Day 19 - Củ Chi Tunnels and War Remnants museum


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August 7th 2015
Published: August 7th 2015
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Day 19 - Củ Chi Tunnels and War Remnants museum

A good start to the day, up and around at about 7am. I always stay good first thing, and am usually in pain by lunch, and in agony by bedtime, but am noticing that good spells are getting longer every day!

I make my own life difficult as I refuse to miss anything!

After breakfast today, we are being picked up to go on a group tour to Củ Chi tunnels.

The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. We were shown in, and through some of the tunnel network. Unbelievable!

Throughout the tour, it is clear to see the resilience of a group of people that have a connected need to survive.

I feel strongly that although today's tour evidences that of the Củ Chi people, I consider that is the same no matter who, or what you are, like minded people pull together in times of need.

I realise that we were shown propaganda that was used at the time, it was the same in Hanoi, but everyone involved, and some not involve, used media/propaganda for their own means.

What we have seen today was amazing ingenuity, survival skills, flexibility to adapt, and sheer determination to maintain life. A very interesting visit.

We got dropped off back at our hotel. We got changed, and refreshed before setting out in foot to go to the War Remnants Museum. It's about 30 minute walk. On the way we stopped for a Subway sandwich, but they didn't have coffee! Therefore we picked one up later, to go!

It wasn't much longer after that that we arrived at the museum. What a sight to arrive at!

The museum is comprised of a series of themed rooms in several buildings, with period military equipment placed within a walled yard.

It's the equipment in the yard that takes your breath away as you enter. It all seems so big and scary; American planes, tanks, and bombs etc. I could only think about how the innocent people must have felt, but that did not prepare us both for later!

As we went around the different rooms, and the effects of the war unfolded, even taking into account that innocent people on all sides suffer in war, I was horrified at the levels of barbaric actions that are evidenced.

The information is spread over three floors. On floor one I felt sad, by floor two, I was in tears, by floor three, I was numb, and couldn't take anymore information on board! Helen and I both felt the same.

We left quite upset, discussing how on earth are we going to be at the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh!

It was well worth visiting the museum, definitely a strong history lesson for us both!

We decided to go back through the back streets to discover new areas, we had only been walking for about 10 minutes when I spotted a nail salon that did acrylic infils....music to our ears!

We stepped inside, I got thrown under the bus by Helen to be the guinea pig, getting mine done first! The girl did a great job of my nails, so Helen followed! All done for only 120,000 dong (£3.57) It would have cost £17 at home! Both really happy!

We moved on still wanting a coffee, next door to Bunny Nail Salon was a bar..... Yayyy, an Americano and cappuccino coming up. We sat and reflected over the history of war day.....

After we had put the world back to rights, we continued the walk through the back streets, with the aid of the trustworthy active maps on my iPhone!

We came across a lovely place called The Barbecue Garden. We had a look at the menu before entering!

It's really clever stuff! We were seated at a small table for two, ordered Combo 5! With a mixed fruit drink each.

The table has a small barbecue inset below the surface, the man cam and lit it. The waitress brought us plates of beef rolled over onion, marinated, thinly sliced beef, and a variation of veg and a bowl of rice with a few dips.

Once the barbecue had heated up, Helen started cooking. She has to do all that stuff as I still only have the use of one arm, and it's my left one!

She did a great job of getting it cooked in good order and time, as our dishes emptied, more was ready. I struggled with chopsticks in the wrong hand, but got there slowly, but surely through sheer determination!

At one point, the rain came down, but in minutes, the staff rolled a roof right over the whole garden, which is huge, then as soon as it stopped, they rolled it back again!

We finished up with a cup of dragon pearl tea. That was a first for us both, nice.... And very interesting!

All done, we set off back to the hotel. Shower, and pack as we leave early in the morning for the Mekong.



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