15′ of water if the levee were to break during their rainy season. Such a disaster would make New Orleans look like a bad thunderstorm, because Hanoi is home to more than 6,000,000 people with no realistic means to evacuate most of the population if such would happen.
  • The Vietnamese conquered the Cham empire, who controlled much of South Vietnam before their defeat.
  • The Viet Cong controlled the jungle area South of the Saigon River during the Vietnam War. Much of that area is now being developed into high rise condo buildings and residential housing and bought mostly by the Vietnamese who had fled from the country after the War ended.

War Hero, Olympian Zamperini Dies at 97

War Hero, Olympian Zamperini Dies at 97

Associated Press | Jul 03, 2014

louiszamperini-ts300LOS ANGELES (AP) — Louis Zamperini , an Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, has died. He was 97.

Zamperini’s death was confirmed by Universal Pictures studio spokesman Michael Moses . A family statement released early Thursday said Zamperini had been suffering from pneumonia.

He is the subject of Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” which is being made into a movie directed by Angelina Jolie and is scheduled for a December release by Universal. Continue reading

What did it mean to be drafted in the war at Vietnam?

It meant you were now in the US Army.

That was the easy part; going thru the process is what the men didn’t like: Shaved head, shaved facial hair, wake up 0300 hours every morning; housed with all males for 8 weeks with no privacy in the latrine, showers, or sleeping quarters.

Getting yelled at, one inch from your face, back in those days…physical punishment (a leather boot pushing your body into the earth; the “low crawl”), running to the rifle range with a heavy M14 rifle at port arms and a heavy steel helmet sitting atop your shaved head.

Absolutely NO entertainment whatsoever…no books, no radio, no phone calls (except after a specified time, and then only on a Sunday…maybe)…marching in formation WITH YOUR RIFLE every day to class; stacking your M14 rifle with the others prior to entering the class rooms as parade rest.

Stacking your rifle everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Where YOU went your RIFLE went! You slept with your rifle (locked by a chain in the racks next to your bunk bed).

When it was all over, you graduated; then went for another 8 weeks for your MOS (your job-Military Occupational Specialty).

After that…RVN (Republic of South Vietnam).

Ten Interesting Facts about Vietnam

Ten Interesting Facts about Vietnam

1. Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashews in the world, and the second largest exporter of rice.

2. Instead of bells, traditional gongs are used to call the Vietnamese children to school.

3. Although Vietnam is a developing country, it has a literacy rate of 94%.

4. Among all developing countries, Vietnam has one of the lowest unemployment rates.

5. You can find a B52 American Bomber Wreck in Vietnam’s West Lake.

6. An estimated ten million motor bikes travel on the roads of Vietnam every day.

7. Ruou ran (snake wine), a Vietnamese specialty of rice wine with a pickled snake inside, allegedly can cure any sickness.

8. The most common surname in Vietnam is Nguyen.

9. The Vietnamese keep potbelly pigs as pets.

10.The Vietnamese language has six different tones. A change in tone changes the meaning of the word. This makes their language somewhat difficult to learn.

America’s Bald Eagle

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING AND WORTH YOUR FEW MINUTES TO VIEW….

CHECK OUT THE Bald Eagle video below …

‘Challenger’ is his name (in honor of the lost space shuttle crew) & is cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF).

He’s a ‘human-socialized’ bird accidentally raised by the people who rescued Him – after being blown from a wild Louisiana nest in a storm as a baby in the late 1980’s.  Declared ‘non-releasable’ by federal and state wildlife Authorities, he was trained by the AEF to perform educational free-flight demonstrations at high profile public events.

He’s the first Bald Eagle in U.S. History that learned to free-fly into Stadiums, arenas and ballrooms during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. The celebrity eagle has appeared at numerous major sporting events like the World Series, Pro-Bowl, All-Star game, BCS National Championship, Fiesta Bowl, Men’s Final Four, etc.

This eagle named Challenger has also flown before 4 U.S. Presidents!

Thanks to RE for the link. HooRah

50 Years Ago in the War

  • June 20 - General William Westmoreland assumes command of all U.S. forces in Vietnam.
  • July 6 – Some 900 Viet Cong attack Nam Dong, a U.S. Special Forces camp defended by 12 Green Berets, about 300 South Vietnamese and a few other allied fighters, who force the enemy to retreat. Captain Roger Donlon receives the first Medal of Honor presented in the Vietnam War.
  • Aug 2 – U.S. destroyer Maddox, in the Gulf of Tonkin to gather intelligence from electronic transmissions, is attacked by three North Vietnamese P-4 class motor torpedo boats and suffers minor damage.
  • Aug 3 – The Maddox returns to the Gulf, along with another destroyer, the Turner Joy.
  • Aug 4 – The destroyers pick up radar and sonar signals that their crews interpret as North Vietnames vessels moving in for an attack.  The U.S. ships begin firing. (Later investigations indicate that the Maddox and Turner Joy were not attacked.)
  • Aug 5President Lyndon B. Johnson orders airstrikes agains North Vietnam.
  • Aug 7 – Congress approves the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving Johnson “all necessary measures to repel any attack against the enemy forces of the United States to prevent further aggression.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson, Aug. 5, 1964, in a speech at Syracuse University in New York, after a North Vietnames attack on the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin:

The world must never forget – that aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed.  We of the United States have not forgotten. This is why we have answered this aggression with action.