Published: November 11th 2005November 7th 2005
Russell - So at last a day away from the maddness of Ho Chi Minh traffic. We took a half day tour to the Chu Chi area of Vietnam where resistance fighters fought against the Americans in the Vietnam war. We set out with our tour guide Mr. Bins who to be fair was crazy. He was a proud veteran except he had fought for the Yanks and after 30 years of being called a Yankee lackey seems to have caused a lot of guilt to build up. Still he knew what it was like to try and fight the VC in Chu Chi and was keen that we understood the war from the Vietnam perspective. The journey to Chu Chi was quite long and Mr Bins felt the need to talk to us the whole way and tell us stories of why Vietnam is a great country. As a government paid tour guide he earns the same as a doctor or lawyer but then this is a communist country and they all get $100 a month no matter what they do.
The tour started with a rousing documentary about the good people of Chu Chi repelling the evil Americans
First level tunnel
but Mr Bins got bored half way through so switched it off. He showed us the booby traps and sniper holes that were used ny the VC. Of course the Americans couldn't follow since as Mr Bins pointed out
they all have the big Ass
. In fact big asses was a bit of a theme of his and he did point out a big ass as a demonstration but the person must have been directly behind me as I couldn't see them!
At the break we were asked whether we would like to shoot a gun. No really we were and the ringing of gun fire is still strong in my ears. They did apologise that they had no M16 rounds left and rather un sportingly the americans won't sell them any more but they had plenty of AK47 rounds. The thought of a bunch of untrained tourists being given live ammo was a bit worrying so we retreated to the bar.
Finally the tunnels themselves and we were sent down them to prove just how small they were. Lins did not like this bit at all so we got out at the first level but it was amazing to think how they worked. They were 250 km of tunnels in the area in three levels going as deep as 9m down. They are small, dirty and hot and not somewhere you would want to spend much time.
All together it was a great tour and Mr. Bins in his slightly crazy way made it all the better. He even explained why there were so many mopeds in HCMC
In Vietnam there are lots of young people and lots of young men. No motorbike means no girlfriend. But girls in Vietnam they doin't have the big asses so if you have no big ass why you need big bike