Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

MUST VISIT!!! - Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

It’s the only destination that I thought I must visit during my stay in Ho Chi Minh. I heard about it before and often saw the photos where people’s head coming out from a small underground hole. I was wondering how small the hole inside the tunnels look like, whether I could fit into it, or whether I dared enough to go through it, etc.

We booked a tour through travel agent from our hotel once we arrived. We found out few days later that it cost us a bomb at rate of US$40/pax for Classic Cu Chi Tunnels half-day tour, while others could offer us as cheap as US$10/pax.

How they dug the tunnels - Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

We departed the next day at 8am from our hotel together with 4 other participants. The journey took us about one and a half hours. There were two different sites to experience the tunnels: Ben Duoc – contains part of the original tunnel system, usually visited by Vietnamese, and Ben Dinh – the tunnel had been modified to cater the foreigner’s size and mostly visited by International tourists. Eventually we were brought to Ben Dinh site. Along our way there our tour guide explained to us what the tunnels are about together with the history of the war where the Viet Cong fought in the war using their Guerilla tactics, etc.

Watching the movie before started walking around - Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of the Vietnam War and the Viet Cong’s base back in 1968. It was about 120km long and as deep as 12 meter underground. The original size was about 60cm width and 80cm height. However, they’ve resized it into 80cm width and 150cm height so that it’s accessible for Western tourist to experience it. They used it as hiding spots, as well as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon storage, and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters to resist from their enemies. Once we entered into the location, we were brought to a place to sit and watch the black and white propaganda movie.
 
Various booby traps with Punji sticks - Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

After that we went through a long way road showing many things such as: various tunnels entrance, different types of booby traps with Punji sticks – bamboo and metal spikes (they all looked so scary as their purposes were not to kill the person, but to make the person who was injured to suffer slowly from the metal spikes that pierced through their body parts), a destroyed American tank, mannequin showing the Viet Cong’s uniforms (how they dressed like), etc.

Shooting range in Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam

There was a shooting range too where you could have a chance to fire number of assault rifles and light machine gun by paying some additional money (around US$1.20/bullet). Therefore, you could hear some gun shots while you were there, which made the war environment seemed to be alive! :)

The exit gate from the tunnels - Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

After those exhibits, we finally reached to the tunnels site. The tunnels were not for the claustrophobic as it was dark, small, and stuffy. According to our guide, the tunnels that we tried were 100m length and divided into 5 exit holes (1 hole for every 20m). So, if you thought that you had enough or couldn’t accept it anymore, you could anytime go out from your nearest exit hole.

Inside the Cu Chi Tunnels - Vietnam

Three of us tried entering into the tunnels. However, we didn’t finish it into the last exit as the tunnel got tighter and smaller after the 3rd exit. We had to bend down and crawl too as the hole got smaller (not suitable too for those who had a back pain). I had to turn on my phone’s torch light at all times as it was really dark! My friend was almost losing her breath after bending down and crawling through it, and I decided to get out at the 3rd exit door. Wearing the long pants would be recommended as well!

Steamed Tapioca with grated peanut dip served with tea - Cu Chi Tunnels

Once done, we would proceed to place where we could sit, drink a cup of tea, and taste the steamed tapioca dipped into the mixed of grated peanut, sugar and salt. It was the food that usually easily available during war times.

Making dep lop or sandal made of tire rubber - Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

It’s such a great experience and a MUST VISIT place if you are visiting Ho Chi Minh! Try to find the cheaper tour that provides you with the same thing (transport, guide, and entrance). I heard that the entrance ticket cost less than US$5/pax.

Viet Cong dressing (hat, black and white checker shawl, and sandal made of tire rubber)

Personally, I feel very happy being able to visit this place and learning some history from the Vietnam War and what’s going on around the country from our tour guide. Because all through my life, I’ve only learned about Indonesian history, that’s it. And local people are the best person to tell us their country’s condition, aren’t they?

Another dream came true... :) @Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam

So, finally, I too had a chance to take the photo like the above :)

12 comments:

Sangay Cholden said...

Nice read about the tunnel~ Have good time there~

Flora said...

Thank you charo for touring me with you visually to those lovely and amazing places, tunnel is incerdiable, congratulation for the 1st trip of 2015 success! Cheers charo✌️

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Sangay! Same to you! :)

Rima Reyka said...

It's my pleasure Charo! Thank you for your support la! And yes, I have had my first trip 2015 successfully! Very happy la! :) Cheers to you too!!!

Rekha Monger said...

Interesting post. Loved it. For the history buff here, this tunnel is added to my bucket list. Sigh! the ever growing bucket list of mine hahaha. Thank you for the first hand experience shared here.

Sonam Tenzin said...

I am also happy for you that you got to visit the place you very much liked to visit. :) And through your write up and photography you let us to get view of your trip there. So, thank you. :-)

Keep writing dear.

Buddha bless us all.

Kipchu Namgyel said...

That dress was so lovely. Thanks for sharing and taking us along with you through your lovely post.

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Rekha! Collect that list and once you have the chance, grab it well and make it all realized! ;)

It's my pleasure sharing it with you la! Have a wonderful day! ^^

Rima Reyka said...

Thank you Nuchu! Hope you enjoyed reading it! Have a beautiful day there and take care la! May Buddha bless you too! :)

Rima Reyka said...

It's my pleasure sharing it with you la Nuchu! And thank you for spending your precious time reading and commenting all my posts that you'd missed during your holiday! Have a wonderful time there back to college again! Hope you study well with flying colors and have memorable experience with your dear friends! Take care! :)

Truong Minh Quang said...

Nice Picture and content :). Some your picture are very nice. can I use some of the your images put in my website Cu Chi Tours: http://www.deluxegrouptours.vn/travel/cu-chi-tunnels-tour-half-day/

Many Thanks

Rima Reyka said...

Sure, you can use. It's my pleasure! :)

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