On my second day in Ho Chi Minh, I booked a half-day trip alone to the Cu Chi Tunnel. It was a one hour and a half bus ride along with the other tourist, mostly Europeans (I am sure there are no Americans in the group) to the district of Cu Chi. With a bottle of C2 and a pack of Ritz biscuit, I munch with floppiness to keep my mind off with my would-be first encounter with claustrophobia (though I know I am not in any way claustrophobic).
And so we arrived there, started the tour with a video presentation of what really happened during the Vietnam War against the Americans,1954-1975 (and I wanna sing, the heat is on in Saigon) and how the infamous Cu Chi Tunnel played a major role to defeat the B-52 bomb pilots and the sons of Uncle Sam.
It was truly amazing! I was in deep awe how the Vi?t c?ng (or the People’s Liberation Armed Forces who fought with the United States and the South Vietnam during the Vietnam War) fooled the Americans in so many ways, with resiliency, dexterity, smart strategies, and hard work considering the 6-footer fighters were armed with bombs, jets, and all those war stuff.
Part of this tour is to let the tourist crawl under the 121km long tunnel (only to some parts which they preserved as tourist attraction) to somehow get the feel of the Viet Cong’s life during the war. There were 5 exit points but I opted to finish the whole tunnel—duck-walking, crawling, sweating it off until my thighs and knees tremble with exhaustion. Though some parts have been made bigger for large sized Westerner visitors, it’s still so narrow I had to slide sideways in one of the curves.
There are also shooting range which the tourists can fire a real AK-47, M16, M60 rifle, Carbine, etc for I think 37,000VND per bullet but the minimum bullet you need to get is 10. I was not lucky to find a group to share it with me, so better luck next time. We ended the tour with cassava and tea snacks, the food the Viet Congs have eaten during their years under the tunnel.
It was a great adventure for me. This tour really changed the way I look at the Vietnamese. If we all could only show great valor in our battles in life just like what the Viet Congs did, even a 6-footer wave of problems will surely be defeated.
Oh by the way, I am not claustrophobic.