Our biggest highlight was a trip to Cu Chi Tunnel (pronounced Koo Chi, not Cuci :p), located 2 hours away from the city. We joined a local tour for only USD5 each.
This tunnel was used by the Viet Cong soldiers as a hide out spot and ‘home’ during the Vietnam War with the Americans. This tunnel served as a purpose of resisting the American operations, which eventually lead the Americans into defeat.
The Americans soon enough became wary of the guerrilla’s existence in this part and tried to bomb the place but never succeeded because they lived underground.
And built plenty of traps to capture them Americanos. One of the methods included soldiers hiding out in this tiny hole and suprising the unsuspecting Americans by popping out and attacking them. You know like the whack a mole video game except the moles don’t brutally shoot you.
Now you see him:
Now you don’t:
Definitely not for the claustrophobic and fat soldier:
Some of the other brutal traps were concealed with spikes that were covered up with leaves so imagine falling into this trap and having the spikes go through your feet! They also used fish sauce on top of the trap to lure the dogs used by the Americans into their deaths. Extremely brutal.
The star of the trip was of course the tiny tunnel itself where the only way of getting in is by doing the duck walk or crawling. Of course today, the tunnel has been tweaked and made a little wider and bigger to fit ‘international’ sizes. Wouldn’t want the big mat-sallehs getting stuck in there now do we
The tunnel was built in 3 layers and housed around 16,000 soldiers and family members. Can you imagine living inside a tunnel with NO electricity, water, basic necessities and more importantly fresh air?? I don’t know how they did it and of top of that managed to cook, get pregnant and give birth in the tunnel itself!
I personally would have picked death than suffer like that but hey that’s just me.
But at the end of the war, out of the 16,000 tunnel inhabitants, only about 5,000 survived due to the rampant malaria spread due to their unhygienic living.
(If you look at the Mat Salleh in shorts, let me tell you that he had a 13 year old Viet ‘boyfriend’ and that really made us so sick I wonder if this sort of thing happens rampantly in Vietnam. Scary thought!)
Here he is before attempting to go inside the tunnel.
This is how tiny the tunnel is.
Unfortunately, we both chickened out and decided against it because it was too small, smelly and DARK! And the last I checked, the husband is pretty much claustrophobic. I have no qualms admiting to it because only a handful went through with their tunnel adventure while the rest were smart enough not to get all sweaty Nevertheless we had a very educational trip at Cu Chi Tunnel.
I’m not one who supports the brutality of war but hats off to the Viets for striving to live even if it meant living in a tunnel.