Am I the only one who thinks of tickling a baby and saying coochy-coo?
The Cu Chi Tunnels were dug by the Viet Cong and consist of 121 km of tunnels around Cu Chi. These tunnels were used to house troops, women and children, transport communications and supplies, lay booby traps and mount surprise attacks, after which they could disappear underground to safety.
The U.S. and South Vietnamese forces trained soldiers known as “tunnel rats” to navigate the tunnels in order to detect booby traps and Viet Cong soldiers.
After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Vietnamese government preserved the Cu Chi tunnels and included them in a network of war memorial parks around the country.
The area is well maintained and worth visiting. Our guide, Sally, was very entertaining with her stories. When we first got to the site, she explained how the tunnels were constructed and organized.
Sally stated a couple times that the past is the past and that’s how the Vietnamese people view the war. She indicated that a lot of US veterans come to this site to see how it is today versus their memories. There are no winners in war.
The tunnels were very small and I tried out hopping into this one and hiding. Specific body parts just get in the way! I’m so short and it seemed like a long drop to the floor of the tunnel. I needed help to get back out of it.
This is the crater from a B-52 bomb.
Trying out another tunnel.
These holes in the ground are actually ventilation tunnels made out of bamboo.
There were a lot of booby traps. The Viet Cong used shrapnel and unexploded US bombs to make their traps and delay mines.
There was a shooting range where you could shoot an AK-47 or a M-16. I passed because I did some shooting last year in Ukraine and my shoulder was sore for days after.
I watched a lady making rice paper. It’s made there and sold throughout Vietnam. All that is used is ground rice and water.
I tried the Cassava vegetable. It tastes like potato. Tapioca comes from Cassava.
I also tried tea made out of these green leaves. It was good.
Lunch was delicious. Sally was telling us stories about eating customs. Eating rats from the rice fields is common and she calls this eating Mickey Mouse. Balut is a duck egg with the developing embryo inside. It’s eaten from the shell. We did not have either of these!
The Cu Chi Tunnels were worth seeing and learning about life inside and outside these tunnels.
Jackie is “Mom” to one amazing son, an IT professional and an obsessed traveller. She spends her time reading, golfing at Ladies League and implementing software projects. Jackie has travelled to all 7 continents and 93 countries and is always planning the next destination and adventure!