The Cu Chi Tunnels is one of the major offensive weapons of the Vietcongs during the Vietnam War. It is an underground network of tunnels that served as the center of operations of the Vietcong to resist the American armed forces during that time. Now, it has been converted into a tourist spot and is a major venue for tourist activity in the city of Ho Chi Minh.
After you have paid the entrance fee of USD 4, the first thing you’ll see is the Weapons Gallery. It contains all of the types of guns and weaponry both the Americans and Vietnamese used during the war. After that, you’ll go through an underground tunnel which is like the official entrance into the forest. You’ll be given a sticker which says that you’ve paid for the entrance fees. And then, the tour of the jungle starts.
One of the best things the Vietcongs did was to make trap doors camouflaged into the floor of the jungle. If not for the tour guide pointing it out, we would not have notice it was there. The Vietnamese then were just about 4 feet tall. That worked into their advantage because we know that Americans are big people. The tunnels have levels so you won’t get trapped into one if the Americans decided to gas one of the levels. I tried to fit into one and it isn’t comfortable at all. But given my size, I was able to enter it easily. I would have wanted to go to the lower levels but there is no light there and I was afraid that I could not be retrieved if something happened.
The Vietcongs also built traps for the dogs used by the Americans. These are made from pointed bamboo sticks. There were also different traps for the Americans which were mainly used to injure and not to kill. Maybe because they wanted to kill the Americans themselves. This is the other side of the fence of the story told in the War Remnants Museum. The Americans weren’t all at fault or maybe the Vietcongs did this for revenge.
Around the camp are tanks that remained after the war. There are also diorama detailing what the locals were doing during those times. There was also a workshop where they transformed bombs into weapons of their own. At the end of the tour there is a shop for souvenirs and a gun rental shop where you can shoot using weapons used during the war. Of course, I did not rent a gun. What if I enjoyed it and wanted to buy one myself?
The highlight of the tour was for tourists to experience the tunnel for 100 meters. That doesn’t sound so bad. But, when you learn that the tunnels are small and narrow, you would be claustrophobic. I suggest that you do this part with a friend because it is easier that way. Also, you get to the back of the pack so you would be able to take pictures of yourself and your friend while inside the tunnel.
I was sweating profusely because the tunnel was narrow and hot. Since it is cramped, you’d get to gasp for air. But since you’re with a friend, you get the most out of it. I was squatting so it feels like exercise. My legs didn’t hurt after so what others may have told you about this could be exaggerated.
The whole adventure is great. I have learned more about the war and the tactics of both sides. The tour guide helped too given that he was part of the war himself. The trip is definitely worth it. Even if we just visited two places in one day, we learned a lot from the culture and history of Vietnam.