Madam Saigon Story (Day 2) - Cu Chi Tunnels


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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » Cu Chi
October 23rd 2010
Published: November 7th 2010
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Saturday, 23rd October 2010


"Frankly, Cu Chi wasn't a mind-blowing experience even though it was certainly nice to get away from the busy city and breathe some country air!"

Rise and shine as I woke up for my second morning in Ho Chi Minh City. I had already bounced out of bed by 6am in time for my breakfast at the Cafe 333 opposite my hotel. It was a simple affair with traditional Vietnamese dripping coffee brew and a huge portion of the French loaf with fried eggs. Yummy enough to kick-start a good day ahead.

Shortly after breakfast, I proceeded to the Sinh Tourist Office along the same De Tham Street where I was staying to catch the 8.30am shuttle to the Cu Chi Tunnels. I had signed up a half day tour with them to the tunnels. The 1 hour and 40 minutes bus ride to Cu Chi was pretty uneventful as my eyes remained closed for the most part of the journey.


What to Expect

I believed most visitors who had followed a half day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels would follow a similar routine. A brief introduction and video presentation of the tunnel network. This would be followed by a series of visits to the various booby traps that were used against the Americans and the underground bunkers that were used as hospitals during the war. There would be opportunities to fire some M16 rounds at the in-house shooting range.


Verdict

The highlight of the trip would possibly be the crawling through a small section of the underground tunnels. (Note that this is not part of the original tunnel network.) The crawling experience certainly did not appeal to me given the limited amounts of oxygen, space and lighting in the tunnel. You would probably guess by now that I had given it a miss in my itinerary.

Nevertheless, the tunnels still warranted a decent visit as it gave a good overview of its function during the Vietnam War. And it certainly provided a good breather from the busy cityscapes of Ho Chi Minh.


Cu Chi Essentials

Most travel agencies in HCMC offered daily tours to the tunnels at reasonable prices. I paid mine for USD5 (excluding the admission fees of USD4). Sinh Tourist at De Tham Street is a nice place to shop around.


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