Our Trip to Southeast Asia 2012 (Around the World in 27 days) travel blog

Boarding our bus for trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels

Motor scooter traffic

At the tunnel site, Anne enters information center room

Mai, our guide, tells us about the tunnels

A scale model of the tunnel system

Tom crouches in a tunnel entrance

One of our group members descends into the tunnel with camouflage top

The size of the tunnel is not very big

Manequins demonstrate how VC worked in groups

A captured tank

A nasty trap

Munitions work room

Captured dud bombs

A rice paper making facility

Pouring liquid rice on drying mat

Putting rice paper on mat to dry in the sun

Drying in the sun

Making the "2-way" shoes"

A pair of these shoes

Entering a real tunnel

Claustrophobia city

Dark and dank

emerging

our group

tapioca - the only food they had

leaving the tunnels

Lunch

 

 

 

 

 

The Palace of Reunification

 

One of the large conference rooms in this building

 

 

 

The RED carpet

Anne gets on her "cyclos" - bicycle powered rickshaws

Saigon city views from the cycles

 

 

 

Anne loved this ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the hotel


Today is our first day on the Classic Journeys leg of the trip in Vietnam. We began quite early (8 AM) and reversed the agenda. Since it is a Friday and the traffic would have been heavy returning in the late afternoon from the Cu Chi Tunnels, we headed out of the city in the morning. We were amazed at the number of motor scooters on the roads.

While disturbing to see the methods of war close up, this turned out to be an amazing visit to these "enemy" installations. The builders of these tunnels were made out to be simple farmers who were fighting for their land. We learned that the tunnels did not extend in an unbroken link across Vietnam, but were housing units for those who built them. Since there people were not trained military personnel, they did not have the technology to match their enemy (US) and they fought with clever weapons and traps. Many of their weapons were crafted from ordinance that the USA dropped but did not explode. We got to crawl through a tunnel which was no more than 30 inches high and no wider.

Lunch was at a local restaurant where they served an amazing spring roll and other Vietnamese specialties presented with artistic carvings of flowers, towers, and rickshaws. Later we toured the Palace of Reunification where we learned of how Vietnam had at last become independent within recent history after a thousand years of Chinese domination, 100 years under the French, and 30 years by the USA.

The highlight of the day turned out to be a wild ride in "cyclos" - bicycle powered rickshaws. Dinner was in a top French restaurant.

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