Cu Chi Tunnels
Stepping off the air-conditioned bus into the 40-degree heat I was in total amazement as to how humid the jungle really was, after reading all about the Vietnam War and having done some research on the amazing tunnels built in the war I was so eager to go and see them in the flesh! Little did I realize how brutal the jungle really is and how hard it would have been to live those days in the war in such a harsh environment.
Trying not to go into too much politics in this post, I want to show you how amazing these tunnels and structures really are. The Cu Chi tunnels are an amazing network of connecting underground man made tunnels built during the Vietnam War. They were occupied by Viet Congs base of operations and were built for shelter and hiding. The tunnels themselves run between different buildings such as the locally built war hospitals, kitchens, and offices. There are three main channels, the first being 3 meters underground, the second being 6 meters down and the third almost 8 meters underground! The tunnels range in sizes, most of which were used as passageways and hiding spots and are 60cm wide and only 80cm tall.
Life was extremely harsh and difficult for the Viet Cong in the tunnels Air, food and water were scarce and most chambers where infested with ants, spiders and vermin. The soldiers took turns to exit the tunnels for fresh air after spending up to seven hours down under the ground. Some not so lucky soldiers spent days in the tunnels during heavy bombing and others often suffered from sicknesses such as malaria (which was the second largest cause of death after battle wounds).
After crawling down through some of the tunnels myself, I felt extremely thankful there were lights now on inside the tunnels! Just to think how dark and scary it may have been all those years ago is just eerie. Its amazing to think they could have built such great formations, and to think some are up to 8 meters underground is just phenomenal! I could only go through 3 tunnels and then I felt the dry, stale air and decided to stay above ground for the rest of the tour.
It was an amazing experience and I strongly suggested for anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to check out the Cu Chi Tunnels. Entry fees which include a mini van with air con and a guide cost 210,000 Dong per person ($10US) and the tour from pick up to drop off is around 6 hours!