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Published: November 16th 2016
A tunnel entrance.
Someone climbed into a tunnel entrance, it was unbelievable how small they were.
Day nine and we enter the chaos that is Ho Chi Minh city. Our hotel is lovely, not fancy but family owned - the family live downstairs with their little dog 'Minho' and are very friendly and kind. We wandered out to find some breakfast and ended up in the 'No stress' cafe, noodles with an egg and vegetables started off the day along with possibly the strongest coffee I've had since I've been here.
We were back at the hotel and ready to jump on a bus to go to the Cu Chi tunnels by midday, slightly stunned by the scale of things in the city - it will definitely take some more exploring! The bus journey was long and bumpy, but provided good views as we moved out of the city into the outskirts. High rises made way for wooden houses with tarpaulin walls and street sellers became men and women lounging in hammocks amongst trees.
The tunnels themselves were rather awe inspiring. Being in that place and hearing the stories of the terrible things that had happened there during the war was a sobering experience. Our guide was a friendly man who, although only young during
the war, was still clearly affected by the things that had happened. Looking in to the thick vegetation on either side it was easy to understand how guerrilla warfare was so effective, not to mention the tiny tunnel entrances and the leaves all over the floor providing perfect covering for traps.
We saw the traps they would set, tiger traps and numerous bamboo spiked objects they would scatter under the water in the rice paddies. They explained the processes involved in reusing undetonated American bombs and turning them into land mines. I found it very difficult to imagine just how much hardship and suffering the people on both sides had to go through at the time.
Going into a short stretch of tunnels was a real eye opener, they had been widened by ten centimetres but were still a squeeze. I can't imagine running for my life down there.
The bus dropped us off on a road somewhere in the city, we weren't sure where we were and we were very hungry. So we wandered into the first bar we came across and ordered some food before heading back to the hotel to change and head out
Inside the tunnels.
Down in the tunnels it was hot, dark and cramped - and I wasn't running for my life with a weapon. I can't imagine how the people fighting in them must have felt.
to a rooftop bar. Bumping into a group of backpackers we were convinced to go and find another bar with them and ended up part of a pub crawl - good unexpected fun!
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