09.02.2013 - 09.02.2013
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.
Today we went to the Cu Chi tunnels, outside Saigon. This was a base of the Viet Cong in the war. We had seen a set of tunnels on our DMZ tour and weren't sure what to expect of this well visited tourist site in the south. It started relatively badly with us sharing the tour with a huge bus load of people. Then followed a long drive, a forced shopping experience, and a lot of waiting around.
When we finally got into the Cu Chi tunnel site we were herded into an underground bunker to see, what I can only hope was, a propaganda video shown in the war about "crazy devil American bombers" and "the American killing heros of Vietnam". This was followed by quite an informative, but short, talk by a South Vietnamese army veteran, telling the often unheard side of the war story in Vietnam.
The "sights" of the tunnels lurched between uninspiring and horrific. The home-made man traps looked incredibly painful - bamboo spikes galore! But the firing range on site, for people to try their hand at shooting the guns used by both sides in the war, was a tourist gimmic too far in our eyes! The tunnels themselves were TINY! As we're both a little claustrophobic we dared not brave them!
Tonight we are out to watch the Six Nations and to celebrate Tet (lunar new year)! I will leave it for Tam to tell you about our evenings antics tomorrow!