Laos opens Vietnam war caves to tourists


Laos has opened up a remote wartime hideaway, 30 years after the end of the Vietnam war.

The secret cave city hidden deep inside the mountains of northern Laos was home to revolutionary leaders who survived nearly a decade of US bombing.

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The network of almost 500 caves housed 23,000 people and boasted all the facilities of a city, including not just bomb shelters but also shops, schools, a printing press and a hospital cave staffed by Cuban doctors.

Even after the war ended in 1975 the cathedral-sized Elephant Cave remained off limits to foreigners and the site of political re-education camps.

Now with the help of foreign development groups, Laos hopes to turn th historic site into a war-theme tourist stop, similar to the Cu Chi tunnels of southern Vietnam and Cambodia’s horrific Killing Fields.