Southeast Asia

The Cu Chi Tunnels

I will admit it, I know very little about the Vietnam War (or the American War, as they say in Vietnam). Yes, it is pretty bad considering I am now traveling in a country that many North Americans only know because of it. But that is the beauty of traveling, getting the opportunity to learn about places and events that occurred that you might not have learned about otherwise back at home.

Plus, the bonus of experiencing them first-hand is something no book or documentary can teach you.

So today we got to learned about the Củ Chi Tunnels, which were the underground tunnels used by the Vietnamese guerrilla soldiers during the Vietnam/American War.  Not only did we see them, we got a chance to “walk” through them. I put that in quotations since it was more like crouch/crawl.

Vlog # 12 : Contiki Big Indochina Adventure: Cu Chi, Vietnam

Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hidden entrance to the tunnels.

The section of tunnel we got to go through was 100m in length with optional exits every 25m for the claustrophobic. Now the first 50m had been widened to fit us tourists in, but if you continue along for the final 50m you truly get to experience what it was like for the soldiers; something only 1/4 of our group choose to do.  Small spaces aren’t for everyone.

Those that stayed got to experience the true tunnel size which involved crawling on all fours. I can’t even imagine how brutal it would have been to be running around during wartime in these tunnels. I was drenched in sweat after only 100 meters, and I wasn’t carrying anything nor wearing long clothes. Not to mention the smell; the musky, damp, humid air, which was surely filled with smoke back then.

Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Another entrance to the tunnels. Again, reinforced and made larger for tourists.

Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 Air holes to provide ventilation down in the tunnels.

As much as I describe and show it, unfortunately, it is one of those “you have to experience it” to truly understand sort of things. So therefore I highly recommend experiencing it.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    April 26, 2012 at 6:48 am

    This is very fascinating, I’ve visited similar tunnels in Lebanon, where the Lebanese resistance used to hide during occupation. It’s always eye-opening when you visit these places yourself, you’re right, first-hand experience is something no book can teach you.

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