Cu Chi Tunnels

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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Our guide covering the tunnel door with leaves...
After breakfast, a group of us headed to the Cu Chi Tunnels which are actually a bit of a drive from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. Along the way there, I chatted mostly with the woman from England who had just joined the group. She was telling me how few years ago, she started to realize that she didn't care what anyone thought of her. She asked me what kind of music I'm into. When I asked her, she told me she was into progressive trance. She also told me that she was going to Ibiza to celebrate her 60th birthday later this year. It was surpising to hear but cool. In Ghanaian culture, getting older doesn't mean you stop having fun. I sometimes see Ghanaian octogenarian grandmothers (including my own) sipping Guinness and working the dance floor.
...and into the tunnel
I used to think the older Ghanaian community was crazy (okay, I still do) but now I hope to grow old with as much grace and good humor.

When we arrived at the tunnels we were given a guide. He first led us to a hole in the ground and showed us how the soldiers would cover it with leaves and then pull the lid over their heads. Then he let us have a turn to climb in if we wanted to. Most of us did. I was the last one... getting in was easy, but getting out was the hard part! Our guide had made it look so easy. After we climbed into the hole, he led us around to different points of interest- mannequins showing the daily life of soldiers, a huge tank, and various painful looking spiked traps. He explained the many ingenious ways the soldiers kept themselves hidden. He was really informative and knowledgeable but he was definitely rushing us.
"Get me out of here!"
All of the guides were speeding their groups through, probably to accomodate the large crowds of people there.

There's an option to shoot an AK-47 if you're into that kind of thing. I'm not. The only guy in our group was the only one who wanted to shoot so we waited for him and then continued the tunnel tour. We saw a woman making rice paper, examples of clothing soldiers wore and an enormous crater caused by and bomb dropped by the United States. We walked through one of the tunnels and our guide explained that it was widened from its original size so that Western tourists could fit in it. Then he lead us to a table where we could sample a typical meal for the soldiers who lived in the tunnels which was boiled cassava and tea made from a local leaf. I don't remember what the leaf was called but he pointed it out to us.
Somewhat hidden tunnel lid


We got back to Ho Chi Minh City and wandered down the street looking at shops. My friends were disappearing. My first roommate left in the afternoon and then we had a farewell dinner for the The Kids who were heading to Nha Trang later on an overnight train. I didn't do to much more that night except for poking around some more shops. I was starting to feel exhausted. Unfortunately the one night I wanted to rest in my room, a disgusting smell was permeating the air. Roommate #2 and I had trouble figuring out what was causing the awful smell. We looked out on the street below, checked everything in the room and looked in the hallway. It wasn't coming from any of those places. Then we discovered the source- the central air conditioning. It's rotting trash... It's dirty laundry... It's DURIAN.
redeye says:
Weren't the tunnels amazing? There was a huge thunderstorm right overhead when we were there. Crawling through the tunnels with the bangs of thunder overhead really gave a sense of what it must have been like for the people who lived there.
Posted on: Aug 23, 2008
sybil says:
haha! i hate durian! :D
Posted on: May 19, 2008
worldcitizen says:
I needed help too! I did try the durian in Bangkok. It tasted fine and didn't smell too bad. But every time after that it smelled terrible!
Posted on: May 18, 2008
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Our guide covering the tunnel door…
Our guide covering the tunnel doo…
...and into the tunnel
...and into the tunnel
Get me out of here!
"Get me out of here!"
Somewhat hidden tunnel lid
Somewhat hidden tunnel lid
Creepy soldier mannequins
Creepy soldier mannequins
Cu Chi Tunnel crew posing with cre…
Cu Chi Tunnel crew posing with cr…
A trap
A trap
Another trap
Another trap
Demonstrating how one of the traps…
Demonstrating how one of the trap…
More creepy mannequins. I think th…
More creepy mannequins. I think t…
A woman making rice paper
A woman making rice paper
Bomb crater... my picture didnt c…
Bomb crater... my picture didn't …
These tunnels have been widened fr…
These tunnels have been widened f…
Typical meal for the soldiers: boi…
Typical meal for the soldiers: bo…
Cobra liquor
Cobra liquor
Random stuff for sale at shop in S…
Random stuff for sale at shop in …
More random stuff for sale
More random stuff for sale
Roommate trying on a cone hat
Roommate trying on a cone hat
Walking down Saigons streets
Walking down Saigon's streets
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