Day 45 - Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi Travel Blog› entry 46 of 69 › view all entries
Today was another tour day, the
The tour today was to the Cai Dai temple one of the largest
temples in Vietnam and then to the Cu Chi Tunnels… an intricate maize of
tunnels in Cu Chi that were dug by revolutionaries during the war. The trip to
the Cai Dai temples took about 3 hours in total on the bus. Thankfully we were
on the right bus today, but the downside was that the bus was overbooked by 1
person so I had to sit on a small fold up chair in the aisle ... For the entire
day! The bus journey passed relatively quickly with the help of my iPod! The
The first brief stop off though was another disabled craft village like the one we saw on yesterdays tour (and detailed in yesterdays blog) This time I did manage to get some photos of the actual making of some of the crafts though so you'll find them here.
When we arrived at the Cao Dai temple at around 12 we were just
in time to witness one of the ceremonies of the day and we were allowed to
enter the temple around an upper balcony to take photos of the ceremony. Every
age group from the area took part in the worship from kids as young as 4 or 5
all the way to the elders that were in their 70's and 80's. The majority of
people were in white robes that signified the main body of people. There were a
few people in red, blue and yellow robes that signified more important members
of the religion.
After we got everyone gathered back on the bus we headed back
We arrived at the Cu Chi Tunnels visitor centre and were first brought to watch a documentary of actual footage of the tunnels and trenches in use during war time. The footage was quite good and very informing as it showed some actual mortar attacks caught on film from the trenches!
After the video we were brought on a guided tour of the tunnels
themselves and some of the buildings that had been reconstructed to show
visitors what the various sections of the tunnels would of been like in war time.
From there we moved to see one of the many traps that would be
set around the tunnels. The traps consisted of a flipped board, camouflaged to
match the ground and when a person stood on either side of the board, the board
would flip and the person would fall into a pit filled with sharp bamboo
spikes, either killing or very badly maiming the person.
Next on the tour was another actual entry point to the tunnels. This was one of the main entrances to the tunnels and would have had a type of camouflage termite mound over it to hide it from the enemy and to protect from rainwater entering it during the rainy season. From this entry point it was also obvious the actual size of the tunnel and how small it actually looked.
From there we went to see the section on self made weaponry. A
range of devices mainly made from wood and nails that would be set to trap and even
kill the enemy. These ranged in size, shape and purpose to cover all sorts of
possible threats. Some of them would be planted in the ground in the paddi fields;
others would be swinging from the trees where others would be hanging behind a
Form the weaponry section we were brought to see some of the rooms that would be incorporated into sections of the tunnels… machinery workshops where enemy bombs would be dismantled and re-used to make revolutionary weapons as well as some of the coking rooms.
Then we got on to the bit most people were interested in,
getting to walk/crawl through the reconstructed sections of tunnel. The
reconstructed section is about 120m long and has an exit route every 40m or so
if anybody felt too claustrophobic going through them. As there was a coach
load of us in the group we were warned that the heat and humidity would be
quite high and if anyone suffered from asthma or blackouts that they were
advised not to enter the tunnels.
Once we all gathered together again and dried off a little we got
back on the bus and made our way back into