By the time we arrived in Ho Chi Minh City – the biggest city in Vietnam, it was almost noon. As part of our group might be doing different things the second day, we decide to explore the famous Cu Chi Tunnel together in the afternoon.
Wikipedia’s entry for Cu Chi Tunnel reads:
The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon),Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong‘s base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968.
The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, through which they secured American withdrawal from Vietnam and ultimate military success.
After about 1 and half hours of taxi ride, we reached our destination. The first spot we visited is an underground command center, where a documentary was shown and models of the tunnels explain how the tunnels work.
In the documentary, it describe US as ‘F**king Americans’, and some of the Vietnamese soldiers who killed a lot of US soldiers as ‘American Killing Hero’. I recorded part of this documentary, but I don’t think it’s PC to upload it :DThen we moved on
Wikipedia also tells us that the tunnel life was tough for Viet Cong:
American soldiers used the term “Black echo” to describe the conditions within the tunnels. For the Viet Cong, life in the tunnels was difficult. Air, food and water were scarce and the tunnels were infested with ants, poisonous centipedes, scorpions, spiders and vermin. Most of the time, guerrillas would spend the day in the tunnels working or resting and come out only at night to scavenge for supplies, tend their crops or engage the enemy in battle. Sometimes, during periods of heavy bombing or American troop movement, they would be forced to remain underground for many days at a time. Sickness was rampant among the people living in the tunnels, especially malaria, which was the second largest cause of death next to battle wounds. A captured Viet Cong report suggests that at any given time half of a PLAF unit had malaria and that “one-hundred percent had intestinal parasites of significance”.
Then we moved on with the guide to see a variety kind of traps made by Viet Cong:
Believe me you don’t want to get into this because:
This is one of the doors on the jungle ground that lead to the Cu Chi Tunnels. It’s almost unrecognizable once it’s covered with leaves:
Tourists can try if they can fit. (I didn’t try because I know it will give me an epic fail)
Afterwards we came to a Self-Made Weapons Exhibition Room. A variety of traps are shown here:
I think this trap is definitely the cruelest:
Watch the guide demonstrated how these trap work.
The park understands that many of its exhibitions could probably make the tourists uneasy, so it also offers us some recreational activities such as a shooting range where we can fire a number of assault rifles. We picked AK-47:
The highlight of the tour is an 100-meter long preserved tunnel where visitors can crawl though on their own.