Posted by: hoz49 | March 17, 2008

CuChi Tunnels Vietnam

Lito signed us up for an all day tour that started at 7:00 am and ended at 6:00 pm. We were picked up at the hotel by a driver and a guide (both named Trung, not related) and taken 50k outside Saigon to see the CuChi Tunnels, an area that has been preserved and developed for tourists. The story is told about the “American War” from the Viet perspective. You have to admire the determination of the Vietnamese people. With just a hand hoe, basket and the rock hard dirt of the region they dug an underground city of interconnecting tunnels to fight the Americans and protect their families.

The tour consists of a trail walk through the jungle with various parts of the underground tunnels displayed, from small entrances and bolt holes to ventilation shafts camouflaged as termite mounds.

Dr Lito tries out a “bolt hole”.

Same hole, different customer.

(OK, no laughing!)

We crawled through about 30 m of one of the tunnels, I read it had been enlarged to accommodate tourists. It was still tight and claustrophobic. I had brought my headlamp but turned it off to get a better feel for what the Viet soldiers experienced. Even then they now have small electric lights at turns in the passageway. I could only imagine what it was like with bombs landing overhead.

Even Fe and Lisa went through the Tunnel!

Pham Hoang Thach our intrepid Guide

Thank God…no guns this time.

In addition to fighting trenches, resting areas, dining rooms, kitchens, and a hospital all whole or partially underground there are also displays of the infamous “Bamboo Stick traps” and other homemade defenses the Viet Cong constructed.

Doc inspects a Viet Hospital

There is a shooting range where you can fire an Ak47 at the cost of one dollar a round. I wonder how many wars would be fought if the soldiers had to directly pay for their ammunition instead of through taxation of the citizens?

At the end of the tour we were encouraged to eat some cassava and drink jasmine tea which, including rice, was a main staple of the Viet Cong. A small shot of rice wine, which was being made on the premises, was also provided for those so inclined.

A vendor sells Chinese ‘Cobra Wine” which includes snakes, bugs, worms and scorpions.

“For strength and stability!”

I definitely enjoyed the CuChi Tunnels and recommend touring them. Be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring some water, it’s hot in the jungle.

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Responses

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip… Everything sounds so interesting! I’ve been waiting for this blog.. With its arrival I knew you were back… I’m glad your trip was safe! Can’t wait to see the pics!


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