Tunnel rats and rifles at the Cu Chi Tunnels

“You too are rising from a past
the world has seen
but you are more than your war
Vietnam you are more”

Just over an hour drive north of Ho Chi Minh city is Cu Chi, the site of an elaborate tunnel system created by the Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam war for hiding and storing ammunition.

It’s a must see when visiting Vietnam as it provides are great background to the recent history of the country.

On the way there we were given a brief history by our local guide to give us a general idea but on arrival you watch a short film and a guide then shows you a diagram and map of the area. The tunnels were all dug quite deep because Ho Chi Minh is actually quite far above sea/ river level.

We were then shown an entrance to one of the tunnels and it was a tiny hole in the ground that you’d miss if you didn’t know was there. It was very well camouflaged with leaves and concealed beneath a tree. We then were asked if we’d like to try and fit inside the tunnel. I of course had a go because I’d always wanted to! I only JUST managed to fit my hips in so anyone bigger than me would have had trouble! The reason they built them so narrow was that so the American’s wouldn’t fit. Vietnamese men are naturally small so they had no troubles. Genius! I went all the way down and closed the door. It was pitch black and actually quite haunting. Even though you know there’s no one down there, you catch yourself wondering how many ghosts of the dead are still hangin’ out underground.

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The booby traps and weapons are a really cool but slightly gruesome part of the tour in there. They show all the metal contraptions that were hidden in the ground to trap the Americans and some of them are truly horrible. It’s scary to think that humans actually inflicted this much pain in others.

Along the way there are the remains of a destroyed tank that you can climb around inside so clearly I had a look!

The final part of the tunnel tour is actually going for a walk through the tunnels themselves. They’ve had to widen a section of the tunnels to foreigners and tourists and fit in to have a look. even though it’s been widened it’s still quite confined. It gets narrower and narrower so you’ve really got to have zero fear of inclosed spaces. Luckily I’m all good with that stuff and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.

After the tunnels you exit through the gun range and are asked if you’d like to purchase some bullets and fire an old rifle at the target! Umm.. YES! I’d never fired a rifle before and Lindsey was keen too so we split a packet of bullets and shot 5 each at the target. It was actually a lot of fun. We shot the “Carbin” rifle because we are both quite small and that’s a rifle made for females. I would definitely recommend this if you aren’t afraid of guns. It’s fun!

So that concludes our morning at Cu Chi tunnels! It is absolutely unmissable when in Vietnam!


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