Cu Chi Tunnels

Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels was a bit of a history shock for us. Learning the story of the Vietnam war in high school history and even from “historically accurate” films and documentaries is nothing compared to seeing an inactive former war zone in the middle of the jungle. Being shown examples of the vicious booby traps that once covered most of the ground that we were walking on as well as being warned to not stray off the tour path as not all of the traps or land mines have yet been found in the areas off the path was a petrifying experience. To think of the thousands that had lost their lives on the very ground that we were standing on.
Learning the lengths that the Vietnamese soldiers had gone through to survive as well as their ingenuity creating ways to live essentially underground in a labyrinth of tunnels was mind boggling. The Vietnamese didn’t have the budget the americans did for the war. They Engineered everything from what they could salvage. All the metal used in the traps was salvaged from exploded ordinance (some not exploaded) and or wreckage of things blown up. Their sandles/thongs (footwear) were made from old car tyres. They tied the thongs backwards to their knees and hands and crawled through the jungle. This gave trackers the impression that there were more of them and that they were headed in the opposite direction. The pipes from the chimney for their kitchens sucked the smoke one hundred metres or more away so they didn’t give away their position. That’s not all though. At the end of that chimney, they distributed the smoke through a number of tiny holes over a few meters rather than one big hole. This made the smoke really hard to see even when standing right in front of it.

Having a great tour guide was just another bonus on this trip showing us extra bits and pieces that the other guides didn’t seem to be showing their groups. Our Guides name was Jimmy. I highly recommend visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels on your next visit to Vietnam



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